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Soy is unlikely to damage fertility in women new
      #115464 - 10/24/04 07:27 PM
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Soy unlikely to impact fertility

20/10/2004 - Soy is unlikely to damage fertility in women, report researchers, who investigated the theory that its positive impact on breast cancer risk may have other, unwanted effects.

Their study, carried out on monkeys, also offers insight into how the plant food impacts breast cancer risk.
Women in Asian countries where a lot of soy is consumed have dramatically lower rates of breast cancer than women in the United States and Europe. Isoflavones, a kind of plant oestrogen found in soy, are thought to be play a role in this lower incidence, either by increasing menstrual cycle length or reducing ovarian hormones both of which would reduce lifetime exposure to oestrogen. However, these changes in the menstrual cycle could also impair fertility.

But a new study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Philadelphia, fails to confirm these concerns. The team from the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and Emory University School of Medicine tested the hypothesis on monkeys, which have menstrual cycles similar to those of women.

For one year, half of the monkeys were fed a high-soy diet and half got their protein from animal sources. All monkeys were evaluated during this period for changes in ovarian hormones and menstrual cycles.

"Our study was designed to determine whether a soy supplement containing twice the level of plant oestrogen consumed by Asian women would alter any aspect of the menstrual cycle or ovarian function in monkeys," said lead researcher Jay Kaplan.

"Soy treatment did not change any characteristics of the menstrual cycle, including length, amount of bleeding or hormone levels," he explained. "This suggests that any protection that soy may provide against breast cancer does not come from changes in the menstrual cycle."

He said consumption of a high-soy diet probably would not compromise fertility, although further research is warranted to evaluate effects of soy on placenta function and on the foetus.

The findings are positive for the booming soy products industry, which has seen increasing interest in the use of isoflavones in supplements to alleviate menopausal symptoms, maintain bone health and improve heart health.


http://www.nutraingredients.com/news/news-ng.asp?id=55524-soy-unlikely-to

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Vegetarian Diet With Soy and Soluble Fiber Lowers Cholesterol new
      #116900 - 10/28/04 07:09 PM
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Study: Vegetarian Diet Lowers Cholesterol

source: Associated Press Health News


A new vegetarian diet emphasizing soy and soluble fiber can lower cholesterol by a surprising one-third. But finicky eaters may balk at its daily helpings of okra, eggplant and Metamucil, among other things.

The Portfolio diet, as it's called, involves several trendy nutrients that have been shown separately to be good for the heart. Canadian researchers set out to see what would happen if they were combined into a single regimen.


In Miami Beach on Thursday at a meeting of the American Heart Association, they presented data showing that the combination seems to work. Ordinarly, people do well to lower their cholesterol by 10 percent by changing their diet, so doctors often have to prescribe powerful statin drugs to get their cholesterol down far enough.


"The reductions are surprising," said Cyril Kendall of the University of Toronto, who directed the study. "Most dietitians would not expect that sort of reduction through dietary means."


He said the Portfolio diet appears to do about as well as the older statin drugs that are still frontline therapy for high cholesterol.


His research was sponsored by the Canadian government, the Almond Board of California and the food companies Unilever Canada and Loblaw Brands.


"This was a pretty impressive result," said Dr. Stephen Daniels of Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati. "However, the results need to be replicated. Can this be done in the real world or only in an experiment?"


The diet is based on a low-fat vegetarian regimen that emphasizes foods shown individually to be beneficial - soy, soluble fiber, plant sterols and almonds. Sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley, legumes, eggplant, okra and Metamucil. Some brands of margarine are high in plant sterols.


In the experiment, 25 volunteers ate either a standard low-fat diet or the Portfolio diet, while researchers watched the effects on their LDL cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease, and HDL, which lowers it. After a month, LDL levels fell 12 percent in those on the standard diet and 35 percent in those on the Portfolio diet. However, HDL levels were unchanged in people on the Portfolio diet.


Kendall said volunteers found the diet extremely filling, and several stayed on it after the experiment ended.


