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Dietary modification plays a vital role in the treatment of non-alcoholic liver diseases. We investigated the effects of the consumption of a different amount of dehulled adlay, which has hypolipidaemic and anti-inflammatory properties, on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We fed rats a high-fat-high-fructose liquid diet for 16 weeks to induce NAFLD. The rats were divided into three groups fed the NAFLD diet only (NN) or a diet containing 44·9 or 89·8 g/l of dehulled adlay (NA and NB groups, respectively). After 8 weeks, the NA and NB groups had lower C-reactive protein levels and improvement in insulin resistance. In addition, the NB group had lower liver weight and hepatic TAG and cholesterol concentrations than did the NN group. Compared with the NN group, the high-dose NB group had improved steatosis, lower hepatic TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 levels and lower adipose leptin levels. Our results suggest that a diet containing dehulled adlay can ameliorate NAFLD progression by decreasing of insulin resistance, steatosis and inflammation.
Consumption of a high-fat diet increases fat accumulation and may further lead to inflammation and hepatic injuries. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of Camellia oleifera seed extract (CSE) on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). After a 16-week NAFLD-inducing period, rats were assigned to experimental groups fed an NAFLD diet with or without CSE. At the end of the study, we found that consuming CSE decreased the abdominal fat weight and hepatic fat accumulation and modulated circulating adipokine levels. We also found that CSE groups had lower hepatic cytochrome P450 2E1 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β protein expressions. In addition, we found that CSE consumption may have affected the gut microbiota and reduced toll-like receptor (TLR)-4, myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88, toll/IL-1 receptor domain-containing adaptor-inducing interferon-β (TRIF) expression and proinflammatory cytokine concentrations in the liver. Our results suggest that CSE may alleviate the progression of NAFLD in rats with diet-induced steatosis through reducing fat accumulation and improving lipid metabolism and hepatic inflammation.
Apathy is a condition characterized by a lack of motivation that manifests in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive domains. Although previous studies have indicated that apathy is associated with frontal lesions, few studies have focused on the different subdomains of apathy, and no in vivo human biochemical data have been obtained to examine the neurochemical changes related to apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thus, we investigated the frontal neurochemical alterations related to apathy among patients with AD using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS).
Apathy was assessed through the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES). 1H MRS was performed to measure neurochemical metabolite levels in the anterior cingulate region and right orbitofrontal region. Associations between neurochemical metabolites and the total score and subscores of each domain of the AES were analyzed.
Altogether, 36 patients completed the study. Patients with lower N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the anterior cingulate region demonstrated higher total apathy scores (β = −0.56, p = 0.003) with adjustments for age, gender, educational level, dementia severity, and depression severity. In a further analysis, a lower NAA/Cr in the anterior cingulate region was associated with all subdomains of apathy, including cognition (β = −0.43, p = 0.028), behavior (β = −0.55, p = 0.002), and emotion (β = −0.50, p = 0.005). No statistically significant associations were discovered in the right orbitofrontal region.
Our results suggest that apathy, in each of its cognitive, behavioral, or emotional subdomains is associated with brain neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate region. Abnormal neuronal integrity over the anterior cingulate cortex may exhibit a central role in causing all aspects of apathy in patients with AD.
Lithium inhibits glycogen synthase kinase-3, which is an enzyme involved in the pathogenesis of cancer.
To investigate the association between lithium and cancer risk in patients with bipolar disorder.
A retrospective cohort study was designed using the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) in Taiwan. Patients using lithium comprised the index drug group and patients using anticonvulsants only comprised the control group. Time-dependent Cox regression was used to evaluate the hazard ratios (HRs) for risk of cancer.
Compared with anticonvulsant-only exposure, lithium exposure was associated with significantly lower cancer risk (HR = 0.735, 95% CI 0.554–0.974). The hazard ratios for the first, second and third tertiles of the cumulative defined daily dose were 0.762 (95% CI 0.516–1.125), 0.919 (95% CI 0.640–1.318) and 0.552 (95% CI 0.367–0.831), respectively.
