An oats β-glucan clinical trial

This 2020 human study investigated effects of processing β-glucan:

“Nutritional advantages of oats compared to many other grains include gluten-free nature, high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, protein composition which complements that of pulses, and substantiated health effects of fibers, specifically oat β-glucan. Novel oat products, which are often semi-solid or liquid, generally need alterations of the physicochemical properties of oats.

The hypothesis in this study [Clinical trial NCT02764931] was that bioprocessing of oat bran with enzyme treatment, causing depolymerization of β-glucan, affects nutritional properties of bran and functional properties of β-glucan in human gastrointestinal tract.

The study meal consisted of oat bran concentrate treated with a commercial food-grade cell wall degrading enzyme preparation at 1 or 50 nkat β-glucanase g-1 dm-1. A control sample was prepared in the same way without added enzymes. Average MW [molecular weight] of β-glucan in:

  • Control oat bran concentrate was >1000 kDa [weight in kilodaltons] (High MW);
  • 1 nkat g-1 dm-1-treated 524 kDa (Medium MW); and
  • 50 nkat g-1 dm-1-treated 82 kDa (Low MW).

Results of this study supported the hypothesis that alteration of oat β-glucan MW with enzymatic treatment affects nutritional properties of oat bran and functional properties of β-glucan in the human gastrointestinal tract:

  • A High MW β-glucan meal resulted in the highest excretion of fecal bile acids, and the lowest excretion of phenolic compounds in urine.
  • A Low MW β-glucan meal resulted in the lowest excretion of fecal bile acids, but the highest excretion of phenolic compounds, especially ferulic acid, in urine.
  • Medium MW β-glucan was similar to High MW β-glucan in that it resulted in high excretion of fecal bile acids and low excretion of phenolic compounds to urine, but mean pressure in the duodenum was closer to Low MW than to High MW meal.

Perceived gut well-being after consumption of each meal did not differ between meals, but varied between genders, which should be further investigated.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814620320811 “Effect of oat β-glucan of different molecular weights on fecal bile acids, urine metabolites and pressure in the digestive tract – A human cross over trial” (not freely available)


I eat 81 grams of steel-cut oats every morning, which is represented by this study’s high-molecular-weight control. Later I take a 400 mg β-glucan capsule for immune system benefits.

Take responsibility for your one precious life.

No β-glucan for dolphins or seagulls

Sprouting oats

Three 2020 studies investigated properties of sprouted oats. This first study compared one oat cultivar’s seed and sprout contents for phenolic compounds, and evaluated oat sprouts’ protection against developing colon cancer:

“The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate whether sprouted oats (SO) of the Turquesa variety still possessed effective physiologically bioactive compounds, i.e., phenolics, flavonoids, AVAs [avenanthramides], and phytosterols, and whether it exerted antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as the capacity to improve relevant intestinal parameters, in an AOM [azoxymethane] / DSS [dextran sulfate sodium]-induced CRC [colorectal cancer] mouse model.

Suboptimal intake of whole grains (38 g/d) was associated with CRC burden across 16 European countries. An optimal intake of 50–100 g/d was considered in our study to establish the dose administered in the AOM/DSS-induced CRC mouse model (75 g/d).

Seeds (100 g) were soaked in distilled water for 12 h then watered daily. Temperature and relative humidity were set at 25 °C and 60%. Germination was performed in darkness for five days. Germination percentage was determined based on total number of fully emerged seedlings.

We reached 100% of germination and a radicle length of 6.47 ± 0.22 cm. Sprouts were dried at 50 °C for 12 h, milled to a particle size of 0.5 mm, and stored at 4 °C until analyses.

Protein and lipid contents were higher in SO, whereas carbohydrate and ash contents were lower. A more than four-fold increase [0.64 mg/g to 2.79 mg/g] in TPC [total phenolic compounds] was obtained after five days.

We identified AVA-D as the most abundant AVA, followed by AVA-L, which had not been reported as one of the three most abundant AVAs in other oat varieties. Of the three most abundant AVAs previously reported, only AVA-B had a higher abundance in germination.

Phytic acid, an antinutritional compound present in oats, was 10 times lower in oat sprouts. Phytic acid has its content decreased by 15%–35% during even a short three-day germination due to activation of phytase activity. Although high doses of phytic acid inhibit absorption of metals and minerals in humans, it has been observed that, in small doses, it can function as a protective factor in several chronic degenerative diseases.

Mice in groups 3 and 4 were gavaged every morning with phenolic-AVA extract (0.084 mg GAE) and 30 mg of SO, respectively. We observed a mild anti-inflammatory effect of SO and AVA treatments, and a reduced adenocarcinoma incidence of 52.5% and 21.3%, respectively.

SO was more efficient in activating the Keap1-Nrf2 signaling pathway compared to treatment with AVA. Oat phenolic compounds together with β-glucans may be acting synergistically, thus offering greater protection for cancer prevention and treatment.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/9/2/169/htm “Chemopreventive Effect of the Germinated Oat and Its Phenolic-AVA Extract in Azoxymethane/Dextran Sulfate Sodium (AOM/DSS) Model of Colon Carcinogenesis in Mice”

The supplementary material developed this oat cultivar’s seed and sprout profiles for 138 phenolic compounds. It measured C-type AVAs, but not A-type AVAs.

This was my model study for Sprouting whole oats.


A second study was reviewed in Eat oats today! and repeated here:

“The first evaluation of anti-inflammation effects of A-type AVAs was published from our own group. Fifteen A-type AVAs from commercial sprouted oat products interacted with lipopolysaccharide-induced nitric oxide production and iNOS expression.”