"It appears that a Portfolio diet is effective at reducing cholesterol and coronary heart disease risk," he said.


Whether it truly is as good as a statin, though, remains to be seen. Those drugs have been proven to reduce the risk of heart attacks and death, while the diet has not been put to that test. And statins may also protect the heart in ways that go beyond their effect on cholesterol.


In the experiment, dieters got foods supplied by the researchers that are all available from supermarkets or health food stores. Every meal contained soy in some form, such as soy yogurt or soy milk.


A typical breakfast included oat bran, fruit and soy milk. Lunch might feature vegetarian chili, oat bran bread and tomato. A dinner could consist of vegetable curry, a soy burger, northern beans, barley, okra, eggplant, cauliflower, onions and red peppers. Volunteers also got Metamucil three times a day to provide soluble fiber from psyllium.


On a 2,000-calorie daily diet, volunteers got two grams of plant sterols from enriched margarine, 16 grams of soluble fiber from oats, barley and psyllium, and 45 grams of soy protein. They also got 200 grams of eggplant and 100 grams of okra daily and 30 grams of raw almonds. Additional vegetable protein was provides by beans, chick peas and lentils.


In another report at the conference, researchers from Children's Hospital in Boston found that people who eat breakfast every morning are less likely to be overweight or show early signs of diabetes. Among the 2,831 volunteers, white men and women who ate breakfast daily were only half as likely to be obese as were those who ate it seldom or never. Black men were 35 percent less likely, but for reasons the researchers could not explain, breakfast was not linked with lower weight in black women.


Mark Pereira, who presented the data, said people who eat breakfast may be less likely to snack during the day, so they end up eating less.


---


EDITOR'S NOTE: Medical Editor Daniel Q. Haney is a special correspondent for The Associated Press.

http://www.rednova.com/news/stories/2/2003/03/08/story007.html

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Soy could stop spread of breast cancer new
      #120090 - 11/08/04 04:10 PM
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Soy could stop spread of breast cancer

24/09/2004

An in-vitro study carried out at the University of Ulster, has concludede that eating more soy-rich foods could reduce the spread of breast cancer.

Previous studies have tested the effect of soy and breast cancer on animals, but this is the first time the study has been carried out in-vitro.
"In our study we used cell cultures to examine the effects of isoflavones on the invasion of breast cancer cells," said Dr Pamela Magee from the university's School of Biomedical Sciences. "The isoflavones exerted potent inhibitory effects on breast cancer cell invasion, even at concentrations similar to those found in South East-Asian populations."

South-East Asian populations traditionally consume high amounts of soy and have a low incidence of breast cancer. Soy contains naturally occurring hormone-like compounds called isoflavones that scientists believe can inhibit breast cancer development.

"Our findings seem to indicate that eating a soy rich products such as soy milk, soy drinks and desserts, could have an important role in preventing the spread of cancer cells in the body," said Magee. "Further studies in human volunteers are now needed to confirm whether soy isoflavones will protect against breast cancer spread in patients."

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting women in the western world, with 950 women in Northern Ireland alone suffering from the disease per year.

There have been recent advances in tumour detection and treatment, but the spread of cancer remains a significant cause of mortality.

"The invasion of cancerous cells from their site of origin into the neighbouring environment enables cancerous cells to travel and grow at new sites within the body," said Maggee. "Any agent, therefore, which can prevent the invasive process could become a powerful tool in the prevention of cancer spread."

This study was funded by the EU's "Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources" project. Ulster is working with 12 European partners on this project and is now investigating the genes of invasion in breast cancer.

Last year, researchers from the Harvard Medical School assessed the combined impact of soy products and different types of tea on a breast cancer model in mice and found that a mixture of soy phytochemicals and green tea could help slow the progression of breast cancer.

The mice were treated with genistein-rich soy isoflavones, soy phytochemical concentrate, black tea and green tea individually, and then with a soy phytochemical-black tea mixture and a soy-green tea combination.

Researchers assessed the growth of tumours and increase in cells as well as expressions of tumour oestrogen receptors.

