The misnomer of nonessential amino acids

Three papers, starting with a 2022 review:

“Ideal diets must provide all physiologically and nutritionally essential amino acids (AAs).

Proposed optimal ratios and amounts of true digestible AAs in diets during different phases of growth and production. Because dynamic requirements of animals for dietary AAs are influenced by a plethora of factors, data below as well as the literature serve only as references to guide feeding practices and nutritional research.

10.1177_15353702221082658-table5

Nutritionists should move beyond the ‘ideal protein’ concept to consider optimum ratios and amounts of all proteinogenic AAs in diets for mammals, birds, and aquatic animals, and, in the case of carnivores, also taurine. This will help formulate effectively low-protein diets for livestock (including swine and high-producing dairy cattle), poultry, fish, and crustaceans, as well as zoo and companion animals.”

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/15353702221082658 “The ‘ideal protein’ concept is not ideal in animal nutrition”


A second 2022 review focused on serine:

“The main dietary source of L-serine is protein, in which L-serine content ranges between 2 and 5%. At the daily intake of ~1 g protein per kg of body weight, the amount of serine obtained from food ranges between 1.4 and 3.5 g (13.2–33.0 mmol) per day in an adult.

Mechanisms of potential benefits of supplementing L-serine include increased synthesis of sphingolipids, decreased synthesis of 1-deoxysphingolipids, decrease in homocysteine levels, and increased synthesis of cysteine and its metabolites, including glutathione. L-serine supplementation has been suggested as a rational therapeutic approach in several disorders, particularly primary disorders of L-serine synthesis, neurodegenerative disorders, and diabetic neuropathy.

Unfortunately, the number of clinical studies evaluating dietary supplementation of L-serine as a possible therapy is small. Studies examining therapeutic effects of L-serine in CNS injury and chronic renal diseases, in which it is supposed that L-serine weakens glutamate neurotoxicity and lowers homocysteine levels, respectively, are missing.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/14/9/1987/htm “Serine Metabolism in Health and Disease and as a Conditionally Essential Amino Acid”


A 2021 review subject was D-serine, L-serine’s D-isoform:

“The N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptor (NMDAR) and its co-agonist D-serine are currently of great interest as potential important contributors to cognitive function in normal aging and dementia. D-serine is necessary for activation of NMDAR and in maintenance of long-term potentiation, and is involved in brain development, neuronal connectivity, synaptic plasticity, and regulation of learning and memory.

The source of D-amino acids in mammals was historically attributed to diet or intestinal bacteria until racemization of L-serine by serine racemase was identified as the endogenous source of D-serine. The enzyme responsible for catabolism (breakdown) of D-serine is D-amino acid oxidase; this enzyme is most abundant in cerebellum and brainstem, areas with low levels of D-serine.

Activation of the NMDAR co-agonist-binding site by D-serine and glycine is mandatory for induction of synaptic plasticity. D-serine acts primarily at synaptic NMDARs whereas glycine acts primarily at extrasynaptic NMDARs.

In normal aging there is decreased expression of serine racemase and decreased levels of D-serine and down-regulation of NMDARs, resulting in impaired synaptic plasticity and deficits in learning and memory. In contrast, in AD there appears to be activation of serine racemase, increased levels of D-serine and overstimulation of NMDARs, resulting in cytotoxicity, synaptic deficits, and dementia.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.754032/full “An Overview of the Involvement of D-Serine in Cognitive Impairment in Normal Aging and Dementia”


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Fueling a gut fire

This 2022 article commented on a human / rodent study of gut dysbiosis:

“Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal track. Together with ulcerative colitis, another major type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), these intestinal disorders affect millions of people in the U.S. and worldwide.

Excessive T helper 1 (Th1) and Th17 cell responses have been documented to act as important mediators of CD pathogenesis. An imbalance between regulatory T (Treg) cells and effector T cells in the intestinal tissue microenvironment is crucial to promote gut inflammation in CD.

Lysophosphatidylserine (LysoPS) exaggerates intestinal inflammation by fueling IFNγ-producing Th1 cells via metabolic reprogramming and chromatin modification (panel A). While this work has provided novel functional insights into dysbiotic microbiota–derived LysoPS in CD pathogenesis (panel B), it also raises several questions. 

m_jem_20220723_fig2

By employing multiple animal colitis models, the authors have shown that administration of LysoPS was detrimental in T cell–driven colitis, while having no significant impact on pathogenesis of T cell–independent dextran sodium sulfate–induced colitis.