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.jafc.9b06812 “Quantitative Analysis and Anti-inflammatory Activity Evaluation of the A-Type Avenanthramides in Commercial Sprouted Oat Products” (not freely available)

Oat variety and sprout age weren’t available for the six sprouted oat products tested, so oat seed-to-sprout comparisons weren’t possible. A-type AVA comparisons among products were performed, but weren’t meaningful due to unknown varieties, ages, product processing, and storage.


A third study compared four grains’ sprouted and unsprouted contents:

“Seeds were soaked at 25°C in 1 L of distilled water for 20 (brown rice), 12 (sorghum and millet) and 8 h (oat), respectively. Hydrated grains were allowed to germinate with layering over wet cellulose pads in a humid chamber for 60 h at 25°C (oat seeds) or 30°C (brown rice, sorghum, and millet seeds) with 95% relative humidity.

All seeds derived from brown rice and oat were germinated after 48 h in the humid chamber. Germinated grains were dried at 50°C until reaching a moisture content of 10%. Sample seeds were milled to fine flour, screened through a 100-mesh sieve and stored at 4°C for further analysis.

After 60 h of germination, sprout length in sorghum and millet ranged from 8 to 24 mm, while sprouts obtained from brown rice and oat ranged from 3 to 6 mm.

Compared to raw flours, germinated flours derived from brown rice, sorghum, and millet had lower gelatinization enthalpy, whereas germinated oat flour showed higher gelatinization enthalpy.

During germination, enzymes are activated, catalyzing starch degradation, which may disrupt the double helical structure of starch. Consequently, less energy is required to unravel and melt double helices of starch in germinated flours. The increase in gelatinization enthalpy of germinated oat flour may be due to dissolution of hydrolyzed starch granules during germination.”

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10068-020-00770-2 “Influence of germination on physicochemical properties of flours from brown rice, oat, sorghum, and millet” (not freely available)


The first study sprouted oats for five days to full germination and a minimum radicle length of 6.25 cm. The third study sprouted oats to full germination in 60 hours and a 3 mm minimum total length.

At the same 25°C, with 60% relative humidity and daily watering, it took 120 hours to achieve full germination. With 95% relative humidity, it took half that time.

Was humidity a relevant difference in oat sprout growth? Would Choyang variety oat sprouts increase their minimum 3 mm total length more than 20 times between Hours 60 and 120 to match the minimum Turquesa radicle length?

This is a count of PubMed “oat sprout” search results, 20 results total:

A “broccoli sprout” search returned 648 results. Is oat sprout research just getting started?

Part 2 of The transgenerational impact of Roundup exposure

This 2020 study followed up The transgenerational impact of Roundup exposure using the Washington State Unversity research group’s most recent methodology in DEET and permethrin cause transgenerational diseases:

“The herbicide glyphosate has been shown to promote epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of pathology and disease in subsequent great-grand offspring (F3 generation). The current study was designed to identify epigenetic biomarkers for glyphosate-induced transgenerational diseases using an epigenome-wide association study.

Pathologies investigated included prostate disease [13 of 44 subjects], kidney disease [11 of 44], obesity [19 of 45], and presence of multiple disease [10 of 45]. Sperm were collected from F3 glyphosate lineage males and used to identify specific differential DNA methylation regions (DMRs) and differential histone retention sites (DHRs).

The number of DHRs were less than the number of DMRs, and DHRs were found to have disease specificity. The combination of DMRs and DHRs is anticipated to facilitate pathology diagnosis.

Low sample number is a limitation in the current analysis. Potential higher variability in data needs to be considered.

This is one of the first observations of DHRs as potential biomarkers for disease. The current study used glyphosate induction of transgenerational disease as a proof of concept such environmental biomarkers can be identified and potentially used as diagnostics for disease susceptibility in the future.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15592294.2020.1853319 “Epigenome-wide association study for glyphosate induced transgenerational sperm DNA methylation and histone retention epigenetic biomarkers for disease”


Eat oats today!

This 2020 food chemistry review provided phenolic-compound reasons to eat oats:

“Phenolamides result from the conjugation of hydroxycinnamic acids with amines. These products contain a variety of metabolic, chemical, and functional capabilities due to the large number of possible combinations among the parent compounds.

Of the currently known phenolamides, the most common are avenanthramides (AVAs), which are unique in oats. AVAs possess anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, anti-atherosclerosis, antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-obesity, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and neuroprotective properties.

Twenty-nine C-type AVAs have been identified in oats, and twenty-six A-type AVAs.

  • C-type AVAs in commercially available oat products range from 36.49-61.77 mg/kg (fresh weight).
  • A-type AVAs represent approximately 22.5% of total AVA levels in regular oats and 24.7-33.0% in commercial sprouted oats.

Steeping raw groats increased AVA concentrations.”

These reviews were referenced:

“Since publication of these two reviews, a few new studies reported AVAs’ beneficial health effects, mainly related to their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. AVAs can:

  • Significantly decrease IL-6, IL-8, and MCP-1 in endothelial cells;
  • Inhibit IL-1β- and TNF-α-induced NF-κB activation; as well as
  • Expression of adhesion molecules; and
  • Adhesion of monocytes to endothelial cell monolayer.

In 2020, the first evaluation of anti-inflammation effects of A-type AVAs was published from our own group. Fifteen A-type AVAs from commercial sprouted oat products interacted with lipopolysaccharide-induced nitric oxide production and iNOS expression.

Colloidal oatmeal’s natural components, AVAs, help to restore and maintain skin barrier function. AVAs are safe, well tolerated, and can be effective as adjuvant treatment in atopic dermatitis.

