Study Finds How Intermittent Fasting May Lower Liver Disease Risk
Intermittent fasting has been rapidly gaining traction for its ability to help people lose weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle. Now, a new study shows that it can also promote good liver health.
 
Researchers at the University of Sydney have found that diet can positively impact fat metabolism in the liver which can help prevent liver diseases and conditions. The findings of this study, published in the journal Cell Reports, state that a certain protein called HNF4-(alpha) was being suppressed when an intermittent fasting plan was followed.
 
"For the first time we showed that HNF4-(alpha) is inhibited during intermittent fasting. This has downstream consequences, such as lowering the abundance of blood proteins in inflammation or affecting bile synthesis. This helps explain some of the previously known facts about intermittent fasting," said researcher Dr Mark Larance.
 
The protein HNF4-(alpha) is generally responsible for regulating a wide array of liver genes. The researchers arrived at their conclusions after analysing the effect on HNF4-(alpha) with mice that were undergoing a regimen of intermittent fasting.
 
They found that both, intermittent fasting and ‘every-other-day-fasting’,  changed how HNF4-(alpha) interacted with the metabolism of fatty acids in the liver. Every-other-day eating inhibited this protein which, in turn, lowered the level of blood proteins and also affected the synthesis of bile. The research team believes this awareness of how intermittent fasting affects the metabolism of fatty acids could be used as a means to develop ways to improve glucose tolerance and diabetes regulation.
 
These findings also make it possible for scientists to find ways to mimic some of the ways that intermittent fasting affects HNF4-(alpha) by developing treatments that suppress the protein just as intermittent fasting does.
 
"We know that fasting can be an effective intervention to treat disease and improve liver health. But we haven't known how fasting reprograms liver proteins, which perform a diverse array of essential metabolic functions," explained Dr Larance. "By studying the impact on proteins in the livers of mice...we now have a much better understanding of how this happens."
 
This research was conducted in collaboration with the Heart Research Institute and Dr John O'Sullivan at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Dr O'Sullivan is an adjunct professor in the faculty of medicine & health and a senior lecturer at the Sydney Medical School.
 
A pioneering new technique, known as multi-Omics, which considers multiple data sets such as the total collection of proteins and genes, was used in the study, allowing for the integration of large amounts of information to discover new associations within biological systems.
 
"These multi-Omics approaches give us unprecedented insight into biological systems. We are able to build very sophisticated models by bringing together all the moving parts,” said Dr O’Sullivan. Dr Larance is of the opinion that information from various studies can be put together in this multi-Omics approach to build biological systems and determine optimum fasting periods to regulate response in the liver. 
 
"Last year we published research into the impact of every-other-day-fasting on humans. Using these mouse data, we can now build up improved models of fasting for better human health,” he explained. 
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    COMMENTS

    Ramesh Popat

    1 week ago

    good one!

    Corona Virus (COVID19) FAQs: ICMR answers all you want to know about killer Corona
    The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has Come up with an easy frequently asked questions (FAQ) to dispel myths and bring out facts about the Coronavirus. Here's a quick look.
     
    1. Are patients with heart disease, diabetes or hypertension at increased risk to get coronavirus infection?
     
    No, people with hypertension, diabetes or heart diseases are at no greater risk of getting the infection than anyone else.
     
    2. Among people with above diseases is there an increased risk of severe illness or complications once infected?
     
    The majority, which is 80 per cent of people diagnosed with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms of a respiratory infection (fever, sore throat, cough) and make a full recovery. Some of the people with diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases including Heart Failure may develop more severe symptoms and complications. Therefore, they require extra care.
     
    3. Are people with diabetes more prone to Covid-19 ?
     
    In general, you know that people with uncontrolled diabetes are at increased risk of all infections. People with diabetes are not at higher risk for acquiring the infection, but some individuals are prone to more severe disease and poorer outcomes once infected.
     
    Hence, follow your diet and exercise routine (to the extent possible), take your medications regularly and test your sugar levels frequently so as to keep your diabetes under control. When diabetic patients become sick, they may require frequent monitoring of blood glucose and adjustment of drugs including insulin, small frequent meals and adequate fluids.
     
    4. What about reports about BP medications increasing severity of COVID-19 ?
     
    After review of the available information the consensus of various scientific societies and expert group of cardiologists is that currently there is no evidence that the two group of drugs- ACE inhibitors (For instance, Ramipril, Enalapril and so on) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (Namely, Losartan, Telmisartan and so on) increase the susceptibility or severity of COVID-19.
     
    These drugs are very effective for heart failure by supporting your heart function, and controlling high blood pressure. It may be harmful to stop these medications by yourself. This can worsen your heart condition.
     
    5. What can I take pain or fever?
     
    Some type of painkillers like Ibuprofen is found to worsen the COVID-19. Such drugs are known to be harmful to heart failure patients and may increase your risk of kidney damage. Avoid NSAIDs or take them only when prescribed by your doctor. Paracetamol is one of the safest pain killers to use if needed.
     
