Giving children allergies with pets

This 2021 human study investigated development and persistence of allergies:

“Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common IgE-mediated disorder involving troublesome symptoms of nasal congestion, nasal itch, sneezing, and associated eye symptoms. Like many chronic health conditions, AR stems from complex gene–environment interactions.

130 subjects with AR were recruited. Control population included 154 healthy children who underwent a regular physical examination in the same ear, nose and throat clinic as AR patients. Individuals with history of asthma or atopic dermatitis were excluded.

AR analysis

Plenty of contradictory associations exist as whether furred pet exposure (cats and dogs) may be a risk or a protective factor for AR development. Discrepancies are likely due to the ubiquitous nature of pet allergens, while pet owners are more concerned about sanitation and many other hygiene-related reasons.

Interaction of early-life pet exposure with methylation level of ADAM33 increased the risk for AR onset 1.423 times more in children. This study provides evidence that:

  • Early-life pet exposure and low methylation level of ADAM33 increase AR risk in children; and
  • The interaction between pet exposure and methylation level of ADAM33 may play an important role in development of AR.”

https://aacijournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13223-021-00526-5 “Interaction between early-life pet exposure and methylation pattern of ADAM33 on allergic rhinitis among children aged 3–6 years in China”


There’s nothing children can do about who their parents were. Exposing them to pet allergens, though, may be another example of early-life experiences causing lifelong effects.

Happy Mothers Day

This 2021 rodent study investigated effects on offspring of maternal high-fat diet (HFD) during gestation and lactation, and offspring HFD during young adulthood:

“We found that gestation was the most sensitive period to induce obesity in late life, and there was no difference between sexes in chance of obesity. Furthermore, we found that lactation and administration of a HFD post‐weaning increased incidence of lipid metabolism disorders and obesity in offspring.

gestational hfd effects on offspring

There are different windows of opportunity for programming epigenetically labile genes. Some studies support the alteration of epigenetic status during development as an important cause induced adult obesity.

Gestation is considered as the most sensitive period because high DNA synthesis and DNA methylation patterns are established for normal tissue development during the embryonic period. These two programming events are the times when the epigenetic state changes most widely in the life cycle.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcmm.16551 “Gestational high-fat diet impaired demethylation of Pparα and induced obesity of offspring”


Hey mothers! Do what you please. But don’t turn around and deny consequences of your behavior and choices on your descendants’ physiology and behavior, and possibly those of further descendants.

Gestation, birth, infancy, and early childhood are critical periods for humans. There’s no going back to correct errors and problems.

Part 2 of Broccoli sprouts activate the AMPK pathway

This 2021 review subject was metformin’s role in autophagy:

“Metformin had been used as the first choice for treating diabetes for almost a century. Autophagy is responsible for recycling and degrading cellular components, which significantly affects cell functions in physiology and pathology.

Effects of metformin on autophagy mainly depend on corresponding signaling pathways in specific organs or tissues. Metformin can induce autophagy in cells of many organs and tissues via affirmed signaling pathways, such as AMPK-related signaling pathways.

1-s2.0-S0753332221000718-gr5_lrg

Different signaling pathways (alone or in combination) mediated the process of metformin affecting autophagy in different organs or tissues. It is necessary to combine effects of metformin on autophagy with pharmacological effects on pathologies in different organs or tissues, which would provide indications for future metformin applications.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332221000718 “The effects of metformin on autophagy”


I characterized this review as Part 2 of Broccoli sprouts activate the AMPK pathway because that study’s experimental evidence showed sulforaphane activation of the AMPK pathway was a predecessor to sulforaphane’s main effects of Nrf2 pathway activation. This review didn’t even mention Nrf2 activation.

Do all of metformin’s cited effects apply to daily intake of broccoli sprouts? Probably not, but most people who take metformin every day aren’t healthy.

One aspect of research on short-chain fatty acids

To further understand An overlooked gut microbiota product, a 2018 rodent study found:

“Microbial metabolites short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) have been implicated in gastrointestinal functional, neuroimmune regulation, and host metabolism, but their role in stress-induced behavioural and physiological alterations is poorly understood

SCFAs are primarily derived from fermentation of dietary fibres, and play a pivotal role in host gut, metabolic and immune function. All these factors have previously been demonstrated to be adversely affected by stress.