Both the soy isoflavones and the soy phytochemical concentrate led to dose-dependent inhibition of tumour growth by slowing cancer cell proliferation, they reported in the 1 January issue of the International Journal of Cancer (vol 108, issue 1, pp 8-14).

http://www.nutraingredients.com/news/news-NG.asp?n=54930-soy-could-stop

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Psyllium increases gas production and promotes gas retention new
      #125862 - 11/28/04 02:43 PM
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Gut 2004;53:1577-1582
2004 by BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Society of Gastroenterology

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GUT MOTILITY

Inhibitory actions of a high psyllium diet on intestinal gas transit in healthy volunteers

S Gonlachanvit, R Coleski, C Owyang and WL Hasler
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA


ABSTRACT
Background: Psyllium fibre treatment often produces gaseous symptoms which have been attributed to fermentation by colonic bacteria with increased gas production. Effects of psyllium fibre ingestion on intestinal gas flow are unexplored.

Aims: We aimed to test the hypothesis that consumption of a high psyllium fibre diet retards gas transit.

Subjects: Ten healthy volunteers participated.

Methods: To investigate the effects of psyllium fibre on gas dynamics, physiological gas mixtures were jejunally perfused at 12 ml/minx2 hours after a standard diet for seven days with and without psyllium 30 g/day in a crossover fashion. Gas was collected from an intrarectal catheter to bypass the anus and evacuation was quantified in real time using a barostat.

Results: On initiating gas perfusion under control conditions, an initial lag phase with no gas expulsion was observed (1129 (274) seconds). Thereafter, gas evacuation from the rectum proceeded with cumulative volumes of 1429 (108) ml by the end of the second hour. Evacuation was pulsatile with passage of 20.9 (2.5) boluses, with mean volumes of 68.2 (5.0) ml. Psyllium fibre prolonged the lag time (2265 (304) seconds; p<0.05) and reduced cumulative gas evacuation volumes (1022 (80) ml; p<0.05). Decreased gas evacuation resulted from reductions in the numbers of bolus passages (14.2 (1.1); p<0.05) but not bolus volumes (70.7 (3.4) ml; p = 0.66).

Conclusions: Consumption of a high psyllium fibre diet retards intestinal gas transit by decreasing bolus propulsion to the rectum. Thus, in addition to increasing gas production by colonic flora, psyllium fibre ingestion may elicit gaseous symptoms by promoting gas retention.

http://gut.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/abstract/53/11/1577

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Higher Fiber Shown To Reduce Estrogen Levels new
      #136196 - 01/07/05 05:00 PM
HeatherAdministrator

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
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Higher Fiber Shown To Reduce Estrogen Levels

October 19, 2004

An international team has demonstrated that women with a higher intake of dietary fiber have lower circulating estrogen levels, a factor associated with lower risk of breast cancer. They say their findings, which offer direct evidence of the association between fiber and the hormone, could lead to a dietary strategy for lowering a woman's risk of breast cancer.

Breast cancer rates have risen in recent decades to become the most common cancer among women in the European Union and US. Britain has one of the highest breast cancer death rates in the world, according to Breast Cancer Research, with one woman in nine developing the disease during her lifetime.

There have already been several studies investigating the relationship between dietary fiber and breast cancer but researchers have not been able to show a true and unequivocal cause-and-effect relationship between fiber and breast cancer risk.

In a new study, researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, and the University of Helsinki in Finland examined blood estrogen levels in around 250 Mexican-American women, an ethnic group in which dietary fiber intake is higher on average than in most other populations.

"Latinas enrolled in the Multiethnic Cohort Study have lower breast cancer rates than any major racial/ethnic group in the US. Even after adjusting for known risk factors, their incidence rate is still 20 percent less than white women, who have been the focus of the majority of earlier research and whose dietary fiber intake is generally not that high," explained the study first author Kristine Monroe, a postdoctoral fellow in the Keck School's department of Preventive Medicine.