    6. What should I do if I get symptoms suggestive of COVID-19?
     
    In case you get fever, cough, muscle pain without shortness of breath, call your doctor and seek advice on phone. You need to stay at home (at least for 14 days) and avoid close contact with other family members and maintain hand hygiene and correctly wear a medical mask. If there is shortness of breath or worsening symptoms like excessive fatigue call or visit a doctor.
     
    But, at the end of the end it's all about prevention rather than cure. That leads to the final question.
     
    7. What should you do to prevent COVID- 19?
     
    Covid-19 is spread by coughs and sneezes, through what are called droplets ( tiny amount saliva or other secretions expressed through cough/sneezing or even after a hearty laugh) and through touch. When you touch an object that has the virus particles on it, the virus may get onto hands and when one touches his or her face, they may get infected.
     
    Virus particles can persist upto 3 days and therefore it is important to maintain hygiene of ones surroundings. "Wash the rooms, tables and other surfaces with floor cleaners or even simple soap solution and sanitize your hands with hand sanitizers or by washing when you touch unknown or suspicious surfaces," instructs the ICMR.
     
    There are at least 606 confirmed coronavirus cases in India as of Wednesday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. Of this, 553 are active COVID19 cases, 42 patients have recovered and discharged from the hospital and 10 people have lost their lives. The active cases include 563 Indian nationals and 43 foreign nationals.
     
    India has already issued a 21 days nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
     
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    COVID-19: Study Maps How a Patient’s Immune System Fights Back
    Researchers have mapped immune responses from one of Australia's first COVID-19 patients, showing the body's ability to fight the virus and recover from the infection. The study shows how the immune system of an otherwise healthy person was able to fight the virus, within days. 
     
    Published in Nature Medicine, researchers, from the University of Melbourne at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Australia, have found that while some people who have contracted COVID-19 experience serious symptoms, others are able to recover after a fairly short period of time. 
     
    Using information about one of Australia’s first COVID-19 patients, they were able to conduct a comprehensive case study. The female patient was experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms of the infection when she sought care; but was noted to be healthy in all other respects. This was the reason researchers first became interested in finding out how an otherwise healthy adult’s immune system is able to react to an infection with new virus. 
     
    “We showed that even though COVID-19 is caused by a new virus, in an otherwise healthy person, a robust immune response across different cell types was associated with clinical recovery, similar to what we see in influenza,” says the study’s co-author Prof Katherine Kedzierska.
     
    “This is an incredible step forward in understanding what drives recovery of COVID-19. People can use our methods to understand the immune responses in larger COVID-19 cohorts, and also understand what’s lacking in those who have fatal outcomes,” she adds. 
    The patient had sought specialised care four days after the onset of viral infection symptoms. These symptoms included lethargy, a sore throat, a dry cough, pleuritic chest pain, some shortness of breath and a fever. She was discharged from the hospital and entered herself into self-isolation for 11 days, after the onset of symptoms, and was found to be symptom-free by day 13. 
     
    For the study, researchers analysed blood samples that healthcare professionals had collected from the patient on four different occasions—on days 7, 8, 9 and 20, following the onset of symptoms. 
     
    “We looked at the whole breadth of the immune response in this patient using the knowledge we have built over many years of looking at immune responses in patients hospitalised with influenza,” explains the study’s co-author Dr Oanh Nguyen.
     
    They found that during day-7 to day-9 following the onset of symptoms, there was an increase in immunoglobulins, the most common type of antibodies, rushing to fight the virus. This increase in immunoglobulins persisted up to day-20 after the onset of symptoms, according to the analysis. 
     
    At day-7 today-9 following the symptom onset, a large number of specialised helper T-cells, killer T-cells and B-cells—all of which are crucial immune cells -- were also active in the patient’s blood samples. This suggested that the patient’s body had been using many different ‘weapons’ effectively against the virus.
     
    “Three days after the patient was admitted, we saw large populations of several immune cells, which are often a tell-tale sign of recovery during seasonal influenza infection, so we predicted that the patient would recover in 3 days, which is what happened,” notes Dr Nguyen. 
     
    The researchers also report that their investigation’s efficient timelines are much owed to the fact that the patient had enrolled into Sentinel Travellers and Research Preparedness for Emerging Infectious Disease (SETREP-ID). This is a research platform from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. 
     
    “When COVID-19 emerged, we already had ethics and protocols in place so we could rapidly start looking at the virus and immune system in great detail,” says study’s co-author Dr Irani Thevarajan, praising the importance of SETREP-ID. It has already been established at a number of Melbourne hospitals and the researchers are now planning to roll out SETREP-ID as a national study. 
     
    “We hope to now expand our work nationally and internationally to understand why some people die from COVID-19, and build further knowledge to assist in the rapid response of COVID-19 and future emerging viruses,” Dr Thevarajan added. 
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