Administration of SCFAs to mice undergoing psychosocial stress alleviated enduring alterations in anhedonia and heightened stress-responsiveness, as well as stress-induced increases in intestinal permeability.

experimental design

SCFA treatment alleviated psychosocial stress-induced alterations in reward-seeking behaviour, and increased responsiveness to an acute stressor and in vivo intestinal permeability. In addition, SCFAs exhibited behavioural test-specific antidepressant and anxiolytic effects, which were not present when mice had also undergone psychosocial stress.”

https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1113/JP276431 “Short-chain fatty acids: microbial metabolites that alleviate stress-induced brain–gut axis alterations”


One way researchers advance science is to relate aspects of their findings to previous studies. That approach works, but may miss items that weren’t covered in previous research.

This study fed specific quantities of three SCFAs – acetate, butyrate, and propionate – apparently due to previous research findings. If other SCFAs produced by gut microbiota were ignored – like crotonate (aka unsaturated butyrate) – how would that approach advance science?

I found this study from its citation in Harnessing endogenous defenses with broccoli sprouts.

An overlooked gut microbiota product

This 2021 review subject was histone crotonylation:

“Histone crotonylation is a newly identified epigenetic modification that has a pronounced ability to regulate gene expression. It belongs to an expanding group of short chain lysine acylations that also includes the extensively studied mark histone acetylation.

Histone Kcr was first identified in 2011 where it was found to be mainly associated with active chromatin. Kcr occurs on the ε-amino group of the lysine side chain, where it neutralizes the positive charge of this residue. The loss in positive charge on histone Lys residues weakens DNA interaction, thus making chromatin less compact and accessible to DNA-binding factors.

Crotonate, like other short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), is mainly produced by gut microbiota during fermentation of partially and nondigestible carbohydrates. Circulating SCFAs (acetate, crotonate, butyrate, and propionate) can be taken up by tissues and converted into their cognate short-chain acyl-CoAs, the direct donors of histone Lys acylations.

fcell-09-624914-g001

Crotonyl-CoA is generated as a by-product of fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. Synthesis of crotonyl-CoA can occur in mitochondria or the cytoplasm. Evidence suggests that histone acylations are directly sensitive to changes in concentrations of their corresponding acyl-CoA metabolites, and therefore can act as indicators of cellular metabolic state.

Only a small number of Kcr sites in human histones have been identified so far. This is in part due to a lack of commercially available Kcr site-specific antibodies, which has meant much of the research in this field has focused on studying total histone crotonylation. This is likely to limit our understanding of the importance of histone Kcr, as functional impact of modification at specific sites cannot be readily assessed.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcell.2021.624914/full “The Regulation and Function of Histone Crotonylation”


At first I thought I had missed recent studies of gut microbiota producing crotonate. Searching again for “crotonate” “microbiota” 2020 2021, I didn’t find any that weren’t cited by this paper.

A lack of research could be due to factors mentioned above. It may also be that researchers just don’t look for evidence of the circulating SCFA crotonate.

Effects of another broccoli sprout compound

This 2020 rodent study investigated effects of broccoli sprout hydrolysis compound indole-3-carbinol:

“I3C metabolites act as ligands of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), an important sensor for environmental polyaromatic chemicals. We investigated how dietary AhR ligand supplementation influences AhR target gene expression and intestinal microbiota composition.

Environmental signals, such as dietary, microbial, or xenobiotic factors, are sensed in intestinal tissue AhR, an important regulator of metabolism. It influences immune cell homeostasis and immune activation in the intestine.

AhR activation plays an important role in intestinal immunity, contributing to intestinal homeostasis, inflammation, and host defense:

  • AhR activation through high affinity AhR ligands has been shown to stimulate production of antimicrobial peptides.
  • AhR has been shown to be an important regulator of T cell immunity.

This indicates a major role of AhR in resolving intestinal inflammation.

High fat diet and control diet lead to reduced expression of Ahrr in intestinal immune cells.