Dietary fiber intake was quantified by a food frequency questionnaire administered at the time of the blood draw and by using biomarkers of dietary fiber intake found in the blood samples.

Speaking yesterday at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) conference, 'Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research', the researchers said they found the two female hormones estrone and estradiol dropped sharply as dietary fiber intake increased.

In addition, as dietary fat intake increased in the women studied, so did the hormone levels. "However, when dietary fiber and fat are both included in the statistical model, only dietary fiber remains a significant predictor of hormone levels," said Monroe.

The next step is to see if a higher intake of dietary fiber in these women leads to a lower incidence of breast cancer, she added. "This study provides clear evidence of an association between dietary fiber intake and circulating hormone levels in postmenopausal Latina women and potentially provides a dietary means for lowering a woman's risk of breast cancer," concluded the researchers.

Earlier this year a Swedish team reported that postmenopausal women in the highest quintile of fiber intake had a 40 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest. Combining high fiber with a low fat diet reduced the risk even further.

http://www.nowfoods.com/?action=itemdetail&item_id=42322&TPL_NAME=printview.tpl&CSPID=b1bea10afacfa3231fb97d01d0ebe123

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Dietary Fiber and GERD new
      #141612 - 01/23/05 04:51 PM
HeatherAdministrator

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
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Gut. 2005 Jan;54(1):11-7.

Dietary intake and the risk of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: a cross sectional study in volunteers.

El-Serag HB, Satia JA, Rabeneck L.

Section of Gastroenterology and Health Services Research, The Houston Veterans Affairs Medical Center (152), 2002 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA. hasheme@bcm.tmc.edu

BACKGROUND: Although diet has been associated with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), the role of dietary components (total energy, macro and micronutrients) is unknown. We examined associations of GORD symptoms with intakes of specific dietary components.

METHODS: We conducted a cross sectional study in a sample of employees (non-patients) at the Houston VAMC. The Gastro Esophageal Reflux Questionnaire was used to identify the onset, frequency, and severity of GORD symptoms. Dietary intake (usual frequency of consumption of various foods and portion sizes) over the preceding year was assessed using the Block 98 food frequency questionnaire. Upper endoscopy was offered to all participants and oesophageal erosions recorded according to the LA classification. We compared the dietary intake (macronutrients, micronutrients, food groups) of participants with or without GORD symptoms, or erosive oesophagitis. Stepwise multiple logistic regression analyses were used to examine associations between nutrients and GORD symptoms or oesophageal erosions, adjusting for demographic characteristics, body mass index (BMI), and total energy intake.

RESULTS: A total of 371 of 915 respondents (41%) had complete and interpretable answers to both heartburn and regurgitation questions and met validity criteria for the Block 98 FFQ. Mean age was 43 years, 260 (70%) were women, and 103 (28%) reported at least weekly occurrences of heartburn or regurgitation. Of the 164 respondents on whom endoscopies were performed, erosive oesophagitis was detected in 40 (24%). Compared to participants without GORD symptoms, daily intakes of total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, percentage of energy from dietary fat, and average fat servings were significantly higher in participants with GORD symptoms. In addition, there was a dose-response relationship between GORD and saturated fat and cholesterol. The effect of dietary fat became non-significant when adjusted for BMI. However, high saturated fat, cholesterol, or fat servings were associated with GORD symptoms only in participants with a BMI >25 kg/m2 (effect modification). Fibre intake remained inversely associated with the risk of GORD symptoms in adjusted full models. Participants with erosive oesophagitis had significantly higher daily intakes of total fat and protein than those without it (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: In this cross sectional study, high dietary fat intake was associated with an increased risk of GORD symptoms and erosive oesophagitis while high fibre intake correlated with a reduced risk of GORD symptoms. It is unclear if the effects of dietary fat are independent of obesity.