In one mouse model, a C-type AVA was able to mitigate many adverse effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. It restored hippocampal long-term potentiation and synaptic function, enhanced memory function, suppressed pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6 levels, reduced caspase-3 levels, and increased pS9GSK-3β and IL-10 levels.

AVAs downregulated expression of hTERT and MDR1, pro-survival genes for cancer cells, and COX-2 mRNA and PGE2 levels, known pro-inflammatory markers. AVAs induced apoptosis by activating caspases 8, 3, and 2.”

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c02605 “The Chemistry and Health Benefits of Dietary Phenolamides” (not freely available)


Hadn’t thought about sprouting oats before this paper.

Clearing out the 2020 queue of interesting papers

I’ve partially read these 39 studies and reviews, but haven’t taken time to curate them.

Early Life

  1. Intergenerational Transmission of Cortical Sulcal Patterns from Mothers to their Children (not freely available)
  2. Differences in DNA Methylation Reprogramming Underlie the Sexual Dimorphism of Behavioral Disorder Caused by Prenatal Stress in Rats
  3. Maternal Diabetes Induces Immune Dysfunction in Autistic Offspring Through Oxidative Stress in Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  4. Maternal prenatal depression and epigenetic age deceleration: testing potentially confounding effects of prenatal stress and SSRI use
  5. Maternal trauma and fear history predict BDNF methylation and gene expression in newborns
  6. Adverse childhood experiences, posttraumatic stress, and FKBP5 methylation patterns in postpartum women and their newborn infants (not freely available)
  7. Maternal choline supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy improves infant information processing speed: a randomized, double‐blind, controlled feeding study
  8. Preterm birth is associated with epigenetic programming of transgenerational hypertension in mice
  9. Epigenetic mechanisms activated by childhood adversity (not freely available)

Epigenetic clocks

  1. GrimAge outperforms other epigenetic clocks in the prediction of age-related clinical phenotypes and all-cause mortality (not freely available)
  2. Epigenetic age is a cell‐intrinsic property in transplanted human hematopoietic cells
  3. An epigenetic clock for human skeletal muscle
  4. Immune epigenetic age in pregnancy and 1 year after birth: Associations with weight change (not freely available)
  5. Vasomotor Symptoms and Accelerated Epigenetic Aging in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) (not freely available)
  6. Estimating breast tissue-specific DNA methylation age using next-generation sequencing data

Epigenetics

  1. The Intersection of Epigenetics and Metabolism in Trained Immunity (not freely available)
  2. Leptin regulates exon-specific transcription of the Bdnf gene via epigenetic modifications mediated by an AKT/p300 HAT cascade
  3. Transcriptional Regulation of Inflammasomes
  4. Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells protect against CMS-induced depression-like behaviors in mice via regulating the Nrf2/HO-1 and TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathways
  5. Serotonin Modulates AhR Activation by Interfering with CYP1A1-Mediated Clearance of AhR Ligands
  6. Repeated stress exposure in mid-adolescence attenuates behavioral, noradrenergic, and epigenetic effects of trauma-like stress in early adult male rats
  7. Double-edged sword: The evolutionary consequences of the epigenetic silencing of transposable elements
  8. Blueprint of human thymopoiesis reveals molecular mechanisms of stage-specific TCR enhancer activation
  9. Statin Treatment-Induced Development of Type 2 Diabetes: From Clinical Evidence to Mechanistic Insights
  10. Rewiring of glucose metabolism defines trained immunity induced by oxidized low-density lipoprotein
  11. Chronic Mild Stress Modified Epigenetic Mechanisms Leading to Accelerated Senescence and Impaired Cognitive Performance in Mice
  12. FKBP5-associated miRNA signature as a putative biomarker for PTSD in recently traumatized individuals
  13. Metabolic and epigenetic regulation of T-cell exhaustion (not freely available)

Aging

  1. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of aging in hematopoietic stem cells and their niches
  2. Epigenetic regulation of bone remodeling by natural compounds
  3. Microglial Corpse Clearance: Lessons From Macrophages
  4. Plasma proteomic biomarker signature of age predicts health and life span
  5. Ancestral stress programs sex-specific biological aging trajectories and non-communicable disease risk

Broccoli sprouts

  1. Dietary Indole-3-Carbinol Alleviated Spleen Enlargement, Enhanced IgG Response in C3H/HeN Mice Infected with Citrobacter rodentium
  2. Effects of caffeic acid on epigenetics in the brain of rats with chronic unpredictable mild stress
  3. Effects of sulforaphane in the central nervous system
  4. Thiol antioxidant thioredoxin reductase: A prospective biochemical crossroads between anticancer and antiparasitic treatments of the modern era (not freely available)
  5. Quantification of dicarbonyl compounds in commonly consumed foods and drinks; presentation of a food composition database for dicarbonyls (not freely available)
  6. Sulforaphane Reverses the Amyloid-β Oligomers Induced Depressive-Like Behavior (not freely available)

Does reprogramming signaling pathways create memories?

This 2020 study investigated genes and signaling pathways for inflammatory memory:

“Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) play a critical role in pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Chronic inflammation induces transcriptomic and epigenetic modifications that imparts a persistent catabolic phenotype to the FLS, despite their dissociation from the inflammatory environment.

Sustained activated genes established pro-inflammatory signaling components known to act at multiple levels of NF-κB, STAT and AP-1 signaling cascades. Sustained repressed genes included critical mediators and targets of the BMP [bone morphogenic protein] signaling pathway.

We identified sustained repression of BMP signaling as a unique constituent of the long-term inflammatory memory induced by chronic inflammation.