High fat diet and control diet lead to reduced expression of Ahrr in intestinal immune cells.

Mucosal surface area of the gut represents an enormous area in direct contact with the environment. In addition to occasional pathogen encounters, the intestinal immune system is constantly exposed to antigens from diet or microbiota.

Gut-associated immune cells maintain a balance between protection against harmful infections and tolerating harmless food-derived antigens and commensals.

Our findings are in agreement with reports that dietary I3C supplementation restored AhR activation in intestinal mucosa under conditions of malnutrition and deprivation of natural AhR ligands. In humans, such malnutrition may result from a severely reduced consumption of vegetables and fruit in favor of a carbohydrate rich, high fat diet.”

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/9/3189/htm “Dietary AhR Ligands Regulate AhRR Expression in Intestinal Immune Cells and Intestinal Microbiota Composition”


Our gut microbiota outnumber our human cells. Treat them well with broccoli sprout compounds, resistant starch, and fermentable fibers, and expect reciprocity.

Every hand’s a winner, and every hand’s a loser

Another great blog post Know When To Fold ‘Em by Dr. Paul Clayton:

“Newly formed proteins entering the endoplasmic reticulum must be correctly folded to achieve their final form and function. This is a complex procedure with a failure rate of over 80%.

When metabolism is sufficiently skewed, accuracy of protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum falls below an already low baseline of 20%. Accumulation of misfolded or unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum then triggers stress.

Integrated Stress Response (ISR) is something that cells do when they are affected by major stressors:

  • ISR turns down global protein synthesis, which is designed to kill virally infected or cancerous cells. If it kills the cancer cell or virally infected cell, that is the end of it.
  • If the stressor is in the heat / hypoxia / nutrient group, however, ISR effectively puts a cell into dark mode until hard times are over. Once the stressor has passed, a cell can then start to recover and return to homeostatic health.
  • But if the stressor is sustained, a low-grade ISR continues to smolder away, causing long-term impairment locally and ultimately systemically. Accumulation of misfolded or unfolded proteins activates ISR, leading to a down-regulation of protein synthesis, and increasing protein folding and degradation of unfolded proteins.

This is analogous to inflammation. Acute inflammatory responses to a pathogen or to tissue damage are entirely adaptive, and essential. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, causes local and eventually systemic damage if left unchecked for long enough.”


A 2020 rodent study was cited for “reversing age-related cognitive decline”:

“This suggests that the aged brain has not permanently lost cognitive capacities. Rather, cognitive resources are still there, but have been somehow blocked, trapped by a vicious cycle of cellular stress.

Our work with ISR inhibition demonstrates a way to break that cycle, and restore cognitive abilities that had become walled off over time.

stress response inhibitor effects

If these findings in mice translate into human physiology, they offer hope and a tangible strategy to sustain cognitive ability as we age.”

https://elifesciences.org/articles/62048 “Small molecule cognitive enhancer reverses age-related memory decline in mice”


I’m curious as to why sulforaphane hasn’t been mentioned even once in Dr. Paul Clayton’s blog, which started three years ago. Do hundreds of sulforaphane studies performed in this century not contribute to his perspective? Polyphenols are mentioned a dozen times, yet they are 1% bioavailable compared with 80% “small molecule” sulforaphane.

Advice from the song depends on your definition of money:

“Know when to walk away
Know when to run
Never count your money
When you’re sitting at the table”

Improving healthy compounds of broccoli sprouts

This 2020 study investigated known and experimental effects on sprouted broccoli, white mustard, red radish, and red cabbage compounds:

“We planned development of cruciferous sprouts in hydroponics elicited with LED lighting and Methyl-Jasmonate (MeJA) to bio-stimulate production of glucosinolates, comparing effects of two types of LEDs designed for indoor food production systems.

We aimed to gain knowledge on response (germination rate, biomass yield) and phytochemical composition of fresh edible sprouts of cruciferous varieties (broccoli, radish, cabbage and mustard) under these conditions for future food production recommendations:

  • Use of LED lights to grow edible cruciferous sprouts was positive in terms of biomass production and phytochemical content (glucosinolates) without any negative effects.
  • Use of MeJA was positive, confirming previous results. Intensity of response for different species is useful to focus production of sprouts for specific purposes.