Lithium is associated with reduced overall cancer risk in patients with bipolar disorder. A dose–response relationship for cancer risk reduction was observed.
In the foreland area of western Taiwan, some of the pre-orogenic basement-involved normal faults were reactivated during the subsequent compressional tectonics. The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the role played by the pre-existing normal faults in the recent tectonics of western Taiwan. In NW Taiwan, reactivated normal faults with a strike-slip component have developed by linkage of reactivated single pre-existing normal faults in the foreland basin and acted as transverse structures for low-angle thrusts in the outer fold-and-thrust belt. In the later stage of their development, the transverse structures were thrusted and appear underneath the low-angle thrusts or became tear faults in the inner fold-and-thrust belt. In SW Taiwan, where the foreland basin is lacking normal fault reactivation, the pre-existing normal faults passively acted as ramp for the low-angle thrusts in the inner fold-and-thrust belt. Some of the active faults in western Taiwan may also be related to reactivated normal faults with right-lateral slip component. Some main earthquake shocks related to either strike-slip or thrust fault plane solution occurred on reactivated normal faults, implying a relationship between the pre-existing normal fault and the triggering of the recent major earthquakes. Along-strike contrast in structural style of normal fault reactivation gives rise to different characteristics of the deformation front for different parts of the foreland area in western Taiwan. Variations in the degree of normal fault reactivation also provide some insights into the way the crust embedding the pre-existing normal faults deformed in response to orogenic contraction.
The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of β-conglycinin and soya isoflavones on diabetic nephropathy (DN). DN was induced by an intravenous injection of streptozotocin (25 mg/kg) in spontaneously hypertensive rats. DN rats were divided into a non-diabetic group (C, control group) and three DN groups (D, DN with control diet; B, DN+control diet with one-eighth of casein replaced by β-conglycinin as the protein source; and I, DN+control diet with 0·01 % soya isoflavones). After a 4-week experimental period, we found that fasting blood sugar and plasma and kidney advanced glycation end product levels and 24 h urinary protein excretion of the B group were significantly lower than those of the D group and insulin sensitivity and nephrin expression of the B group were significantly higher than those of the D group. In addition, systolic blood pressure, angiotensin-converting enzyme activity, angiotensin II level and plasma TAG level of the B group were significantly lower than those of the D group, whereas only the levels of plasma TAG and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances of the I group were lower than those of the D group. In conclusion, β-conglycinin may be beneficial for retarding DN progression and this effect cannot be completely explained by its isoflavone content.
Irritability is not uncommon after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Unfortunately, no instruments are available to directly measure this clinical feature. This study thus aimed to develop a specific scale to evaluate the irritability for patients with TBI. A total of 144 participants, which include 80 healthy participants and 64 patients suffering from TBI, were recruited. Irritability was assessed by the National Taiwan University Irritability Scale (NTUIS). Our results showed the NTUIS has good reliability. The factor analysis further revealed 2 different components: annoyance, and verbal aggression. Moreover, both self-reported and family-reported irritability postinjury were significantly higher than the irritability reported by the healthy participants. Indeed patients with TBI have significant problems with irritability after injuries, and thus a more specific assessment tool to carefully evaluate patients' irritability should be used.
Green tea catechin has been proposed to have an anti-obesity effect. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the effect of catechin-rich green tea in combination with inulin affects body weight and fat mass in obese and overweight adults. A total of thirty subjects were divided into a control group and an experimental group who received 650 ml tea or catechin-rich green tea plus inulin. A reduction of body weight ( − 1·29 (sem 0·35) kg) and fat mass (0·82 (sem 0·27) kg) in the experimental group was found after 6 weeks, and no adverse effects were observed. After refraining from consumption for 2 weeks, sustained effects on body weight and fat mass were observed. We conclude that continuous intake of catechin-rich green tea in combination with inulin for at least 3 weeks may be beneficial for weight management.