Considering the complex nature of LysoPS in regulating responses of different immune cell types in a given tissue environment under a particular physiological or pathological condition, more research is needed to elucidate the precise role of LysoPS in CD before targeting these multifunctional bioactive lipids to treat human gastrointestinal disorders becomes a reality.”

https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20220723 “Fueling the fire in the gut”


The referenced study:

  • “We identified key metabolites derived from dysbiotic microbiota that induce enhanced Th1 responses and exaggerate colitis in mouse models.
  • Patients with CD showed elevated LysoPS concentration in their feces, accompanied by a higher relative abundance of microbiota possessing a gene encoding the phospholipid-hydrolyzing enzyme phospholipase A.
  • Our findings elaborate on the mechanism by which metabolites elevated in patients with CD harboring dysbiotic microbiota promote Th1-mediated intestinal pathology.”

https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20211291 “Lysophosphatidylserines derived from microbiota in Crohn’s disease elicit pathological Th1 response”


When standard DSS and TNBS models of colitis don’t account for observed effects, other avenues need to be investigated. Relationships with our gut microbiota are complicated.

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Oat product biological effects

Two oat species studies, starting with Avena nuda:

“Oats are a good source of carbohydrates and fibers. They contain more proteins and fats than other grains, and they are packed with vitamins (vitamin E, thiamine, etc.), minerals (Ca, Fe, Mn, etc.), and antioxidants (avenanthramides, ferulic acid, caffeic acid, flavonoids, etc.).

β-glucan contained in naked oats has multiple health benefits, including improving insulin sensitivity, lowering blood sugar levels, reducing risk of type II diabetes, and reducing low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol levels.

There are two key enzymes in the hydrolysis of starch: α-amylase and α-glucosidase. Inhibiting activity of these enzymes can delay degradation of starch and absorption of glucose, thereby inhibiting rapid rise of postprandial blood glucose levels. α-amylase and α-glucosidase inhibitors are often used in treatment of type II diabetes.

This study investigated inhibitory effects of free and bound bioactive extracts from naked oats on amylase and glucosidase activity.

1-s2.0-S0023643821010550-gr1

α-amylase inhibition by free (A) and bound (B) compound extracts from naked oats. The half maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of free and bound compound extracts were 0.09 and 1.33 mg/mL, respectively, higher than that of acarbose (0.03 mg/mL), the positive control.

Low digestibility of naked oats will help facilitate development of low-glycemic foods.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0023643821010550 “Endogenous bioactive compounds of naked oats (Avena nuda L.) inhibit α-amylase and α-glucosidase activity”

“Low digestibility of naked oats” referred to human capabilities, not to those of our gut microbiota. See A healthspan improvement for more on acarbose.


A second study investigated uses for Avena sativa hull and bran by-products:

“β-Glucan is mainly found in oat bran (OB) along with various phenolic compounds. Oat husk (OH) is a by-product produced during oat processing for food purposes, about 25–33% of its weight.

Ultrafine grinding or micronization is a new technique used for making a super fine powder with a particle size of 1–100 μm and good surface properties. This very fine powder is characterized by higher solubility, dispersibility, and water absorption, which improves quality of target food products. Micronization considerably enhances efficiency of extraction of phytochemicals, and is widely employed to extract natural polysaccharides from different bioresources.

OH is especially rich in insoluble fiber such as cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin, whereas both soluble and insoluble fiber occurs in OB in a ratio of 1:5. OB has a higher soluble dietary fiber content than wheat or rice bran.

The optimal composition, 60–70% of OH and 30–40% of OB, allows for obtaining a product with 60–70% fiber and enhanced antioxidant activity due to bioactive substances and their synergistic effect. The resulting product can be a valuable additive to various food and dietary supplements.”

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/27/9/2621/htm “Fiber Preparation from Micronized Oat By-Products: Antioxidant Properties and Interactions between Bioactive Compounds”


See Oat species comparisons of the good stuff for more comparisons of their hulls.

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Take β-glucan for new blood vessels

This 2022 cell study investigated yeast cell wall β-glucan’s effects on angiogenesis:

“Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is essential for embryonic development and physiological damage repair, such as wound healing and post-ischemic tissue restoration. It is also essential for pathological processes, such as diabetic retinopathy, rheumatoid arthritis, and atherosclerosis.

We evaluated physical and functional interactions of β-glucan with HDAC5, including the scratched wound, tube formation, and rat aortic ring assays. β-glucan-induced HDAC5 pathway mediates cell migration and formation of tubes and microvessels in vitro and ex vivo.

β-glucan angiogenesis

Our findings demonstrate that β-glucan-induced HDAC5 phosphorylation is important in endothelial cell angiogenesis. Further investigations into how β-glucan phosphorylates HDAC5 are required. There is also a need to identify a receptor that specifically binds to β-glucan in vascular endothelial cells.

β-glucan could be useful in developing new strategies in therapeutic angiogenesis for conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0141813022010273 “Yeast beta-glucan mediates histone deacetylase 5-induced angiogenesis in vascular endothelial cells” (not freely available). Thanks to Dr. Chan-Gi Pack for providing a copy.


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Young gut, young eyes

I’ll highlight this 2022 rodent study findings of effects on eye health:

“We tested the hypothesis that manipulating intestinal microbiota influences development of major comorbidities associated with aging and, in particular, inflammation affecting the brain and retina. Using fecal microbiota transplantation, we exchanged intestinal microbiota of young (3 months), old (18 months), and aged (24 months) mice.