3-day old sprouts were placed in a growth chamber with controlled conditions (Photoperiod 18/6 h; temperature 24/18 °C; and relative humidity 60/80%), irrigated every other day to maintain enough humidity in substrate, using 1% bleach in distilled water, and collected on day 7. Trays of germinating seeds were evenly sprayed daily with 10 mL of solution for 4 days.

4 sprouts glusosinolates affected by LED and MeJa

Total Glucosinolates (mg/100 g fresh weight) of White Mustard, Broccoli, Red Cabbage and Red Radish sprouts, under two different LED lightings, and elicited with MeJA (250 μM).

Combining MeJA spraying with different LED light treatment showed clear increases in total glucosinolate contents for all studied sprouts when sprayed for 4 days with MeJA 250 μM.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2504-3900/70/1/67 “The Quality and Glucosinolate Composition of Cruciferous Sprouts under Elicitor Treatments Using MeJA and LED Lights”


The research group of Our model clinical trial for Changing to a youthful phenotype with broccoli sprouts keep ramping it up. They’ve published studies of MeJA effects and LED effects on sprouts separately, but not combined like this one did.

I ordered a pound of red cabbage seeds to see how I like their 3-day-old sprouts. I started soaking mustard seeds purchased from a grocery store’s spice section last year to see if they’ll sprout.

Although effects in the above graphic are compelling, I don’t want to turn my kitchen into a laboratory with LED lights and MeJA treatments. I’ll first see if red cabbage and mustard sprouts are tolerable.

Several diseases, one treatment?

This 2021 review summarized three dietary supplements’ effects on psychiatric symptoms:

“Upregulation of Nrf2 has been suggested as a common therapeutic target for major neuropsychiatric disorders. In this paper, evidence is presented showing how NAC [N-acetyl-cysteine], coenzyme Q10 (CoQ), and melatonin can ameliorate many important effects of oxidative stress by upregulating Nrf2.

Given its key role in governing cellular antioxidant response, upregulation of Nrf2 has been suggested as a common therapeutic target in neuropsychiatric illnesses such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. These are associated with chronic oxidative and nitrosative stress, characterised by elevated levels of reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide, and peroxynitrite.

CoQ:

  • Acts as a superoxide scavenger in neuroglial mitochondria;
  • Instigates mitohormesis;
  • Ameliorates lipid peroxidation in the inner mitochondrial membrane;
  • Activates uncoupling proteins;
  • Promotes mitochondrial biogenesis; and
  • Has positive effects on the plasma membrane redox system.

Melatonin:

  • Scavenges mitochondrial free radicals;
  • Inhibits mitochondrial nitric oxidesynthase;
  • Restores mitochondrial calcium homeostasis;
  • Deacetylates and activates mitochondrial SIRT3;
  • Ameliorates increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier and intestine; and
  • Counters neuroinflammation and glutamate excitotoxicity.”

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348309816_Increasing_Nrf2_Activity_as_a_Treatment_Approach_in_Neuropsychiatry “Increasing Nrf2 Activity as a Treatment Approach in Neuropsychiatry” (registration required)


These reviewers explored three selected supplements, citing 380 references. They overlooked something, though. There was only one mention of sulforaphane in their paper, yet four references’ titles included sulforaphane?

I take two of the three exogenous supplements discussed. The one I stopped taking over a year ago – NAC – was thoroughly discussed, but not in contexts directly related to the Nrf2 transcription factor. Why?

Switch on your Nrf2 signaling pathway pointed out:

“We use NAC in the lab all the time because it stops an Nrf2 activation. So that weak pro-oxidant signal that activates Nrf2, you switch it off by giving a dose of NAC. It’s a potent antioxidant in that right, but it’s blocking signalling. And that’s what I don’t like about its broad use.”

The current review noted that Nrf2 is activated by oxidative stress. NAC is a precursor to glutathione – our main endogenous antioxidant – and neither one activates Nrf2 pathways.

What does? Sulforaphane.