PMID: 15591498 [PubMed - in process]

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http://www.docguide.com/news/content.nsf/PaperFrameSet?OpenForm&newsid=8525697700573E1885256F6B003CD917&topabstract=1&u=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15591498

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Red Meat Consumption Linked to Colorectal Cancer new
      #141620 - 01/23/05 05:12 PM
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Reged: 12/09/02
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Red Meat Consumption Linked to Colorectal Cancer


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jan 11 - Long-term high consumption of red and processed meat may increase the risk of cancer in the distal colon and rectum, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association for January 12th. However, the results of a second report in the same issue found that increased vegetable and fruit intake did not reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Dr. Michael J. Thun, with the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues followed a cohort of 148,610 adults, median age 63 years, who completed questionnaires in 1982 and again between 1992 and 1993 regarding their diet, exercise, medical history and other lifestyle habits. There was a 10-fold difference between lowest and highest quintiles of red meat in men, and a 17-fold difference in women.

By 2001, there were 1667 incident cases of colorectal cancer.

Only when long-term consumption at both time points was considered was there a significantly increased multivariate-adjusted risk associated with the highest tertiles of consumption of processed meats (rate ratio 1.50) and ratio of red meat to poultry and fish (rate ratio 1.53) compared with the lowest tertiles.

Prolonged high consumption of poultry and fish was marginally associated with lower risk of colon cancer (rate ratio 0.70-0.77), but not rectal cancer.

In the second study by Dr. Petra H. M. Peeters, at University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands and colleagues, approximately 285,000 women ages 25 to 70 from eight European countries were followed for a median of 5.4 years. The subjects, participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, had completed dietary questionnaires.

During follow-up in 2002, there were 3659 incident cases of invasive breast cancer.

Even though the mean intake of total fruits and vegetables in the upper quintiles was 2- to 3-times higher than that in the lowest quintile, the authors observed no significant associations between intake and breast cancer risk.

Dr. Peeters' group found no evidence for inverse associations between intake of vegetable subtypes and breast cancer risk.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Walter C. Willett, at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, comments that, despite the negative results for breast cancer risk, "reductions in blood pressure and epidemiological evidence for lower risks of cardiovascular disease provide sufficient reason to consume" fruits and vegetables in abundance.

Regarding the association between meat consumption and colorectal cancer, he adds, "prudence would suggest that red meat, and processed meats in particular, should be eaten sparingly to minimize risk."

JAMA 2005;293:172-193,233-234.

Reuters Health Information 2005. 2005 Reuters Ltd.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/497314?src=mp

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Grapefruit Juice Can Interact With Medicines new
      #147278 - 02/06/05 02:41 PM
HeatherAdministrator

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Grapefruit Juice Can Interact With Medicines

Grapefruit juice has been touted as containing many compounds that can reduce hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and even the risk of cancer. A nutraceutical is a food or part of a food that allegedly provides medicinal or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease. Grapefruit juice can, therefore, be justifiably referred to as a classic nutraceutical. However, for many persons taking certain medications, grapefruit juice might actually better be termed a "nutrapollutical!"

It turns out that grapefruit juice can directly or indirectly interact in important ways with a number of medications. This is especially significant since grapefruit juice is consumed by approximately one fifth of Americans for breakfast - a time when medications are also commonly taken.

Grapefruit juice inhibits a special enzyme in the intestines that is responsible for the natural breakdown and absorption of many medications. When the action of this enzyme is blocked, the blood levels of these medications increase, which can lead to toxic side effects from the medications.

Amazingly, this remarkable food-drug interaction was discovered completely by accident! Researchers were investigating the relationship of certain drugs to alcohol and used a solution of alcohol with grapefruit juice to mask the taste of alcohol for the study. Subsequently, it was found that the grapefruit juice itself was actually increasing the amount of the study drug in the body.

Grapefruit juice research has suggested that flavonoids and/or furanocoumarin compounds are the substances that act to block the enzyme in the intestines that normally metabolizes many drugs.

The grapefruit juice-drug interaction can lead to unpredictable and hazardous levels of certain important drugs.