Transfer of aged donor microbiota into young mice accelerates age-associated central nervous system inflammation, retinal inflammation, and cytokine signaling. It promotes loss of key functional protein in the eye, effects which are coincident with increased intestinal barrier permeability.

These detrimental effects can be reversed by transfer of young donor microbiota.

young and aged fmt

We provide the first direct evidence that aged intestinal microbiota drives retinal inflammation, and regulates expression of the functional visual protein RPE65. RPE65 is vital for maintaining normal photoceptor function via trans-retinol conversion. Mutations or loss of function are associated with retinitis pigmentosa, and are implicated in age-related macular degeneration.

Our finding that age-associated decline in host retinal RPE65 expression is induced by an aged donor microbiota, and conversely is rescued by young donor microbiota transfer, suggests age-associated gut microbiota functions or products regulate visual function.”

https://microbiomejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40168-022-01243-w “Fecal microbiota transfer between young and aged mice reverses hallmarks of the aging gut, eye, and brain”


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Exercise substitutes?

Two papers, starting with a 2022 abstract of an ongoing in vitro study with rodent cells:

“Exercise mimetics may target and activate the same mechanisms that are upregulated with exercise administration alone. This is particularly useful under conditions where contractile activity is compromised due to muscle disuse, disease, or aging.

Sulforaphane and Urolithin A represent our preliminary candidates for antioxidation and mitophagy, respectively, for maintaining mitochondrial turnover and homeostasis. Preliminary results suggest that these agents may be suitable candidates as exercise mimetics, and set the stage for an examination of synergistic effects.”

https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1096/fasebj.2022.36.S1.R3745 “Exercise mimicry: Characterization of nutraceutical agents that may contribute to mitochondrial homeostasis in skeletal muscle” (study not available)


A second 2022 paper reviewed what’s known todate regarding urolithins:

“Urolithins (Uros) are metabolites produced by gut microbiota from the polyphenols ellagitannins (ETs) and ellagic acid (EA). ETs are one of the main groups of hydrolyzable tannins. They can occur in different plant foods, including pomegranates, berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.), walnuts, many tropical fruits, medicinal plants, and herbal teas, including green and black teas.

Bioavailability of ETs and EA is very low. Absorption of these metabolites could be increased by co-ingestion with dietary fructooligosaccharides (FOS).

Effects of other experimental factors: post-intake time, duration of administration, diet type (standard and high-fat), and ET dosage (without, low, and high ET intake) in ETs metabolism were evaluated in blood serum and urine of rats consuming strawberry phenolics. Highest concentrations were obtained after 2–4 days of administration.

Various crucial issues need further research despite significant evolution of urolithin research. Overall, whether in vivo biological activity endorsed to Uros is due to each specific metabolite and(or) physiological circulating mixture of metabolites and(or) gut microbial ecology associated with their production is still poorly understood.

  • Ability of Uros to cross the blood-brain barrier and the nature of metabolites and concentrations reached in brain tissues need to be clarified.
  • Specific in vivo activity for each free and conjugated Uro metabolite is unknown. Studies on different Uro metabolites and their phase-II conjugates are needed to understand their role in human health.
  • Evidence on safety and impact of Uros on human health is still scarce and only partially available for Uro-A.
  • It is unknown whether there are potential common links between gut microbial ecologies of the two unambiguously described metabotypes so far, i.e., equol (isoflavones) and Uros (ellagitannins).
  • Gut microbes responsible for producing different Uros still need to be better identified and characterized, and biochemical pathways and enzymes involved.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mnfr.202101019 “Urolithins: a Comprehensive Update on their Metabolism, Bioactivity, and Associated Gut Microbiota”


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Coffee improves information’s signal-to-noise ratio

This 2022 rodent study investigated caffeine’s effects:

“A majority of molecular and neurophysiological studies explored the impact of acute rather than repeated exposure to caffeine. We show that, in bulk tissue analysis, chronic caffeine treatment reduced metabolic processes related to lipids, mitochondria, and translation in mouse hippocampus. In sharp contrast to what was observed in bulk tissue, we found that caffeine induced a neuronal autonomous epigenomic response related to synaptic plasticity activation.

149371-JCI-RG-RV-3_ga_591026

Regular caffeine intake exerts a long-term effect on neuronal activity/plasticity in the adult brain, lowering metabolic-related processes, and simultaneously finely tuning activity-dependent regulations. In non-neuronal cells, caffeine decreases activities under basal conditions, and improves signal-to-noise ratio during information encoding in brain circuits, contributing to bolster salience of information.