PXL_20210412_104353167

Repositioning DNA methylation

This 2021 human study found:

“We report on a randomized controlled clinical trial conducted among 43 healthy adult males between the ages of 50-72. The 8-week treatment program included diet, sleep, exercise and relaxation guidance, and supplemental probiotics and phytonutrients.

This is the first randomized controlled study to suggest that specific diet and lifestyle interventions may reverse Horvath DNAmAge (2013) epigenetic aging in healthy adult males. Larger-scale and longer duration clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings, as well as investigation in other human populations.

aging-v13iundefined-202913-figure-f3

In both treatment and control groups, there was no net increase or decrease in methylation of 353 sites that compose the Horvath clock. This finding suggests that intervention did not lead to an overall increase in methylation of Horvath clock sites, but rather it prompted a repositioning of clock CpG methylation patterns consistent with a younger biological age.

One significant limitation of this pilot trial is limited statistical power due to relatively small sample size. It is not yet fully established whether interventions that slow any methylation clocks necessarily curtail risks of age-related disease.”

https://www.aging-us.com/article/202913/text “Potential reversal of epigenetic age using a diet and lifestyle intervention: a pilot randomized clinical trial”


Baffled as to why these researchers relied on 2013 research rather than at least Dr. Horvath’s improved 2018 skin and blood clock, a review of which noted:

“Although the skin-blood clock was derived from significantly less samples (~900) than Horvath’s clock (~8000 samples), it was found to more accurately predict chronological age, not only across fibroblasts and skin, but also across blood, buccal and saliva tissue. A potential factor driving this improved accuracy in blood could be related to the approximate 18-fold increase in genomic coverage afforded by using Illumina 450k/850k beadarrays.”

Which would you prefer? A 2013 flip phone, or a 2018 smartphone?

Train your gut microbiota with taurine

This 2021 rodent study found:

“We show that gut microbiota from previously infected hosts display enhanced resistance to infection. This long-term functional remodeling is associated with altered bile acid metabolism leading to expansion of taxa that utilize taurine.

Supplying exogenous taurine alone is sufficient to induce this alteration in microbiota function and enhance resistance. Taurine potentiates microbiota production of sulfide, an inhibitor of cellular respiration, which is key to host invasion by numerous pathogens.

fx1_lrg

This work reveals a process by which the host, triggered by infection, can deploy taurine as a nutrient to nourish and train microbiota, promoting its resistance to subsequent infection.”

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)31681-0 “Infection trains the host for microbiota-enhanced resistance to pathogens” (not freely available)


News coverage added:

“The studied infections induced host taurine production and expansion of taurine utilizers. Taurine was the trigger for activity of a class of bacteria that fight these infections.

The group’s data suggest that low levels of taurine allow pathogens to colonize the gut, but high levels produce enough hydrogen sulfide to prevent colonization. Taurine given to mice in drinking water prepared microbiota to prevent infection. However, when mice drank water containing bismuth subsalicylate, a common over-the-counter drug used to treat diarrhea and upset stomach, infection protection waned because bismuth inhibits hydrogen sulfide production.”

Can’t calculate a human equivalent dose without access to this study. I take 1 gram of taurine twice a day.

Per Treating psychopathological symptoms will somehow resolve causes? I resumed taurine supplementation last year after taking a year’s break. From that paper’s taurine section:

“Most studies that reported enhanced GSH [glutathione] in the brain following taurine treatment were performed under a chronic regimen and used in age-related disease models.

Such positive effects of taurine on GSH levels may be explained by the fact that cysteine is the essential precursor to both metabolites, whereby taurine supplementation may drive metabolism of cysteine towards GSH synthesis.”

If that paper’s hypothesis is correct, and the current study’s evidence is replicable, taurine supplementation is a win-win for both our brain and gut microbiota.


Sunrise minus 5 minutes

Let β-glucan train your brain

This 2021 rodent study investigated yeast cell wall β-glucan’s effects on the brain’s immune system:

“Innate immune memory can manifest in two different ways, [1] immune training and [2] immune tolerance, which means [1] an enhanced or [2] suppressed immune response towards a secondary challenge. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and β-glucan (BG) are two commonly used ligands to induce immune training and tolerance.

