New research from Oregon State University scientists demonstrate that compounds in hops could help with metabolic syndrome and may ultimately yield far-reaching public health benefits given that up to one-third of U.S. adults have metabolic syndrome, according to the Mayo Clinic. An individual is characterized as having metabolic syndrome if he or she has two or more of the following conditions: increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waste, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
The researchers had previously shown that xanthohumol or XN (a compound that contributes to hops’ flavor) and two derivatives, β‐dihydro‐XN (DXN) and tetrahydro‐XN (TXN), improved parameters of metabolic syndrome. So they embarked on this study hypothesizing that the improvements are linked to changes in the composition of the gut microbiota, bile acid metabolism, intestinal barrier function, and inflammation, they write in an article that appeared recently in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
To test that hypothesis, the researchers fed mice either a high-fat diet alone or a high-fat diet that contained XN, DXN, or TXN. They then measured the effect of the various compounds on tissue inflammation; gut microbiome composition; and bile aid, which helps with the digestion of fat. They found that all three of the hops compounds decreased the diversity and abundance of gut microbiota, reduced inflammation, and changed the bile acid metabolism. Specifically, they found a reduction in secondary bile acid production and an increase of conjugated bile acids, which indicate improved energy metabolism, glucose metabolism, and cholesterol metabolism.
“Changes in gut microbiota and bile acid metabolism seem to explain at least partially why XN and its derivatives lead to improvements in obesity and other aspects of metabolic syndrome,” researcher Adrian Gombart, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics in the Oregon State University College of Science, said in a press release. He added, however, that the findings do not necessarily demonstrate cause and effect. “We need to know which changes to the microbiota are beneficial.”
Another member of the research team pointed out that it’s surprising that the beneficial effects occurred with a decrease in microbial diversity rather than an increase. Gombart noted that the hops compounds have previously been associated with antimicrobial attributes, “so they may be killing off certain bugs that aren’t beneficial and preserving other ones that are.”
Picture cherry tomatoes growing in a cluster on a short vine in an urban environment, like the roof of a skyscraper. If the gene-edited tomato plants recently designed by researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory prove successful, tomatoes and other crops could one day be the stars of city gardens.
South by Southwest (SXSW) has announced the finalists for its 12th annual SXSW Pitch event, taking place as a part of the startups track happening at the annual event in March. Among the 50 finalists, five startups tackle challenges in the science of food to deliver solutions to ensure a safe, sustainable, and abundant food supply.
Researchers from the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment of Hebrew University recently developed a line of next-gen chickpea isolates, using patent-pending technology to extract up to 90% pure protein from the chickpea seed.
The article describes what Clostridioides difficile is and how it is transitioning from being a problem mainly in hospitals and nursing homes to being a problem in the food industry.
While parents want their children to eat healthier foods, the kids want foods that taste great. This article details some of the ingredients used to create more nutrition and delicious school meals for children.
Starvation and cachexia, along with aging, represent the dominant pathologic contributors of involuntary weight and skeletal muscle loss.
Separate research from the University of Illinois and Tufts University have examined new bioprocesses for producing tagatose in a more cost-effective manner.
Nestlé Waters has announced that the entire plastic bottle range for the Swiss mineral water brand Henniez is now made of 75% recycled PET plastic (rPET).
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has launched the United Nations’ International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) for 2020, which aims to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.
A study published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics calculated that American households waste, on average, almost a third of the food they acquire—a value of $240 billion annually or $1,800+ per household/year.
Conagra Brands has announced it will work toward making 100% of its current plastic packaging renewable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
Tyson Foods has created the Coalition for Global Protein, a multi-stakeholder initiative to “advance the future of sustainable protein.”