Overall, our data prompt the novel concept that regular caffeine intake promotes a more efficient ability of the brain to encode experience-related events. By coordinating epigenomic changes in neuronal and non-neuronal cells, regular caffeine intake promotes a fine-tuning of metabolism in resting conditions.”

https://www.jci.org/articles/view/149371 “Caffeine intake exerts dual genome-wide effects on hippocampal metabolism and learning-dependent transcription”


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A healthspan improvement

Two 2022 publishments, starting with an excerpt from an informative interview with the Director of one of the three Interventions Testing Program centers:

“A paper submitted this week is one in which we tried a combination of rapamycin plus acarbose. Rapamycin works very well in male and female mice, while acarbose works significantly in both sexes but has a much stronger effect in males.

What we found in males is that when you give rapamycin and acarbose together, you do better than either rapamycin by itself or acarbose by itself. That combination of drugs together gives male survival a 29% boost.

That’s the largest percentage increase we’ve seen in males or females. This combination is the best thing we’ve ever had for either sex.

When you give acarbose and rapamycin together to females, they don’t do any better or any worse than on rapamycin alone. This is not too surprising because acarbose gives only a small effect in females. We expected it wouldn’t have a big boost over rapamycin alone in female animals, and that’s what we found.”

https://www.lifespan.io/news/prof-richard-miller-on-the-intervention-testing-program/


The study mentioned above:

“C57BL/6 mice were fed a cocktail diet containing one-half the dose of each drug compared to full dose cocktail diet and control diet. Half-dose drug cocktail was just as effective as full dose in preventing age-related cognitive impairment, but was less effective in other physical performance tests. Half-dose cocktail also had no effect on reducing pathological lesions.

Rapamycin was the major contributor for the cocktail’s effect on suppressing cognitive impairment. Decreased neuronal activation and impaired cognitive performance during aging occurs in both humans and rodents. Chronic mTOR attenuation by rapamycin has shown benefits of restoring deficits in neurovascular coupling response and cerebrovascular dysfunction in aging rodent models.

C57BL/6 female mice fed chow with acarbose performed equally well in grip strength as females fed chow with cocktail. That this sex-dependent result in strength performance was not seen in cocktail treated mice suggests that rapamycin and phenylbutyrate contributed in some way.

grip strength

HET3 4-way cross is a useful strain to help validate effects of the cocktail on aging parameters in C57BL/6 mice. HET3 mice were tested in the same manner, age, and timing as C57BL/6 mice, but only with the drug cocktail compared to control chow.

grip strength het3 mice

Grip strength force was normalized by body weight measured on the testing date so that peak force was expressed relative to body weight.

The drug cocktail was very effective in delaying progression of age-related pathology in all organs examined. We view this as a vital component of the study since mice were treated for only three months.

Administration of a cocktail has a major advantage over any individual drug tested in this study. A combination of three drugs previously shown to enhance lifespan and health span in mice is able to delay aging phenotypes more effectively and more robustly than any individual drug in the cocktail when started at middle age and given for a short period of time.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-11229-1 “Short term treatment with a cocktail of rapamycin, acarbose and phenylbutyrate delays aging phenotypes in mice”


It makes evolutionary sense for male mice to benefit more from anti-aging treatments than females.  Per How well do single-mother rodent studies inform us about human fathers?

“The Rattus and Mus genera used in almost all rodent research aren’t part of the 6% in which fathers also provide offspring care.”

There probably isn’t an evolutionary advantage for male mice to live much longer after sperm donation. Female mice don’t cache sperm.

It’s similar to studies in which treatments only benefited subjects who started out deficient. This interview hinted at how females’ healthspans and lifespans were already evolutionarily protected, with only male mice benefiting from 17α-estradiol treatment.

Female protection may have limits in humans. For example, most whale species don’t experience menopause. In those that do, like Orca, menopause is thought to be evolutionarily determined in order to keep females’ children from competing for resources with females’ grandchildren and great-grandchildren. That’s a hypothesis, though, as those species’ male lifespans aren’t adequately measured.

Rodent research and development on interventions and doses continues. 37 months is a human equivalent to this study’s 3-month treatment. What will effective anti-aging treatments be for humans?


More strange birds

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Young immune system, young brain

This 2022 study investigated brain aging:

“We aimed to explore key genes underlying cognitively normal brain aging and its potential molecular mechanisms. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of brain aging are complex and mainly include:

  1. Dysfunction of mitochondria;
  2. Accumulation of oxidatively damaged proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids in brain cells;
  3. Disorders of energy metabolism;
  4. Impaired ‘waste disposal’ mechanism (autophagosome and proteasome functionality);
  5. Impaired signal transduction of adaptive stress response;
  6. Impaired DNA repair;
  7. Abnormal neural network activity;
  8. Imbalance of neuronal Ca2+ processing;
  9. Stem cell exhaustion; and
  10. Increased inflammation.

mrna brain expression

Expression of CD44, CD93, and CD163 mRNA detected by qPCR in hippocampal tissue of cognitively normal aged and young mice.

