Coriander Oil Could Tackle Food Poisoning And Drug-Resistant Infections

Coriander oil has been shown to be toxic to a broad range of harmful bacteria. Its use in foods and in clinical agents could prevent food-borne illnesses and even treat antibiotic-resistant infections, according to the authors of a study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology.

The researchers from the University of Beira Interior in Portugal tested coriander oil against 12 bacterial strains, including Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Bacillus cereus and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Of the tested strains, all showed reduced growth, and most were killed, by solutions containing 1.6% coriander oil or less.

Coriander is an aromatic plant widely used in Mediterranean cuisine. Coriander oil is one of the 20 most-used essential oils in the world and is already used as a food additive. Coriander oil is produced from the seeds of the coriander plant and numerous health benefits have been associated with using this herb over the centuries. These include pain relief, ease of cramps and convulsions, cure of nausea, aid of digestion and treatment of fungal infections.

This study not only shows that coriander oil also has an antibacterial effect, but provides an explanation for how it works, which was not previously understood. “The results indicate that coriander oil damages the membrane surrounding the bacterial cell. This disrupts the barrier between the cell and its environment and inhibits essential processes including respiration, which ultimately leads to death of the bacterial cell,” explained Dr Fernanda Domingues who led the study.

The researchers suggest that coriander oil could have important applications in the food and medical industries. “In developed countries, up to 30% of the population suffers from food-borne illness each year. This research encourages the design of new food additives containing coriander oil that would combat food-borne pathogens and prevent bacterial spoilage,” said Dr Domingues. “Coriander oil could also become a natural alternative to common antibiotics. We envisage the use of coriander in clinical drugs in the form of lotions, mouth rinses and even pills; to fight multidrug-resistant bacterial infections that otherwise could not be treated. This would significantly improve people’s quality of life.”

 

Reference

Silva F, Ferreira S, Duarte A, Mendonça DI, Domingues FC. Antifungal activity of Coriandrum sativum essential oil, its mode of action against Candida species and potential synergism with amphotericin B. Phytomedicine. 2011 Jul 23. [Epub ahead of print].

 

Omega-3s May Reduce Diabetes Risk: 3 Studies Compare Plant & Marine Sources

Increased blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids from plant or marine sources are associated with reduced risk of type-2 diabetes, according to three new studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

 

 

J Clin Nutr August 1, 2011; 94 (2)

 

Editorial

Edith JM Feskens
The prevention of type 2 diabetes: should we recommend vegetable oils instead of fatty fish?
Am J Clin Nutr 2011 94: 369-370;
First published online July 6, 2011.
doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.020172
Full Text       Full Text (PDF)

 

Nutritional epidemiology and public health

Diana P Brostow, Andrew O Odegaard, Woon-Puay Koh, Sue Duval, Myron D Gross, Jian-Min Yuan, and Mark A Pereira
Omega-3 fatty acids and incident type 2 diabetes: the Singapore Chinese Health Study
Am J Clin Nutr 2011 94: 520-526;
First published online May 18, 2011.
doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.009357
Abstract       Full Text       Full Text (PDF)

 

Luc Djoussé, Mary L Biggs, Rozenn N Lemaitre, Irena B King, Xiaoling Song, Joachim H Ix, Kenneth J Mukamal, David S Siscovick, and Dariush Mozaffarian
Plasma omega-3 fatty acids and incident diabetes in older adults
Am J Clin Nutr 2011 94: 527-533;
First published online May 18, 2011.
doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.013334
Abstract       Full Text       Full Text (PDF)

 

Raquel Villegas, Yong-Bing Xiang, Tom Elasy, Hong-Lan Li, Gong Yang, Hui Cai, Fei Ye, Yu-Tang Gao, Yu Shyr, Wei Zheng, and Xiao-Ou Shu
Fish, shellfish, and long-chain n−3 fatty acid consumption and risk of incident type 2 diabetes in middle-aged Chinese men and women
Am J Clin Nutr 2011 94: 543-551;
First published online June 15, 2011.
doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.013193
Abstract       Full Text       Full Text (PDF)

  

 

Omega-3 Reduces Anxiety and Inflammation in Healthy Students

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new study gauging the impact of consuming more fish oil showed a marked reduction both in inflammation and, surprisingly, in anxiety among a cohort of healthy young people.

The findings suggest that if young participants can get such improvements from specific dietary supplements, then the elderly and people at high risk for certain diseases might benefit even more.

The findings by a team of researchers at Ohio State University were just published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. It is the latest from more than three decades of research into links between psychological stress and immunity.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have long been considered as positive additives to the diet. Earlier research suggested that the compounds might play a role in reducing the level of cytokines in the body, compounds that promote inflammation, and perhaps even reduce depression.

Psychological stress has repeatedly been shown to increase cytokine production so the researchers wondered if increasing omega-3 might mitigate that process, reducing inflammation.