FLS are synovial tissue-resident and specialized mesenchymal cells critical for homeostasis. Key features of these cells during homeostasis include the production of extracellular matrix components and providing nutrients to the synovial fluid. Healthy synovium is composed of multiple layers of FLS, which forms the synovial lining and sublining through cell–cell contacts.

Inflammatory and pro-resolving mediators are tightly regulated to maintain normal synovium functioning. However, in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, an imbalance between these signals causes homeostasis disruption leading to synovial tissue damage, cartilage destruction and bone degeneration.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7679373/ “Chronic exposure to TNF reprograms cell signaling pathways in fibroblast-like synoviocytes by establishing long-term inflammatory memory”


These researchers described a positive feedback loop that kept rheumatoid arthritis in place. No feedback diagram or explanation of what sustained a disease condition other than to say:

“Gene expression changes induced by short-term tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) treatment were largely sustained in the FLS exposed to chronic inflammation.”

Okay – then what upstream signals sustained TNF-α? What would it take to interrupt that feedback loop? What initiated it?

Studies usually substantiate effects by also developing evidence for causes of opposite effects and of no effects. This study investigated neither reversibility nor no effect, and instead stated:

“Multiple signaling networks are irreversibly modified due to TNF-α-mediated long-term epigenetic and transcriptomic reprogramming. We speculate that sustained repression of BMP signaling may be critically required to ensure the persistently transformed phenotype of RA FLS.”

No evidence was offered for “irreversibly modified.” Anyway, that didn’t fit with:

“We postulate that simultaneous targeting of these activated and repressed signaling pathways may be necessary to combat RA persistence.”

Enduring epigenetic memories? Or continuous toxic stimulation? provided another perspective: “Enduring epigenetic effects may be symptoms rather than causes when toxic conditions persist.”


Been on a Steely Dan kick lately. Probably due to this year’s Royal Scam:

Zinc and broccoli sprouts – a winning combination

This 2019 study deserved better coverage than a one sentence mention in Reversal of aging and immunosenescent trends with sulforaphane:

“Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is one of the most common breathing disorders in sleep, with a high prevalence of 3–7% and severe consequences. It is characterized by intermittent hypoxia (IH) due to recurrent episodes of partial or complete collapse of the upper airway during sleep, leading to blood hypoxemia, hypercapnia, sleep fragmentation, augmented respiratory efforts, and increased sympathetic activity.

Our study is the first investigation of the combination of BSE [broccoli sprout extract] and Zn [zinc] – Nrf2 and MT [metallothionein] inducers – to protect against IH-induced cardiomyopathy. By effectively activating Nrf2, its downstream targets, and MT, this combination can ameliorate defects associated with IH-induced cardiomyopathy more effectively than monotherapies.

Mice were administered with BSE (equivalent to SFN [sulforaphane] 2 mg/kg) and/or Zn sulfate heptahydrate (5 mg/kg) by gavage from 8 weeks of age at a frequency of once every other day for 8 weeks. Doses used in this study are safe to convert to human doses. [2 mg x .081 x 70 kg = 11 mg sulforaphane; 5 mg x .081 x 70 kg = 28 mg zinc]

  • Heart mass was significantly lower in the IH-BSE/Zn group than in IH and IH-BSE groups. Heart mass / tibia length ratio was significantly lower in the IH-BSE/Zn group than in IH and monotherapy groups.
  • Treatment with BSE and/or Zn can ameliorate myocardial fibrosis associated with IH, to a certain extent, and combination therapy has the best antifibrotic effect among treatments.
  • BSE or Zn can significantly ameliorate myocardial inflammation induced by IH, but the combination provides a better anti-inflammatory effect.
  • We used 3-NT as an indicator of the severity of oxidative stress. 3-NT protein levels were significantly reduced in IH mice for all treatment groups, and reduction was greater in the combination treatment group.
  • Combination is more effective than monotherapies to activate Nrf2-mediated antioxidant function.

  • In Zn-treated and combination treatment groups, MT protein expression was significantly higher than in the IH group, and there was only a slight increase in the IH-BSE group.”

Combination of Broccoli Sprout Extract and Zinc Provides Better Protection Against Intermittent Hypoxia-Induced Cardiomyopathy Than Monotherapy in Mice


One way to improve broccoli sprout compounds’ effects is to eat them with zinc. One way to improve zinc’s actions is to take it with broccoli sprouts.

Week 34 of Changing to a youthful phenotype with broccoli sprouts

1. Thank you to readers of this blog who find the 650+ curations and other posts worth their time. I reread blog posts after you read them, and sometimes improve them for our mutual benefit.

One such post this week was Broccoli sprout compounds include sinapic acid derivatives. Although it was already fairly detailed, it received a half-dozen improvements.

  • Those researchers measured composition changes of 31 compounds (18 sinapic acid derivatives, 8 glucosinolates, and 5 flavonoids) identified in seed-2-4-6-day germination stages of one cultivar. They provided convertible dry weight and fresh weight measurements in mg / g.
  • It complemented the 3-day-old broccoli sprouts have the optimal yields study comparisons of six cultivated varieties’ seed-3-5-7-day germination stage weights and measurements with their origins using a milligram-per-gram-of-seeds scale:

    “To be comparable, the content of these bioactive compounds from 100 fresh sprouts was divided by the weight (g) of 100 seeds, and then this value was compared with their content from one gram seeds.”

  • The sinapic acid study discussed another study for:

    “In a study, diminishing amounts of total phenolic acids in sprouts of three broccoli cultivars was observed only between 3rd and 7th day of germination under photoperiod conditions and only when expressed on fresh weight basis. After recalculating results to dry weight, amounts were increasing during the whole 14-day observation period.”