We investigated a cluster of postoperative febrile episodes and episodes of Acinetobacter baumannii bacteremia in obstetrics and gynecology wards after an electrical blackout and loss of the water supply. The use of patient-controlled analgesia was the only independent risk factor associated with postoperative fever, and A. baumannii isolates recovered from the blood of patients who had received patient-controlled analgesia were genetically related to an isolate recovered from the diluted morphine solution used for this procedure. After inappropriate preparation of the morphine solution was identified and stopped, the outbreak ended.
Studies have demonstrated that isolated soya protein (ISP) can slow the progression of renal injury, reduce blood pressure and improve the serum lipid profile in experimental animals and human subjects. The mechanisms and components of soya responsible have not been fully established. The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of the hydrophilic supernatant fraction (SF) and the hydrophobic precipitate fraction (PF) isolated from soya protein hydrolysate on renal function, lipid metabolism and blood pressure in five-sixths nephrectomized rats. Experimental animals were subjected to a nephrectomy and allocated to four groups (180g casei/g, 180g IS/g, 100g casei/g with 80g S/g, and 100g casei/g with 80g P/g). The SF group had the most significant decreases in blood pressure and total cholesterol, as well as a significantly retarded progression of the experimentally induced renal disease, compared with the other groups. The PF group exhibited a significantly increased faecal excretion of total steroids. The serum creatinine, level of proteinuria, total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol concentrations, and blood pressure were significantly reduced, and HDL-cholesterol was significantly increased, in the ISP and PF groups compared with the casein group, but no significant differences were observed between the ISP and PF groups. These results suggest that both soya protein hydrolysate fractions favourably affected chronic renal failure induced by a five-sixths nephrectomy, and the hydrophilic fraction of soya protein hydrolysate had the most pronounced effect on attenuating hypertension and slowing the progression of renal disease.
In this study, we attempted to evaluate the effect of administration of a high quantity of red yeast rice on coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) synthesis in the tissues of ICR mice. Eighty-eight adult male ICR mice were housed and divided into control and experimental groups for red yeast rice treatment. Animals were gavaged with a low (1 g/kg body weight) or a high dose (5 g/kg body weight, approximately five times the typical recommended human dose) of red yeast rice dissolved in soyabean oil. After gavagement, animals of the control group were immediately killed; mice of the experimental groups (eight for each subgroup) were killed at different time intervals of 0·5, 1, 1·5, 4 and 24 h. The liver, heart and kidney were taken for analysis of monacolin K (liver only) and CoQ10 analysis. Liver and heart CoQ10 levels declined dramatically in both groups administered red yeast rice, especially in the high-dose group, within 30 min. After 24 h, the levels of hepatic and cardiac CoQ10 were still reduced. A similar trend was also observed in the heart, but the inhibitory effect began after 90 min. The higher dose of red yeast rice presented a greater suppressive effect than did the lower dose on tissue CoQ10 levels. In conclusion, acute red yeast rice gavage suppressed hepatic and cardiac CoQ10 levels in rodents; furthermore, the inhibitory effect was responsive to the doses administered.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the anti-hypertensive and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition effects of soyabean protein hydrolysate in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Soyabean protein hydrolysate was prepared by peptic hydrolysis and was added into the feed of SHR (0 % for the S0 group, 0·5 % for the S1 group, and 1 % for the S2 group) for 12 weeks. Systolic blood pressure and mean blood pressure of the S1 (164·3 (sem 4·7); 128·0 (sem 5·0) mmHg) and S2 (156·8 (sem 1·6); 120·8 (sem 3·4) mmHg) groups were significantly lower than those of the S0 group (199·4 (sem 5·2); 158·3 (sem 7·0) mmHg) at the end of the study. In the analysis of ACE activity, plasma and heart ACE activities of the S1 and S2 groups were significantly lower than those of the S0 group, and there were no significant differences in aorta, kidney, and lung ACE activities among all SHR. Soyabean protein hydrolysate had no significant effect on plasma lipids, electrolytes, or on left ventricular wall or aorta wall thickness. The results suggest that the long-term administration of soyabean protein hydrolysate might retard the development of hypertension in SHR by its inhibitory effect on ACE in vivo.
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