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11/13/2018
Studies suggest that the intestinal microbiota influence depression, anxiety, and stress. The bidirectional communication of the gut-brain axis is thought to link the microbiome to mood, and the microbiome is known to be affected by diet. A review of studies related to diet, the microbiome, and mood was published in 2018 in Nutritional Neuroscience

11/6/2018
More than 1 in 5 patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) also experience depression, which is associated with mortality rates that are 2 to 3 times higher than those of non-depressed patients. The SADHART-CHF (Sertraline Against Depression and Heart Disease in Chronic Heart Failure) trial showed that improvement in depression correlated with reduced cardiovascular events in patients with CHF. A post-hoc analysis of this trial found that 80% of the patients with both CHF and depression had low plasma omega-3 levels.

10/30/2018
Obesity-related chronic inflammation is marked by elevated levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and pro-inflammatory cytokines. These mediators adversely affect endothelial function by raising levels of endothelial-derived compounds, like plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1). Higher PAI-1 is correlated with other markers of endothelial dysfunction, such as increased intima media thickness and arterial stiffness index.

10/24/2018
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), defined as hepatic steatosis resulting from no secondary cause, ranges from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with the potential to progress to cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Medical management of NAFLD relies on diet, exercise, and weight loss, with no approved pharmacologic interventions. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have been extensively investigated to supplement dietary interventions for NAFLD.

10/16/2018
The main strategies to prevent metabolic diseases are lifestyle and dietary interventions, including an emphasis on low-glycemic or low-glycemic-load meals. Meals with a high glycemic load produce a higher blood glucose response and adverse metabolic consequences, including high insulin levels, reactive hypoglycemia, and eventual insulin resistance.

10/9/2018
Age-related cognitive decline, defined as non-pathological yet meaningful decreases in memory and mental abilities, can develop with advancing age in any person. Epidemiological studies suggest that better nutritional habits are associated with lower rates of cognitive decline, and polyphenols in fruits and vegetables have specifically been associated with better cognitive function in older adults.

10/2/2018
Osteoporosis-related fractures affect as many as half of all women and a quarter of all men over the age of 50. Bisphosphonate medications have been shown to reduce fracture risk, but their use is limited by fears of side effects and a recommended duration of use no longer than 3-5 years. Safer options that can be taken for more extended periods of time are needed to reduce bone loss and fracture risk in older adults.

9/25/2018
Effective management of hypertension is an important way to reduce the risk of acute coronary events and stroke. Systematic reviews have concluded that blood pressure can be lowered by losing weight, reducing sodium intake, and increasing potassium intake. Studies such as the PREDIMED trial suggest that a Mediterranean diet pattern and increased nut consumption may also help to lower blood pressure—supporting the concept of a more synergistic effect of the overall dietary pattern. As part of a secondary analysis of data from a weight loss study (HealthTrack), researchers examined the effect of individualized dietary advice and walnut supplementation on blood pressure.

9/18/2018
Glaucoma is a chronic condition that progressively damages the optic nerve, leading to vision loss and potential blindness. Because increased intraocular pressure (IOP) can contribute to optic nerve damage, a primary goal in glaucoma management is to lower IOP. IOP-lowering eyedrops are first-line therapy, and surgery is indicated in more advanced cases. Few other options exist to slow the progression of glaucoma.

9/11/2018
Chronic inflammation accompanies most chronic diseases, and diabetes is no exception. Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in glycemic control and reducing the risk of diabetes. Increasing evidence points to its anti-inflammatory effect as the primary mechanism of action. For example, vitamin D has demonstrated (in human and animal studies) to improve insulin sensitivity by inhibiting cytokine-induced apoptosis of beta cells. Because of mixed results from cross-sectional and clinical trials, however, there is no consensus on the effect of vitamin D supplementation on inflammation in diabetes. 

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