All studies were scientifically informative. Still, results depended on researchers’ operative paradigms, and human behavior such as unconscious act-outs of unsatisfied needs to feel important.

2. Speaking of which, I viewed a 1:48 video with broccoli sprout experts who disparaged microwaving around the 1:10 mark. I’m not an expert, but I’ve eaten a clinically-relevant dose of microwaved broccoli sprouts every day for 34 weeks now.

Here are a few studies of microwaving’s effects on phenolic, glucosinolate, and flavonoid broccoli compounds. Just for those who value evidence more than opinion.

  • Microwaving broccoli sprouts may not affect phenolic levels found four of five test cases didn’t significantly diminish total phenolic fresh weight contents of whole broccoli. They blended 100 grams broccoli in 200 ml water, halved the purée, then microwaved half on 700W power for 30 seconds. No disclosure of what temperature was achieved, but it was probably < 60°C (140°F). Microwaving significantly increased the glucosinolate hydrolysis product indole-3-carbinol:

    “I3C in broccoli was increased by 3.1, 9.1 and 1.9 folds respectively using blenders 1, 2 and 5 with microwaving.”

  • Microwave broccoli to increase flavonoid levels study design was “Broccoli florets (150 g) were put in a microwave safe bowl with a 1 tablespoon [15 ml] of water” and a 1200W microwave on full power for one minute. Although this may have produced temperatures > 60°C, flavonoid fresh weight contents increased > 30%:

    Microwaving may increase extractability and/or release from binding to other compounds as a result of matrix softening.

  • Microwave broccoli to increase sulforaphane levels demonstrated significant differences for 450W (LL) and 900W (HL) power settings in glucoraphanin and sulforaphane dry weight amounts when broccoli florets were microwaved to the same temperatures. Compare white bar sulforaphane amounts for LL60 and HL60 (both 60°C), annotated as E and F:

    “Microwave treatment causes a sudden collapse of cell structure due to the increase in osmotic pressure difference over vacuole membrane. Microwave irradiation might help to release more conjugated forms of glucosinolates and then get hydrolyzed by released myrosinase.

  • Enhancing sulforaphane content confirmed the above 60°C finding with broccoli florets:

    “The best treatment temperature for maximizing sulforaphane yield was 60 °C. The slightly higher sulforaphane yield than would be predicted from the level of glucoraphanin in raw broccoli requires further investigation. The sulforaphane yield of broccoli after 5 min thermal treatment at 65 °C was even lower than the value obtained for raw broccoli.”

3. I see socialistic animal behavior often during beach walks. If one seagull pecks a food morsel, a half-dozen others immediately position themselves to take it. It’s a race to the bottom of existence.

Too bad we humans don’t learn pertinent lessons from others’ experiences, much less our own. Today’s US Thanksgiving provides one example.

Richard Ebeling presented the factual Thanksgiving story a while back. Have you read about collectivism that arrived with the Mayflower in 1620? Do you think we’ve learned what we needed to learn about communism from four centuries ago through today?

4. Seagulls are also inspirational in their flock behavior of joie de vivre predawn flying.

Part 2 of Eat broccoli sprouts for your eyes

I was a little bothered by an unreferenced statement in Eat broccoli sprouts for your eyes that:

“Once AGEs are formed, most are irreversible.”

I searched curated 2020 studies for “revers” and found that recent blog studies favored reversibility of epigenetic changes 12-to-2. Do they reflect my selection bias, or is there something different about AGEs?

Let’s start with this statement:

“Although AGEs are irreversible adducts and cross-links in our tissues, these can be removed through different proteolytic capacities:

  • The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) – Ubiquitin is a protein that when conjugated to a protein substrate can facilitate degradation of that substrate by the proteasome. Obsolete or damaged proteins are tagged with ubiquitin and these ubiquitinated substrates are degraded by the proteasome. Operates mainly on soluble substrates.
  • Autophagy – Can operate on insoluble substrates, including organelles such as mitochondria. Autophagy requires macromolecular assemblies and organelles to identify, sequester, and eventually degrade substrates via the lysosome.

Unfortunately, the function of both proteolytic pathways declines with extensive glycative stress and upon aging in many tissues, resulting in intracellular accumulation of protein aggregates (also glycated conjugates) and dysfunctional organelles. This thwarts strategies to lower AGEs accumulation by boosting proteolytic capacities.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/9/11/1062/htm “Glyoxalase System as a Therapeutic Target against Diabetic Retinopathy”


So humans can remove irreversible AGE epigenetic changes as long as the individual isn’t too stressed or old? Studies from 2008 to 2012 were cited for the above statement and graphic.

Citation 211 Sulforaphane delays diabetes-induced retinal photoreceptor cell degeneration (not freely available) 2020 findings were instructive:

“SF [sulforaphane] can delay photoreceptor degeneration in diabetes. The underlying mechanism is related to:

  • Inhibition of ER [endoplasmic reticulum] stress;
  • Inflammation; and
  • Txnip [thioredoxin-interacting protein] expression through activation of the AMPK [adenosine 5′-monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase] pathway.

Function of the retina in diabetic [DM] mice as determined by ERG [electroretinography].”


This chart demonstrated that preventing diabetes’ retinal effects (non-diabetic control bar) was measurably better than trying to fix them. Are future choices of humans who give themselves this non-communicable disease also limited to addressing symptoms?

The AMPK pathway was mentioned in:

  1. Reversal of aging and immunosenescent trends with sulforaphane:”

    Dihydroxyvitamin D3 and sulforaphane are compounds that safely induce AMPK activation, and may have wide-ranging implications for both normal and pathological aging.”

