Here are some highlights from recently published papers.
Visual Illusion Effective In Relieving Knee Pain For People With Osteoarthritis
A study published in PeerJ looked at the mind-body connection in chronic pain. Participants with knee osteoarthritis were subjected to a visual illusion in which their knee joint and lower leg appeared elongated. This visual effect combined with touch provided a 40% reduction in pain, and the effect was optimal when the illusion was repeated multiple times.
Takeaway: There is more to pain than physical factors, and mind-body techniques could prove to be effective and non-invasive pain relief tools.
Dietary non-fermentable fiber prevents autoimmune neurological disease by changing gut metabolic and immune status
A study published in Scientific Reports suggests that dietary non-fermentable fiber in early adult life may help prevent autoimmune disease.
The researchers used a spontaneous autoimmune encephalomyelitis (i.e. multiple sclerosis) mouse model, and fed them a non-fermentable fiber supplement, similar to what would be found in a vegetarian diet.
The dietary fiber altered the gut microbiota and metabolism of the mice, with an increase in the abundance of long-chain fatty acids, which promoted autoimmune suppressive Th2 immune responses.
Takeaway: Non-fermentable dietary fiber intake early in life may alter the gut microbiota in a way that helps prevent autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
Intermittent Fasting May Be Center Of Increasing Lifespan
Intermittent fasting has previously been shown to be beneficial for increasing lifespan, however the precise mechanism was not known. In a study from Cell Metabolism, researchers have uncovered a potential mechanism.
The researchers studied nematode worms and found that dietary restriction maintained the mitochondria in a fused state, which is associated with increased longevity. Furthermore, dietary restriction helped coordinate mitochondria with peroxisomes to promote fatty acid oxidation.
Takeaway: dietary restriction and intermittent fasting may enhance lifespan by maintaining mitochondrial networks in a fused state.
Dr. Tomah Phillips, ND