Microglia, the innate immune cells of the central nervous system, can adopt diverse phenotypes and functions in health and disease. In our previous study, we have shown that LPS preconditioning induces immune tolerance in microglia.

Compared to LPS, relatively little is known about effects of BG on microglia. In this study, we report for the first time that systemic administration of BG activates microglia in vivo, and that BG preconditioning induces immune training in microglia.

dectin-1

Our results show that BG activated microglia without inducing significant cytokine expression.

BG- and LPS-preconditioning both induced immune training in microglia two days after the first challenge. However, with an interval of 7 days between the first and second challenge, LPS-preconditioning induced immune tolerance in microglia where BG-induced immune training was no longer detected.”

https://jneuroinflammation.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12974-021-02103-4 “Systemic administration of β-glucan induces immune training in microglia”


One solution to “BG-induced immune training was no longer detected” after 7 days is to take β-glucan every day. I haven’t seen studies that found β-glucan induced immune tolerance, i.e. “suppressed immune response towards a secondary challenge.”

I take allergy medicine twice a day. Switched over to a different β-glucan vendor and dose per Year One of Changing to a youthful phenotype with broccoli sprouts.

I take 1 gram of Glucan 300 capsules without eating anything an hour before or an hour afterwards. I’ve only been doing it for a week, though, and haven’t been able to separate out β-glucan effects on seasonal allergies. I’ll try stopping allergy medicine when pollen stops coating my car.

PXL_20210405_103925702
Swarming a spring sea trout run. Ospreys outcompeted gulls for breakfast.

Eat broccoli sprouts for your heart

This 2021 rodent study investigated mechanisms of sulforaphane’s persistent cardiac protection:

“Sulforaphane (SFN) reduced Ang II‐induced CpG hypermethylation and promoted Ac‐H3 [histone H3 acetylation] accumulation in the Nrf2 promoter region, accompanied by inhibition of global DNMT [DNA methyltransferase] and HDAC [histone deacetylase] activity, and a decreased protein expression of key DNMT and HDAC enzymes.

jcmm16504-fig-0006-m

SFN reduces CpG methylation and promotes enrichment of Ac‐H3 in Nrf2 promoter by inhibiting DNMTs and HDACs. This partially contributes to long‐acting activation of cardiac Nrf2, thereby preventing Ang II‐induced cardiomyopathy.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcmm.16504 “Sulforaphane prevents angiotensin II‐induced cardiomyopathy by activation of Nrf2 through epigenetic modification”


This study used the same dose of sulforaphane as Broccoli sprouts activate the AMPK pathway, but stopped at six months (equivalent to a 34-year-old human) rather than continuing to eight months (a 42-year-old human):

“0.5 mg/kg SFN in mice is converted to a human dose of 0.0405 mg/kg. In some clinical studies, the dose of SFN used to treat chronic diseases is usually higher.”

Findings highlighted:

  1. A disease condition existed in young adults that wasn’t severe enough for them to experience overt symptoms; and
  2. A disease condition could be reversed or prevented when its causes were addressed before it became a problem.

Studies such as one mentioned in Part 2 of Eat broccoli sprouts for your eyes showed that if one waited until a disease condition became a problem, capabilities to adequately address causes and prevent it may be lost. Do you want to be limited to addressing a disease’s symptoms once it gets bad enough to be noticeable?

Both studies found positive effects of sulforaphane in preventing cardiomyopathy. The 2020 study demonstrated in myocardial cells that sulforaphane’s activation of the AMPK pathway – which is upstream of the Nrf2 pathway – activated Nrf2:

“NRF2-mediated antioxidative effects can be activated via AMPK/AKT/GSK3β pathway, developing another pathway to confront cardiac oxidative damage.”

The current study similarly stated:

“Nrf2 can also be regulated independently of Keap1. Evidence indicates that SFN may indirectly activate Nrf2 by affecting activity of several upstream kinases.”


Both studies’ “human dose of 0.0405 mg/kg” were a minuscule 2.8 mg (.0405 mg/kg x 70 kg) human dose compared with my estimated daily 52 mg of sulforaphane from eating 65.5 grams of microwaved 3-day-old broccoli sprouts twice daily. Yet that small amount of sulforaphane was able to prevent a daily dose of angiotensin II from causing conditions that would lead to heart disease.