  2. Part 2 of Reversal of aging and immunosenescent trends with sulforaphane:

    “NQO1 plays a key role in AMPK-induced cancer cell death through the CD38/cADPR/RyR/Ca2+/CaMKII signaling pathway. Expression of NQO1 is elevated by hypoxia / reoxygenation or inflammatory stresses through nuclear accumulation of the NQO1 transcription factor, Nrf2. Activation of the cytoprotective Nrf2 antioxidant pathway by sulforaphane protects immature neurons and astrocytes from death caused by exposure to combined hypoxia and glucose deprivation.”

This first example was vitamin D3’s separate yet connected signaling pathway that acts both additively and synergistically with broccoli sprout compound effects. Followed by signaling pathways becoming cascadingly activated from sulforaphane’s main effect, Nrf2 signaling pathway activation.


Eat broccoli sprouts for your eyes

This 2020 review subject concerned a leading cause of blindness:

“Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are toxic compounds that have adverse effects on many tissues including the retina and lens. AGEs promote the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which, in turn, boost the production of AGEs, a vicious cycle.

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a devastating microvascular complication of diabetes mellitus and the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults. The onset and development of DR is multifactorial. Lowering AGEs accumulation may represent a potential therapeutic approach.

Once AGEs are formed, most are irreversible. Cataracts are perhaps the earliest pathobiology of AGEs:

Nε-(carboxymethyl)-lysine (CML) [a representative AGE] in lens crystallins from diabetic (■) and non-diabetic (♦) subjects as a function of age.

The glyoxalase system is a protective mechanism that slows down synthesis of AGEs by limiting reactive dicarbonyls formed during sugar metabolism. Glutathione (GSH) in the eye is present at concentrations many times blood levels, and is a critical component of the glyoxalase system.

Proteomic analysis identified GLO1 [glyoxalase 1] as a protein differentially expressed in cells treated with sulforaphane. Sulforaphane inhibited AGEs-derived pericyte damage and delayed diabetes-induced retinal photoreceptor cell degeneration.

No AGE inhibitors have reached clinical use. The glyoxalase system and discovery of compounds that enhance this detoxifying activity represent a therapeutic alternative to fight glycation-derived damage.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3921/9/11/1062/htm “Glyoxalase System as a Therapeutic Target against Diabetic Retinopathy”


The above graph – plotting a cataract AGE level against chronological age – represented life stage progression without effective personal agency, without taking responsibility for your one precious life.

Citation 156 was Activation of Nrf2 attenuates carbonyl stress induced by methylglyoxal in human neuroblastoma cells: Increase in GSH levels is a critical event for the detoxification mechanism (not freely available):

“The present study focused on the methylglyoxal (MG) detoxification mechanism. MG treatment resulted in accumulation of modified proteins bearing the structure of AGEs.

This accumulation was suppressed by activation of the Nrf2 pathway prior to MG exposure via pre-treatment with an Nrf2 activator:

Although pre-treatment with the Nrf2 activator did not affect mRNA levels of GLO1, expressions of GCL and xCT mRNA, involved in GSH synthesis, were induced prior to increase in GSH levels.

These results indicated that increase in GSH levels promoted formation of the GLO1 substrate, thereby accelerating MG metabolism via the glyoxalase system and suppressing its toxicity. Promotion of GSH synthesis via the Nrf2/Keap1 pathway is important in MG detoxification.”

Continued in Part 2.


PXL_20201121_113656177

Nrf2 and Parkinson’s disease

This 2020 rodent study investigated a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) in Parkinson’s disease:

“Knockdown of MALAT1 (metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1) lncRNA inhibited elevated nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like-2 factor (NRF2) expression, thereby inhibiting inflammasome activation and ROS (reactive oxygen species) production. MALAT1 was shown to promote neuroinflammation by recruiting enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2) to the promoter of NRF2, suppressing Nrf2 expression.

EZH2 catalyses generation of trimethylated H3K27 (H3K27me3) from histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27). EZH2 plays an important role in regulating the essential genes for inflammation in microglial activation, which induces neurodegeneration in the central nervous system.

Our results also validated MALAT1 binding to EZH2 in LPS-treated BV2 cells, which further recruited H3K27me3 to the gene promoter loci of Nrf2 to repress Nrf2 transcription. Although silencing MALAT1 did not alter global EZH2 expression levels, decreased binding between EZH2 and the Nrf2 promoter was observed. Previous studies have revealed that lncRNAs regulate the function of EZH2 in a similar manner.

MALAT1 epigenetically inhibits NRF2, thereby inducing inflammasome activation and ROS production in PD mouse and microglial cell models. To the best of our knowledge, it is first report of the important role of EZH2 in regulating the expression of Nrf2 to activate microglial inflammation.”

https://molecularbrain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13041-020-00656-8 “LncRNA MALAT1 facilitates inflammasome activation via epigenetic suppression of Nrf2 in Parkinson’s disease”


Eat broccoli sprouts today! referenced a letter to the editor that cited The Ezh2 Polycomb Group Protein Drives an Aggressive Phenotype in Melanoma Cancer Stem Cells and is a Target of Diet Derived Sulforaphane which found:

“SFN treatment is associated with reduced Ezh2 level and H3K27me3 formation.”

However, that study didn’t link sulforaphane’s main effect of Nrf2 signaling pathway activation to these specific treatment effects.

This post was inspired by our latest subscriber, Dr. Albert F. Wright, who is battling PD with – among other treatments – broccoli seeds.