Underlying molecular mechanisms for maintaining healthy brain aging are related to decline of immune-inflammatory responses. CD44, CD93, and CD 163 are potential biomarkers.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2022.833402/full “Identification of Key Biomarkers and Pathways for Maintaining Cognitively Normal Brain Aging Based on Integrated Bioinformatics Analysis”


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Thyroid function

This 2022 review subject was thyroid function changes:

“Circulating concentrations of thyrotropin (TSH) and thyroxine (T4) are tightly regulated. Each individual has setpoints for TSH and free T4 which are genetically determined, and subject to environmental and epigenetic influence.

What is normal for one individual may not be normal for another, even within conventional definitions of euthyroidism. Notably, circulating TSH exists in several different isoforms with varying degrees of glycosylation, sialylation, and sulfonation which affect tissue availability and bioactivity. This is not reflected in immunoreactive TSH concentrations determined by routine laboratory assays.

enm-2022-1463f2

TSH and free T4 relationship analyzed by age in 120,403 patients who were not taking thyroxine treatment. Median TSH for each free T4 integer value (in pmol/ L) was calculated, then plotted as 20-year age bands in adults. Dotted horizontal and vertical lines mark the TSH reference range (0.4 to 4.0 mU/L) and free T4 reference range (10 to 20 pmol/L), respectively.

Mild TSH elevation in older people does not predict adverse health outcomes. In fact, higher TSH is associated with greater life expectancy, including extreme longevity.

In older people, TSH increases with aging without an accompanying fall in free T4. Clinical guidelines now recommend against routine levothyroxine treatment in older people with mild subclinical hypothyroidism.”

https://e-enm.org/journal/view.php?doi=10.3803/EnM.2022.1463 “Thyroid Function across the Lifespan: Do Age-Related Changes Matter?”


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Vitamin D and pain

This 2022 human study investigated epigenetic clock associations:

“We assessed the potential relationship of Vitamin D’s effects on pain intensity and disability through associations in epigenetic aging in individuals with and without knee osteoarthritis (KOA). We hypothesized that associations between Vitamin D levels with pain intensity and interference in persons with KOA would be significantly mediated by epigenetic aging.

As a whole, the sample had a mean Vitamin D serum level of 26.7 ng/mL (± 12.8 ng/mL). The mean AgeAccelGrim was 2.4 years (± 5.6 years). There were no significant differences in Vitamin D levels between sex, race, and study site categories.

There was a significant difference in Vitamin D levels between the pain groups, with individuals in the High Impact Pain group showing significantly lower mean levels of Vitamin D (24.01 ng/mL) compared to the Low Impact Pain (28.30 ng/mL) and No Pain (27.30 ng/mL) groups.

vitamin d and pain

Data from this study highlight the important role that Vitamin D plays within the genomic environment, as well as in relation to health outcomes including pain intensity and disability.”

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12603-022-1758-z “Accelerated Epigenetic Aging Mediates the Association between Vitamin D Levels and Knee Pain in Community-Dwelling Individuals” (not freely available)


It’s good to see a study relating biological age to nutrition status. I didn’t see much discussion of other obvious factors involved in either pain or biological age in their limitations paragraph.

Subjects’ Vitamin D 26.7 ng/mL ± 12.8 ng/mL status indicated that most didn’t spend a few cents every day for their own one precious life. And Vitamin D supplementation wasn’t an exclusion criterion.

The local fire and rescue squad came last Friday to take away a younger neighbor’s body who died overnight. Last I talked with them, they were at least 50 pounds overweight and never exercised. Expressed condolences to their spouse, but wasn’t shocked.

I don’t live in a community-dwelling situation (old people who live on their own as opposed to those taken care of in nursing homes) like this study’s subjects. My youngest neighbors are in their twenties.

Nature hasn’t cared about our lives after our early teens, because we survived long enough to reproduce. What happens in our lives after puberty is largely up to each individual.

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Estimating bioavailability of oat compounds

Two papers on oat compounds’ bioavailability, starting with a 2022 review:

“There are many nutrients and bioactive chemical compounds exerting beneficial properties in oats. Results indicated that oats and their extracts possessed essential roles in preventing chronic diseases.

However, most studies focused on Avns’ [avenanthramides] functions were performed using cell models. In animal models, one disadvantage of Avns was low bioavailability.

Avns were also metabolized in the gastrointestinal tract in a gut microbiota (especially Faecalibacterium prausnitzii) dependent or independent manner. Administration of Avns usually ranged from 100−300 mg/ kg, which was much higher than that for cell treatment.

After eating cookies with 9.2 mg or 0.4 mg (control) Avns for 8 weeks, plasma level of TNF-α after exercise was significantly reduced in young women (16 women aged 18−30 years). Similar results were obtained in a study enrolling postmenopausal women (16 women aged 50−80 years), and Avns supplementation (9.2 mg in cookies) dramatically reduced plasma levels of IL-1β and C-reactive protein after exercise.

More attention should be given to studying preventative effect of Avns on chronic diseases and underlying molecular mechanisms, and further revealing potential roles of small molecules with powerful regulatory activity, such as miRNAs.”