I linked this study yesterday in Reversing osteoporosis with Nrf2 as an example of similarities with exercise and eating broccoli sprouts. While activating my Nrf2 pathways this morning by walking four miles at sunrise, I came across a heron who tolerated me getting close to them:

PXL_20210407_110723070

It ate breakfast off a branch, and pecked morsels from the water if they hopped off.

Reversing osteoporosis with Nrf2

This 2021 rodent study made old females out of young females by removing their ovaries, which induced osteoporosis. They then demethylated the Nrf2 gene promoter with exercise, increasing its expression, which reversed osteoporosis:

“Nrf2 repression due to aberrant Dnmt elevation and subsequent Nrf2 promoter hypermethylation is an important epigenetic feature of osteoporosis (OP) pathogenesis.

Nrf2 promoter demethylation

Ovariectomized mice display increased femoral Dnmt1/3a/3b (Dnmts), Nrf2 promoter hypermethylation, and Nrf2 suppression, which promote oxidative stress (OS), osteoclastogenesis (OCG) and OP (dashed line).

Running exercise (RE, solid line) normalizes Dnmt aberrations, resulting in Nrf2 promoter demethylation, Nrf2 recovery and reduced femoral osteoporotic pathologies.

Nrf2 repression due to aberrant Dnmt elevations and associated promoter hypermethylation contributes significantly to epigenetic development of OP. RE effectively corrects epigenetic abnormalities and pathogenesis of OP.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41413-020-00128-8 “Nrf2 epigenetic derepression induced by running exercise protects against osteoporosis”


Running an hour every day has effects on Nrf2 gene promoter expression similar to eating broccoli sprouts. A 2021 study Sulforaphane prevents angiotensin II‐induced cardiomyopathy by activation of Nrf2 through epigenetic modification found:

“SFN reduced Ang II‐induced CpG hypermethylation and promoted Ac‐H3 accumulation in the Nrf2 promoter region, accompanied by inhibition of global DNMT and HDAC activity, and a decreased protein expression of key DNMT and HDAC enzymes.”

A 2019 study Sulforaphane‑induced epigenetic regulation of Nrf2 expression by DNA methyltransferase in human Caco‑2 cells found:

“DNMT1 protein expression was inhibited by sulforaphane. Nrf2 promoter methylation decreased significantly in the sulforaphane group.

Sulforaphane may promote demethylation of the Nrf2 promoter region to increase activation of Nrf2.”


Per Week 6, my running days are over, though not walking, climbing, etc. Nrf2 activation with broccoli sprouts began after two weeks of self-quarantine more than a year ago.

Improving one’s own health provides sufficient rationale to act.

Oat β-glucan effects on colitis

This 2021 rodent study investigated oat β-glucan effects on colitis:

“In this study, we determined effects of consumption of low- and high-molar-mass oat beta-glucans on expression of selected markers of apoptosis and autophagy in colonocytes in TNBS colitis-induced rats. We analyzed expression of colon wall receptors, including TLRs and Dectin-1, which are involved in recognition of molecular patterns of pathogens in colon epithelial cells.

Rats were divided into two main groups: healthy control (H) and a TNBS (2,4,6-trinitrobenzosulfonic acid)-induced colitis (C) group, both including subgroups fed feed without beta-glucans (βG−) or feed supplemented with low- (βGl) or high-molar-mass oat beta-glucans (βGh) for 3, 7, or 21 days. Expression of autophagy (LC3B) and apoptosis (Caspase-3) markers, as well as Toll-like (TLRs) and Dectin-1 receptors in colon epithelial cells, was determined.

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1. [Autophagy] Autophagy contributes to adaptation of cells and maintenance of intracellular homeostasis enabling cells to survive under stressful conditions. The autophagy marker in colon wall and intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) investigated was expression of LC3B protein, which participates in formation and maturation of autophagosomes.