Mild stress improves broccoli compound yields

This 2020 plant study by the same university as Our model clinical trial for Changing to a youthful phenotype with broccoli sprouts investigated seasonal and stressful effects on broccoli compounds:

“In this study, three crop trials were carried out to evaluate effects of cultivation season, application of different dosages of methyl-jasmonate (MeJA) on overall quality and on total content of bioactive compounds of ‘Parthenon’ broccoli cultivated under field conditions of southeastern Spain.

Elicitation is the main tool used to increase content of secondary metabolites in vegetables, as it induces stress responses in plants. Several studies have involved application of elicitors to broccoli plants in order to improve their nutritional properties (although this application is more common for seeds and sprouts).

Content of total carotenoids, phenolic compounds and glucosinolates were higher in autumn compared with spring, showing increases of 2.8-fold, 2-fold and 1.2-fold, respectively. Moreover, a double application of MeJA increased contents of total carotenoids, phenolic compounds and glucosinolates by 22%, 32% and 39%, respectively, relative to untreated samples.

Controlled and timely (four days before harvest) application of 250 µM MeJA as an elicitor to aerial parts of plants, on two consecutive days, yielded florets of Parthenon broccoli with higher contents of bioactive compounds, without changing its overall quality.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/9/10/1371/htm “Seasonal Variation of Health-Promoting Bioactives in Broccoli and Methyl-Jasmonate Pre-Harvest Treatments to Enhance Their Contents”


Findings by broccoli compound category were:

Glucosinolates

“Total content of GLSs was 2-fold higher in autumn than in spring. Total precipitation [2018] in spring was 361 mm compared with 185 mm in autumn. The water deficit in autumn could have contributed to the increase in total GLS content.

The main compound in samples of plants cultivated in spring (first and third assays) was glucoiberin (GIB), followed by glucoraphanin (GRA). The order was reversed in broccoli cultivated in autumn, with GRA being the main compound, followed by GIB, for all treatments.

Aliphatic GLSs were predominant in our Parthenon samples, representing on average 76%, 86% and 83%, of total GLSs in the first, second and third assays, respectively. In relation to the effect of MeJA on content of GLSs, neoglucobrassicin (NGB) was the only compound that showed a significant increase after application of MeJA in seasonal trials, since other GLSs decreased or did not differ with respect to the control group.

NGB increased significantly, from 0.3 mg/kg f.w., to 175 mg/kg f.w. in broccoli treated with two consecutive doses of 250 μM MeJA, and contents of GBSs, total indole GLSs and total GLSs also increased. In contrast, one single dose of 500 μM MeJA did not enhance contents of these compounds.”

Phenolics

“Contents of flavonols and chlorogenic acids were higher in autumn than in spring, whereas content of sinapic acid derivatives was higher in spring. Influence of light on individual phenolic compounds could explain the increase in flavonols and chlorogenic acid derivatives in autumn.

Although MeJA altered contents of phenolic compounds, this effect was not clearly associated solely with MeJA. We found a greater effect of the excipient and MeJA in autumn. When we added an extra stress factor – namely, MeJA – the impact was not as great as in autumn.”

Carotenoids

“In broccoli cultivated in spring, the order was β-carotene > lutein > violaxanthin > neoxanthin, while in autumn the order was β-carotene > violaxanthin > lutein > neoxanthin. Content of total carotenoids in broccoli cultivated in autumn (26 mg/kg) represented a 2.8-fold increase compared to broccoli grown in spring (9 mg/kg).

Treatment with MeJA significantly reduced total content of carotenoids in broccoli cultivated in autumn, whereas it did not show any effect on plants cultivated in spring, and in some cases even led to an increase in carotenoid content. Plants that received two applications of 250 µM MeJA content of carotenoids (34 mg/kg f.w.) increased in comparison with plants without this treatment (28 mg/kg f.w.) as well as those receiving one application of 500 µM MeJA (28 mg/kg f.w.).

Chlorophyll content was directly related to carotenoids content, with a strong correlation in autumn. Carotenoids absorb solar light in the spectral region not covered by chlorophylls and pass light energy to chlorophyll a, protecting it from harmful reactions that occur in conditions of excessive light, in the presence of oxygen. When high temperatures reduce content of carotenoids in spring, a reduction in total chlorophylls is also observed, possibly due to the photo-oxidation process.”


DEET and permethrin cause transgenerational diseases

This 2020 rodent study from the labs of Dr. Michael Skinner at Washington State University examined how great-grandmothers’ insect repellent exposures produced diseases in their great-grand offspring:

“Permethrin and DEET are the pesticides and insect repellent most commonly used by humans. These pesticides have been shown to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease in rats.

Direct exposure impacts an individual and their germ line. If germline epigenetics are modified, offspring generated with the affected germ cell can have epigenetic impacts on health and physiology.

Negative health effects of pesticides exposure do not stop with the individuals directly exposed. Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance occurs when future generations without exposure also exhibit alterations and disease. Epigenetic alterations are more common among individuals with disease than specific genetic alterations or mutations.

Pathologies examined are relevant to human populations including prostate, testis and kidney disease, as well as multiple disease incidence. No common DMR [differential DNA methylation region] among the different transgenerational disease DMR biomarkers was identified.

Observations suggest a common set of epimutations is not present between different diseases to alter general disease susceptibility. Although suggestions of such general molecular impacts for disease susceptibility may exist, the current study suggests predominately disease specific epimutations.

DMRs are present for each individual disease on all chromosomes, except the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA. The multiple disease signatures are present on the Y chromosome, as well as all other chromosomes. These results support the idea that transgenerational epigenetic effects of ancestral pesticides exposure are genome-wide.