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.jafc.1c05704 “The Progress of Nomenclature, Structure, Metabolism, and Bioactivities of Oat Novel Phytochemical: Avenanthramides” (not freely available)


This first paper’s Reference 25 was a 2018 paper on oat compounds’ bioaccessibility that used an in vitro digestion system without microbiota:

“Malting was performed for 5 days, from M0 (non-malted oat grains) to M5 (oat grains malted for 5 days), using the following: steeping at 20 °C for 24 h, germination in the dark at 15 °C, and kilning in an air oven at 100 °C for 12 h.

The cookie formulation with lowest phenol concentration showed highest bioaccessibility. This result was surprising, as we expected an increase in SP [soluble phenols] bioaccessibility, in parallel with increasing SP concentration of cookies.

bioavailability avena nuda avn sp

A portion of 5B cookies provides 4.8 mg of AVNs, which is more than double a maximal daily AVN intake in oat consumers.”

https://ifst.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijfs.14020In vitro bioaccessibility of avenanthramides in cookies made with malted oat flours” (not freely available)


Every day I eat Avena nuda oats that start out as 82 grams of seeds, and two servings of 3-day-old Avena sativa oat sprouts that each start out as 20 grams of seeds. Using this second paper’s 50 gram Avena nuda methods to develop estimates:

avena nuda avn sp

  • (82 g / 50 g) x 42 µg = 69 µg total AVNs; and
  • (82 g / 50 g) x 660 µg = 1,082 µg soluble phenols.

My Avena nuda whole oat grain total AVNs and soluble phenol weights aren’t much. They aren’t bioavailability estimates. Their species and growing conditions are different from this second paper, etc.

That’s all okay with me. I eat Avena nuda oats primarily to make my trillion+ gut microbiota partners happy with indigestible-to-me whole grain contents, expecting that they will reciprocate.

Plugging in the study’s 3-day figures to estimate Avena sativa oat sprouts:

  • (40 g / 50 g) x 324 µg = 259 µg total AVNs; and
  • (40 g / 50 g) x 1350 µg = 1,080 µg soluble phenols.

Using the first graphic’s 3-day relative bioaccessibility percentages:

  • 259 µg x .28 = 72 µg total bioavailable AVNs; and
  • 1,080 µg x .41 = 442 µg bioavailable soluble phenols.

Both papers cited studies that found with eccentric exercise, “9.2 mg per day AVNs are sufficient to provide effects on exercise induced inflammation.” I exercise at least 30 minutes every day, but don’t perform eccentric exercises more frequently than every five days per Eat broccoli sprouts for your workouts.

Advantages of 3-day-old oat sprouts over oat grains provided methods comparable to my Avena sativa 3-day-old oat sprouts intake, although it didn’t assess bioavailability. Sprouts’ beneficial effects compared with seeds “were mainly related to their high content of avenanthramides A (2p), B (2f), and C (2c), quercetin 3-O-rutinoside [rutin], kaempferol, sinapoylquinic acid, and apigenin and luteolin derivatives.”

Couldn’t say whether I benefit more from bioavailability of 3-day-old oat sprouts’ directly soluble phenols, or from bioavailability of their phenolic breakdown byproducts provided by gut microbiota. For example, regarding oat sprouts rutin content, a 2019 review pointed out:

“Humans lack the enzyme needed to hydrolyze this bond. Consequently, microorganisms in the colon mediate hydrolysis of this rutinoside, resulting in minimal intestinal absorption, and production of phenolic acid metabolites in the colon.”


Osprey below a bird-like cloud

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All about AGEs

My 900th curation is a 2022 review by the lead author of Reversibility of AGEs concentrations that fleshed out details of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) topics:

“This review aims to provide a state-of-the-art overview of the toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of endogenously formed and exogenous dietary AGEs and their precursors. AGEs are a heterogenous group of:

  • Low molecular mass (LMM) glycation products formed by reaction with a free amino acid residue and/or to dicarbonyl precursors; and
  • High molecular mass (HMM) glycation products formed by reaction with a protein-bound amino acid residue, including cross-linked products (i.e. when two amino acid residues are involved instead of one).

Cross-linking of body proteins results in:

  • Altered structure and function of the proteins;
  • Proteins are less easily degraded;
  • An increase in stiffness in tissues that are rich in these proteins, including arterial, lung tissue, joints, and extracellular matrix. Stiffness in these tissues has been associated with diseases including hypertension, cataracts, dementia, atherosclerosis, glomerulosclerosis, emphysema, and joint pain.

In endogenous formation of AGEs and their precursors, the same pathways as exogenous proceed via non-enzymatic reactions, although they occur at lower rates due to the lower physiological temperatures. In addition, specific endogenous AGE formation pathways include glycolysis and the polyol pathway active under hyperglycemic conditions.

