Lipids and Nutraceuticals June 2021



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.


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



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.



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



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.



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/


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