To test their theory, they turned to a familiar group of research subjects – medical students. Some of the earliest work these scientists did showed that stress from important medical school tests lowered students’ immune status.

“We hypothesized that giving some students omega-3 supplements would decrease their production of proinflammatory cytokines, compared to other students who only received a placebo,” explained Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychology and psychiatry.

“We thought the omega-3 would reduce the stress-induced increase in cytokines that normally arose from nervousness over the tests.”

The team assembled a field of 68 first- and second-year medical students who volunteered for the clinical trial. The students were randomly divided into six groups, all of which were interviewed six times during the study. At each visit, blood samples were drawn from the students who also completed a battery of psychological surveys intended to gauge their levels of stress, anxiety or depression. The students also completed questionnaires about their diets during the previous weeks.

Half the students received omega-3 supplements while the other half were given placebo pills.

“The supplement was probably about four or five times the amount of fish oil you’d get from a daily serving of salmon, for example,” explained Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition and co-author in the study.

Part of the study, however, didn’t go according to plans.

Changes in the medical curriculum and the distribution of major tests throughout the year, rather than during a tense three-day period as was done in the past, removed much of the stress that medical students had shown in past studies.

“These students were not anxious. They weren’t really stressed. They were actually sleeping well throughout this period, so we didn’t get the stress effect we had expected,” Kiecolt-Glaser said.

But the psychological surveys clearly showed an important change in anxiety among the students: Those receiving the omega-3 showed a 20 percent reduction in anxiety compared to the placebo group.

An analysis of the of the blood samples from the medical students showed similar important results.

“We took measurements of the cytokines in the blood serum, as well as measured the productivity of cells that produced two important cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa),” said Ron Glaser, professor of molecular virology, immunology & medical genetics and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research.

“We saw a 14 percent reduction in the amounts of IL-6 among the students receiving the omega-3.” Since the cytokines foster inflammation, “anything we can do to reduce cytokines is a big plus in dealing with the overall health of people at risk for many diseases,” he said.

While inflammation is a natural immune response that helps the body heal, it also can play a harmful role in a host of diseases ranging from arthritis to heart disease to cancer.

While the study showed the positive impact omega-3 supplements can play in reducing both anxiety and inflammation, the researchers aren’t willing to recommend that the public start adding them to the daily diet.

“It may be too early to recommend a broad use of omega-3 supplements throughout the public, especially considering the cost and the limited supplies of fish needed to supply the oil,” Belury said. “People should just consider increasing their omega-3 through their diet.”

Some of the researchers, however, acknowledged that they take omega-3 supplements.

Also working on the research with Kiecolt-Glaser, Glaser and Belury were William Malarkey, professor emeritus of internal medicine, and Rebecca Andridge, an assistant professor of public health.

The study was supported in part by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

 

Krill Oil Demonstrates Beneficial Regulation of Genes Involved in Glucose, Lipid & Cholesterol Metabolism in the Liver

Aker BioMarine announces a publication of a new preclinical study on krill oil. The study results showed a significantly higher impact on gene regulation in the liver when the omega-3 fatty acids were given in the form of phospholipids (krill oil), compared to the triglyceride form (fish oil). More specifically, krill oil downregulated the activity of pathways involved in hepatic glucose production as well as lipid and cholesterol synthesis. The data also suggested that krill oil-supplementation increases the activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain.

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Using Olive Oil In Your Diet May Prevent A Stroke

A new study suggests that consuming olive oil may help prevent a stroke in older people. The research is published in the June 15, 2011, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Our research suggests that a new set of dietary recommendations should be issued to prevent stroke in people 65 and older,” said study author Cécilia Samieri, PhD, with the University of Bordeaux and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Bordeaux, France. “Stroke is so common in older people and olive oil would be an inexpensive and easy way to help prevent it.”

For the study, researchers looked at the medical records of 7,625 people ages 65 and older from three cities in France: Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier. Participants had no history of stroke. Olive oil consumption was categorized as “no use,” “moderate use” such as using olive oil in cooking or as dressing or with bread, and “intensive use,” which included using olive oil for both cooking and as dressing or with bread. Samieri said the study participants mainly used extra virgin olive oil, as that is 98 percent of what is available in France.

After a little over five years, there were 148 strokes.

After considering diet, physical activity, body mass index and other risk factors for stroke, the study found that those who regularly used olive oil for both cooking and as dressing had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who never used olive oil in their diet (1.5 percent in six years compared to 2.6 percent).

Olive oil has been associated with potentially protective effects against many cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. In an accompanying editorial, Nikolaos Scarmeas, MD, of Columbia University and a member of the American Academy of Neurology noted that it is not clear which particular elements of olive oil could be protective, while the effects of olive oil could even be indirect by making other healthy foods tastier. He also cautioned that only future clinical trials can increase confidence in the findings and potentially lead to stroke prevention recommendations.