A decrease in this protein was found in colon wall after TNBS administration, which indicates intense repair processes of intestinal epithelium accompanying / preceding the period of Crohn’s disease (CD) remission. The above data indicate a significant effect of oat beta-glucans in restoring autophagy in inflamed IECs, and a stronger effect of oat beta-glucans with a high molar mass, which also increased activity of autophagy in colon tissue of control animals without colitis.

2. [Apoptosis] In early development of acute colitis, expression of Caspase-3, the executive enzyme of apoptosis, was very low. The highest expression of Caspase-3 protein was observed in control (HβGh+), feed supplemented with high-molar-mass oat beta-glucans.

  • After 7 days of TNBS administration, Caspase-3 expression in colitis-induced animals was approximately eight times higher than in control group, which indicates an increase in apoptosis in response to intestinal inflammation.
  • Consumption of feed supplemented with high-molar-mass oat beta-glucans by colitis animals resulted in approximately two times lower Caspase-3 expression after 7 days. Physical properties of high-molar-mass beta-glucans favor formation of a protective layer on inner wall of intestine, effectively supporting development of beneficial microbiota producing short-chain fatty acids.
  • Consumption of feed with low-molar-mass oat beta-glucans resulted in expression of this enzyme in colitis animals at a similar level as in control group.

This confirms significant effect of oat beta-glucans in reducing expression of Caspase-3 during ongoing inflammation, with low-molar-mass beta-glucans having a stronger effect.

3. [Dectin-1] Expression of Dectin-1 across all experimental time points was found to be reduced due to induced inflammation. We analyzed Dectin-1 expression in intestinal epithelial cells, not in colon wall or immune cells. Decrease in Dectin-1 expression in colonocytes noticed in our study may be related to disrupted intestinal barrier integrity by the ethanolic TNBS solution, that as a consequence, causes infiltration of pathogens / antigens into deeper layers of colon wall and allows their direct contact with cells of the immune system.

Results showed an increase in expression of Dectin-1 in inflamed IECs under influence of oat beta-glucans. A similar effect on expression of LC3B protein was noted, with oat beta-glucans of a high molar mass having a stronger effect.

4. [TNF-α] Concentration of TNF-α and other proinflammatory cytokines in colon wall of animals with TNBS-induced inflammation was significantly increased at all time points. Consumption of oat beta-glucans reduced concentration of these inflammatory factors.

The extrinsic pathway of apoptosis is induced by binding of this factor to the TNFR1a receptor. Increased autophagy in inflamed intestinal epithelium protected cells against TNF-α-induced apoptosis, which in turn helped to maintain integrity of the intestinal barrier and reduce inflammation.

5. [TLRs] After 3 days of TNBS administration, expression of TLR 4 and TLR 6 receptors in colonocytes was significantly lower in the colitis group receiving feed without beta-glucans as compared to control group. In the same group of rats (CβG−), TLR 5 expression was lower.

Decrease in expression of these receptors is mostly influenced by acute intestinal inflammation. Oat beta-glucans caused a significant increase in expression, especially TLR 5 and TLR 6, in inflamed IECs.

In summary, oat beta-glucans were found to alleviate the course of induced inflammation.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/2/321/htm “Effects of Dietary Oat Beta-Glucans on Colon Apoptosis and Autophagy through TLRs and Dectin-1 Signaling Pathways – Crohn’s Disease Model Study”


Eat oats to prevent inflammatory diseases:

“Oat beta-glucans with a high molar mass increased activity of autophagy in colon tissue of control animals without colitis.”

If we don’t do that, eat oats to treat inflammation:

“Confirms significant effect of oat beta-glucans in reducing expression of Caspase-3 during ongoing inflammation, with low-molar-mass beta-glucans having a stronger effect.”

I eat primarily low- and medium-molecular-weight oat β-glucan twice a day with 3-day-old hulled Avena sativa oat sprouts. For breakfast I eat primarily high-molecular-weight oat β-glucan in hulless Avena nuda oats soaked 12+ hours and microwaved 20 minutes at 80% power in a 1000W microwave.

An oats β-glucan clinical trial tested low-, medium-, and high-molecular-weight oat β-glucan in 14 people. It found:

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.”

Neither study investigated gut microbiota. Pretty sure our hosted microorganisms had roles in both studies’ findings.