NEW RESEARCH AVENUES FOR PALMITOYLETHANOLAMIDE (PEA)
Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a modern lipid nutraceutical. We have reported previously on this naturally occurring lipid that has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties and analgesic. We have personal experience of the efficacy of this compound in alleviating the pain from aching knees and joints.
It has also been used in the past for immunity. The story of PEA as a nutraceutical to prevent and treat infectious diseases dates to the 1970s where the molecule was branded under the name Impulsin and was used for its immunomodulatory properties in influenza virus infection. At present, googling the search terms “COVID‐19” and “Functional foods” yields nearly 500,000,000 hits, witnessing the growing interest of the scientific community and the public in the role of nutrition and nutraceuticals during the COVID‐19 pandemic.
Many compounds have been proposed as therapeutics in the prevention and/or treatment of COVID‐19. The extensive interest of the public and the enormous social media coverage on this topic urges the scientific community to address the question of which nutraceuticals can be employed in preventing and/or treating this newly described coronavirus‐related disease. Recently, the Canadian biotech pharma company “FSD Pharma” received the green light from the Food and Drug Administration to design a proof‐of‐concept study evaluating the effects of ultra-micronized palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) in COVID‐19 patients.
ENDOCANNABINOID BOOK REVIEW
The Endocannabinoidome: The World of Endocannabinoids and Related Mediators is dedicated to the latest research and studies on endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors to illustrate their important role in the discovery of new, endocannabinoid-related, lipid mediators. Written by leading experts across different disciplines, this book focuses on the biochemical and analytical aspects of novel lipid signals, their pharmacological activities, and their potential utilization for the development of new and effective therapeutic strategies. The first book of its kind,
The Endocannabinoidome is a meaningful reference for all those involved in experimental efforts to further the development of this field and:
- Explores the novel and exciting aspects of several endocannabinoid-like molecules for which researchers are still seeking a function
- Discusses the novel metabolic pathways for endocannabinoids to explain the failure of some clinical trials with inhibitors of more conventional metabolic pathways
- Incorporates pharmacology, biochemistry, and potential clinical applications to provide researchers with a complete look at endocannabinoids.
Dr Albert Dijkstra who is a well-known and prolific publisher in the field of lipids will give a presentation of his latest work on extraction and purification of cannabinoids at the upcoming AOCS annual conference. He will discuss the use of a method using triglyceride oil as opposed to expensive carbon dioxide methods and potentially inflammable process using ethanol or alkanes.
Session Title: Cannabis and Hemp Processing – New Trends and Applications
Session Date and Time: Tuesday May 4, 2021, 4:00 PM
Presentation Title: Simple process to isolate relatively pure cannabinoids from marijuana and hemp
OMEGA-3 LATEST NEWS
People with higher omega-3 levels in their blood were less likely to die prematurely, according to a paper published in Nature Communications that pooled data from 17 studies that followed a total of 42,466 people. A separate study concluded that subjects with a higher proportion of plasma long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids suffered fewer sudden cardiac deaths.
Read the full paper here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-22370-2
There is global interest in the production, nutrition, and marketing of boutique oils. These are minimally processed natural oils without the high temperature refining, bleaching and deodorization process that can lead to glycidol and MPCD ester production.
Such popular oils include virgin olive and avocado oils, hazelnut oil, walnut oil, and cold pressed flaxseed oils. In Australasia consumers have been accustomed to paying high prices for genuine and tasty culinary oils and thoughts of adulteration and fraudulent activity does not come to mind.
This is obviously not the case in the USA where Dr Selina Wang of UC Davies has published the results of relatively low-priced avocado oil on the Californian market. The study shows poor quality and oxidized oils, refined oils masquerading as virgin oils and blatant adulteration with cheap oils such as soybean oil.
Read the paper here:
This practice is disadvantaging exporters of quality virgin. avocado oil. Dr. Wang also carried
out detailed work on adulterated olive oil together with Dr. Rod Mailer of AAOCS.
The AOCS has now set up a working group to establish standards for avocado oil. Professor Marie Wong and Dr Allan Woolff will present a paper to
AOCS at next week’s conference on Factors affecting Avocado
Oil composition and quality.
SHORT CHAIN FATTY ACIDS AND STROKE RECOVERY
Recent demonstration of communications between the brain and the gut have opened new areas of investigation for stroke and other neurological diseases. This communication, termed the microbiota-gut-brain (MGB) axis, provides novel avenues for both the prevention and treatment of stroke.
Following stroke, communications from the brain to the gut (top-down signalling) via the MGB axis likely occur through sympathetic and parasympathetic efferent fibres that innervate the gut directly or indirectly through the enteric nervous system. Although the exact mechanism is not well understood, it is increasingly evident that stroke alters gut motility, increases gut permeability, activates resident immune cells in the gut, and shifts the gut microbiome to one that is more toxic.
Stroke alters the gut microbiota composition, and in turn, microbiota dysbiosis has a substantial impact on stroke outcome by modulating the immune response. However, until now, the mediators derived from the gut microbiome affecting the gut-immune-brain axis and the molecular mechanisms involved in this process were unknown.
The authors of a recent study demonstrated that short-chain fatty acids, fermentation products of the gut microbiome, are potent and pro-regenerative modulators of poststroke neuronal plasticity at various structural levels. These results identify short-chain fatty acids as a missing link along the gut–brain axis and as a potential therapeutic to improve recovery after stroke.
Read the study here: https://www.jneurosci.org/content/40/5/1162
DIET AND CORONARY HEART DISEASE
A group of workers led by Professor Paul Nestel(Australia) have published a paper on qualitative patterns of food consumption replacing quantitative prescriptive advice on nutrients.
Examples of their recommendations include: Increasing intake of plant foods; substituting saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils; reducing salt intake; and regular consumption of fish with a focus on omega-3 enrichment; The new approach that focuses on healthier patterns of food intake as opposed to quantitative prescriptions was found to be more readily understood by health proffessionals and more translatable by patients.
ROLE OF VITAMINDIN ALLEVIATING MIGRAINES
Eighteen out of 30 studies included in a recent literature review published in Nutrients, showed a link between serum vitamin D levels and headaches, with the strongest connection established between serum vitamin D and migraine.
Although researchers did not find enough evidence to recommend vitamin D supplementation to every patient with a headache, “the current literature indicates that vitamin D may be beneficial in some patients suffering headaches, mainly migraineurs, to reduce the frequency of headaches, especially in those with vitamin D deficiency,” authors said.
Migraines can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours and may include symptoms like nausea, phonophobia, photophobia, and transient neurological symptoms. In 2016 it was estimated that almost 3 billion people had a headache disorder, and 1.04 billion suffered from migraine.
Vitamin D has many known benefits, and deficiencies can lead to an array of health complications. According to authors, approximately 30% to 80% of children and adults worldwide are affected by vitamin D deficiency.
In the study, authors reviewed articles comprised of clinical trials, observational, cross- sectional, and case-control studies.
“Most studies revealed vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency in migraine patients, while some other studies showed normal vitamin D levels (levels ranging from 12.40 to 38.08 ng/mL),” authors said, highlighting the mixed results.
One concrete conclusion drawn from the review was the fact that a large proportion of headache patients suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Authors also note that vitamin D supplementation appears to be a safe form of treatments as “even at high doses… (up to
10,000 IU/day), no major adverse events have been reported.”
Full paper: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31963460/