Considering heterogeneity of glycation products, as also reflected in different ADME outcomes, AGEs and their precursors cannot be grouped together. Specific, individual information is required for a proper evaluation, especially considering ADME properties.

file:///D:/MYFILES/ELSEVIER/FCT/00112987/FINALXML/GRAPHICS/NATI

The role of exogenous HMM AGEs and precursors seems to be restricted by limited bioavailability to local effects on the intestine including its microbiota, unless being degraded to their LMM form. An important role is probably left for reactive (endogenously formed) dicarbonyl AGE precursors and as a consequence the endogenously formed AGEs.

The direct contribution of reactive dicarbonyl precursors to dicarbonyl stress and their indirect contribution to endogenous HMM AGE formation and subsequent AGE receptor activation remain to be further studied.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691522001855 “Differences in kinetics and dynamics of endogenous versus exogenous advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and their precursors”

Recent glucosamine research

Prompted by a conversation in Year Two of Changing to a youthful phenotype with sprouts, here are sixteen 2022 papers published in the last 45 days involving glucosamine. There are more researchers alive today than in the sum of human history, and they are compelled to publish.

Human research

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874122002860 “The efficacy and safety of Jinwu Gutong capsule in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”

“The Jinwu Gutong (JWGT) capsule is a Chinese patent medicine that is widely used in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (KOA) and osteoporosis in China and is considered to have the potential for good clinical efficacy. The application of JWGT combined with NSAIDs, hyaluronic acid, or glucosamine can significantly improve the clinical efficacy of the latter agents in KOA treatment.”

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https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00330-022-08772-w “Breast cancer imaging with glucosamine CEST (chemical exchange saturation transfer) MRI: first human experience” (not freely available)

“This study aims to evaluate the feasibility of imaging breast cancer with glucosamine (GlcN) CEST MRI technique to distinguish between tumor and surrounding tissue, compared to the conventional MRI method. The results of this initial feasibility study indicate the potential of GlcN CEST MRI to diagnose breast cancer in a clinical setup.”

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10067-022-06105-2 “The comparison of curcuminoid formulations or its combination with conventional therapies versus conventional therapies alone for knee osteoarthritis” (not freely available)

“Curcuminoid formulations or its combination with conventional therapies has been used for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Evidence is limited due to small-sized clinical trials. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of curcuminoid formulations or its combination with conventional therapies for KOA.”

Animal, chemical, and microbiota research

https://academic.oup.com/jmcb/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jmcb/mjac016/6548195 “Regulation of the urea cycle by CPS1 O-GlcNAcylation in response to dietary restriction and aging”

“O-linked N-acetyl-glucosamine glycosylation (O-GlcNAcylation) of intracellular proteins is a dynamic process broadly implicated in age-related disease, yet it remains uncharacterized whether and how O-GlcNAcylation contributes to the natural aging process. Our results identify CPS1 O-GlcNAcylation as a key nutrient-sensing regulatory step in the urea cycle during aging and dietary restriction, implying a role for mitochondrial O-GlcNAcylation in nutritional regulation of longevity.”

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2607/10/3/626/htm “Laccase-Catalyzed Derivatization of Aminoglycoside Antibiotics and Glucosamine”

“The increasing demand for new and effective antibiotics requires intelligent strategies to obtain a wide range of potential candidates. The products protected mice against infection with Staphylococcus aureus, which was lethal to the control animals. The results underline the great potential of laccases in obtaining new biologically active compounds, in this case new antibiotic candidates from the class of aminoglycosides.”

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-605X/ac61fa “Gelatin-glucosamine hydrochloride/crosslinked-cyclodextrin metal-organic frameworks@IBU composite hydrogel long-term sustained drug delivery system for osteoarthritis treatment” (not freely available)

“Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease of articular cartilage degradation and inflammation of the joint capsule. Combining anti-inflammatory therapy with nutritional supplement is an effective means for the treatment of OA. Mechanical properties, sustained drug release behavior, and good biocompatibility of G-GH/CL-CD-MOF@IBU composite hydrogel showed that it has potential application in OA treatment of long-term sustained nutritional supplement and anti-inflammatory synchronously.”

https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2022/FO/D1FO04086C “Glucosamine enhances proliferation, barrier, and anti-oxidative functions in porcine trophectoderm cells”

“Trophectoderm (TE) is the first epithelium that appears during mammalian embryogenesis, and is a polarized transporting single cell layer that comprises the wall of the blastocyst. Previous studies have revealed the functional roles of glucose (Gluc), fructose (Fruc), and glutamine (Gln), which play a positive role in porcine trophectoderm (pTr) cell proliferation and migration, suggesting the importance of nutrients for normal development of the conceptus and implantation.

This work was conducted to test the hypothesis that glucosamine (GlcN), which is synthesized from Gln and Fruc-6-phosphate through the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway, can stimulate proliferation and sustain the barrier and anti-oxidative functions of pTr cells. GlcN plays an important role in promoting proliferation and stimulating the mTOR cell signaling pathway, as well as ameliorating oxidative stress and augmenting barrier functions in pTr cells.”