The current study used an epigenome-wide association analysis to identify an epigenetic signature of transgenerational disease present in sperm. Biomarkers identified herein may potentially be used to assess paternal transmission of disease susceptibilities to future generations.”

https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-020-00666-y “Epigenome-wide association study for pesticide (Permethrin and DEET) induced DNA methylation epimutation biomarkers for specific transgenerational disease”


Don’t understand how studies on long-term effects of day-to-day human actions like applying insect repellent aren’t front page news. Everyone could benefit from this knowledge. When I explained this study to coworkers, they had a lot of questions and feedback.

An interesting side note was peer review exchanges. A human behavior indicator was pushback regarding repetition of key points among sections, which the researchers justified with:

“The reader does not have to skip back and forth between sections to understand the basic design and methods used.”

Behavioral aspects of epigenetic inheritance haven’t been investigated by this research group. Wouldn’t inherited conditions produce behavioral evidence of their consequences?


Sulforaphane in the Goldilocks zone

This 2020 paper reviewed hormetic effects of a broccoli sprout compound:

“Sulforaphane (SFN) induces a broad spectrum of chemoprotective effects across multiple organs that are of importance to public health and clinical medicine. This chemoprotection is dominated by hormetic dose responses that are mediated by the Nrf2/ARE pathway and its complex regulatory interactions with other factors and pathways, such as p53 and NF-κB.

The stimulatory zone for in vitro studies proved to be consistently in the 1-10 μM range. Hormetic studies of SFN strongly targeted activation of Nrf2.

Capacity to activate Nrf2 diminishes with age, and may affect capacity of SFN to effectively enhance adaptive responses.

A 4-hour exposure induced a 24 hour Nrf2-mediated increase in enzymes that reduce free-radical damage in neurons and astrocytes. Repeated 4-hour treatment for four days affected an accumulation along with a persistent protection.

In the case of continuous exposure to SFN, such as taking a daily supplement, SFN treatment did not result in an accumulation of HMOX1 [heme oxygenase (decycling) 1 gene] mRNA or protein. This suggested that HMOX1 response may experience feedback regulation, avoiding possible harmful overproduction.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1043661820315917 “The phytoprotective agent sulforaphane prevents inflammatory degenerative diseases and age-related pathologies via Nrf2-mediated hormesis” (not freely available)


One coauthor has been on a crusade to persuade everybody of this paradigm. Hormesis’ hypothesis isn’t falsifiable in all circumstances, however.

Hormetic effects may be experimental considerations. But what’s the point of performing sulforaphane dose-response experiments in contexts that are physiologically unachievable with humans? Two examples:

  1. Autism biomarkers and sulforaphane:

    “There was no concentration-dependence in the induction of any of the genes examined, with the higher (5 μM) concentration of SF even showing a slightly diminished effect for the induction of AKR1C1 and NQO1. Although this concentration is achievable in vivo, more typical peak concentrations of SF (and its metabolites) in human plasma are 1-2 μM.”

  2. Human relevance of rodent sulforaphane studies:

    “Over two-thirds of the animal studies have used doses that exceed the highest (and bordering on intolerable) doses of sulforaphane used in humans. The greater than 4-log spread of doses used in mice appears to be driven by needs for effect reporting in publications rather than optimization of translational science.”

This paper cited many hormetic effects that were human-irrelevant without making a distinction. It also had parts such as:

“The capacity for high concentrations of AITC [allyl isothiocyanate] to enhance genetic damage is not relevant since such high concentrations are not realistically achievable in normal human activities.

Humans ingest only the R-isomer of SFN via diet. Their dosing strategy adopted concentrations of R-SFN that were less than those employed to induce cytotoxic effects in cancer cells and that simulated its consumption as a dietary supplement.”


Landing eagle

DIM effects on BRCA carriers

This 2020 study evaluated a broccoli sprout compound’s effects on breast cancer development:

“Women who carry the BRCA mutation are at high lifetime risk of breast cancer, but there is no consensus regarding an effective and safe chemoprevention strategy. A large body of evidence suggests that 3,3-diindolylmethane (DIM), a dimer of indole-3-carbinol found in cruciferous vegetables, can potentially prevent carcinogenesis and tumor development.

A year’s supplementation with DIM 100 mg daily in BRCA carriers was associated with a significant decline in FGT [fibroglandular tissue] amount on MRI. Larger randomized studies are warranted to corroborate these findings.”

https://academic.oup.com/carcin/article/41/10/1395/5847633 “3,3-Diindolylmethane (DIM): a nutritional intervention and its impact on breast density in healthy BRCA carriers. A prospective clinical trial”


This study didn’t address DIM bioavailability. What were the DIM amounts each subject actually processed? How was DIM bioavailability related to their “significant decline in FGT” outcome?

Studies that found DIM was only 1-3% bioavailable after oral administration include:

PubChem lists DIM molecular weight as 246.31 g/mol. A 4.06 μmol DIM amount (.001 / 246.31) equals a 1 mg weight. The study’s daily DIM intake 100 mg weight was a 406 μmol amount.

(406 μmol x 1%) = 4 μmol and (406 μmol x 3%) = 12 μmol. Was DIM bioavailability in a 4 – 12 μmol range?

Eat broccoli sprouts for DIM and Our model clinical trial for Changing to a youthful phenotype with broccoli sprouts measured DIM excreted as a result of eating 30 grams raw broccoli super sprouts every day. Indolic glucosinolate precursors of DIM were as follows:

indolic glucosinolates

DIM at the 70-day point was an average 0.650 μmol amount, which was almost twice those subjects’ 0.334 average beginning amount. If each subject’s DIM was collected over 24-hours, using precursor conversion calculations may have produced bioavailability measurements.


Young dolphins eating breakfast