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acschemneuro.2c00057 “O-GlcNAcase Inhibitor ASN90 is a Multimodal Drug Candidate for Tau and α-Synuclein Proteinopathies”

“Neurodegenerative proteinopathies are characterized by the intracellular formation of insoluble and toxic protein aggregates in the brain that are closely linked to disease progression. O-GlcNAcase prevents the removal of O-linked N-acetyl-d-glucosamine moieties from intracellular proteins and has emerged as an attractive therapeutic approach to prevent the formation of tau pathology.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ctm2.762 “Glucosamine facilitates cardiac ischemic recovery via recruiting Ly6Clow monocytes in a STAT1 and O-GlcNAcylation-dependent fashion”

“Glucosamine (GlcN, 2-amino-2-deoxy-d-glucose) is a freely available and commonly used dietary supplement for human cartilage health, which hexosamine biosynthesis pathway and induces protein O-GlcNAcylation. GlcN early therapy (GlcN/E), which initiated 1 day before myocardial infarction (MI), effectively facilitated cardiac ischemic recovery. More importantly, short-term GlcN therapy initiated even 3 days post-MI (GlcN/L) was also sufficient to induce clear cardiac protection, suggesting that both GlcN/E and GlcN/L therapies effectively ameliorate post-MI cardiac dysfunction and scar formation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9007349/ “Filling gaps in bacterial catabolic pathways with computation and high-throughput genetics”

“For many microbes, we know little about them beyond their genome sequences. We built an automated tool to identify gaps: transporters or enzymes that should be present, to explain how a bacterium uses a carbon source, but could not be found in the genome. By comparing these gaps to large-scale genetic data for 29 bacteria, we identified hundreds of novel transporters and enzymes, and a new metabolic pathway for consuming glucosamine.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031942222000991 “Ingadosides A-C, acacic acid-type saponins from Inga sapindoides with potent inhibitory activity against downy mildew”

“As part of a project aiming at the discovery of environmentally friendly alternatives to copper in organic agriculture, a 96% ethanolic extract from the leaves of Inga sapindoides showed potent inhibitory activity against grapevine downy mildew. I. sapindoides, a tree which is often cultivated for shading coffee plantations in Central America, may represent a sustainable source of fungicidal products to be used in the replacement of copper.”

Microsoft PowerPoint - graphical abstract_revised

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378111922002840 “Aerobic exercise combined with glucosamine hydrochloride capsules inhibited the apoptosis of chondrocytes in rabbit knee osteoarthritis by affecting TRPV5 expression”

“This study aimed to investigate the effect of aerobic exercise combined with glucosamine on the apoptosis of chondrocytes of rabbit knee osteoarthritis by affecting the expression of TRPV5. Aerobic exercise combined with glucosamine hydrochloride capsules inhibited the apoptosis of chondrocytes in rabbit KOA by affecting the expression of TRPV5.”

https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2022/BM/D2BM00280A “Smart erythrocyte-hitchhiking insulin delivery system for prolonged automatic blood glucose control”

“Long and automatic control of blood glucose levels in diabetic patients could solve the problems caused by frequent insulin injections. Herein, we exploited the protection potential of erythrocytes by a ‘hitchhiking’ strategy to significantly prolong the blood circulation time of a specifically-designed smart hitchhiking insulin delivery system (SHIDS). In the SHIDS, insulin, glucose oxidase, and catalase were co-loaded into nanoparticles formed by modified chitosan. The free glucosamines in chitosan anchor glucose transporters on the surface of erythrocytes, allowing erythrocyte-hitchhiking in the blood flow.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814621027825 “Maillard-reacted peptides from glucosamine-induced glycation exhibit a pronounced salt taste-enhancing effect” (not freely available)

“Reducing salt intake, as one of the most cost-effective approaches, is congruent with improved population health. Maillard-reacted peptides exhibited a significant salt taste-enhancing effect, which may be attributed to the glucosamine-induced glycation. The current study provides a theoretical basis for preparation of salt taste-enhancing peptides and their future application to reduce salt content of formulated foods.”

https://academic.oup.com/glycob/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/glycob/cwac027/6572163 “Peptidoglycan from Akkermansia muciniphila Muc T: chemical structure and immunostimulatory properties of muropeptides” (not freely available)

“Akkermansia muciniphila is an intestinal symbiont known to improve the gut barrier function in mice and humans. Our results provide new insights into the diversity of cell envelope structures of key gut microbiota members and their role in steering host-microbiome interactions.”

Reviews

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9008999/ “Ruminal bacteria lipopolysaccharides: an immunological and microbial outlook”

“Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are outer membrane components of Gram-negative bacteria made of three regions: the O-antigen; the core oligosaccharide; and a glucosamine disaccharide linked to hydroxy fatty acids, which is named lipid A. this review identifies numerous areas for future research, including setting the basis for future modeling and simulation of host microbiome interactions in ruminants.”


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