These are medications with which grapefruit juice should NOT be consumed unless advised by a doctor:

Statins (Cholesterol Drugs): Mevacor (Lovastatin), Lipitor (Atorvastatin), Zocor (Simvastatin)

Antihistamines: Ebastine, Seldane (Terfenadine, taken off the U.S. market)

Calcium Channel Blockers (Blood Pressure Drugs): Nimotop (Nimodipine), Nitrendipine, Plendil (Felodipine), Pranidipine, Sular (Nisoldipine)

Psychiatric Medications: Buspar (Buspirone), Halcion (Triazolam), Tegretol (Carbamazepine), Valium (Diazepam), Versed (Midazolam)

Intestinal Medications: Propulsid (Cisapride, taken off the U.S. market)

Immune Suppressants: Neoral (Cyclosporine), Prograf (Tacrolimus)

Pain Medications: Methadone

Impotence Drug: Viagra (Sildenafil)

Toxic blood levels of these medications can occur when patients taking them consume grapefruit juice. The high blood levels of the medications can cause damage to organs or impair their normal function, which can be dangerous. If you or a family member are taking any of these medications, beware of the "nutrapollutical" - grapefruit juice.

Source: Mayo Clin Proc. 2000;75:933-942.

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=14760


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Fats and visceral sensitivity In IBS patients new
      #157033 - 03/04/05 11:50 AM
HeatherAdministrator

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7795
Loc: Seattle, WA

The American Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 100 Issue 2 Page 383 - February 2005
doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.40100.x


Visceral Sensitivity and Symptoms in Patients with Constipation- or Diarrhea-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Effect of a Low-Fat Intraduodenal Infusion

Maria Pia Caldarella, M.D.1, Angelo Milano, M.D.1, Francesco Laterza, M.D.1, Flora Sacco, M.D.1, Crysanthi Balatsinou, M.D.1, Domenico Lapenna, M.D.1, Sante Donato Pierdomenico, M.D.1, Franco Cuccurullo, M.D.1, and Matteo Neri, M.D.1

BACKGROUND: Visceral hypersensitivity is common in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients, and symptoms exacerbate postprandially (after eating). Yet the effects of nutrients on visceral sensitivity and symptoms in these patients have not been fully explored.

AIMS: To evaluate the differences of visceral sensitivity and symptoms in healthy subjects and IBS patients during fasting and intraduodenal lipids (fats) infusion.

METHODS: Graded rectal distensions at fixed tension levels were performed in 16 IBS patients (8 IBS-C and 8 IBS-D) and 6 healthy subjects before and during intraduodenal lipids infusion at 0.5 kcal/min. Tension levels were increased in 4 gr increments up to 64 gr or discomfort during both conditions. At each step, perception and symptoms were measured by means of a validated questionnaire.

RESULTS: In basal conditions, perception thresholds in IBS patients and health were, respectively, 8 2 gr versus 32 9 gr (p< 0.001) with no changes during lipids. Intraduodenal lipids infusion significantly lowered threshold of discomfort in IBS patients in comparison to fasting (24 6 gr vs 34 4 gr; p< 0.05), while health tolerated all distension without discomfort. No differences of compliance, perception, or discomfort were observed between the two subgroups of patients at each tension step. The predominant symptom elicited in patients with IBS-C was abdominal pain (54%), while patients with IBS-D exhibited urgency (63%, p< 0.005); this pattern was maintained during lipids.

CONCLUSIONS: Intraduodenal lipids increase visceral sensitivity in both IBS-C and IBS-D; symptoms specificity in response to rectal distension is maintained in the postprandial period. Lipids may be responsible for the postprandial symptoms exacerbation in IBS.


http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.40100.x/abs/

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Fructose intolerance in IBS could lead to fructose-free products
      #168760 - 04/10/05 06:45 PM
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Reged: 12/09/02
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Food makers could one day face demand for fructose-free products as two new studies link the sugar found in fruits to a role in gastrointestinal disorders.

Research to be presented today at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology looks at the role that diet plays in gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and dyspepsia.
The preliminary findings suggest that both fructose, the simple sugar found in honey and many fruits, and fat contribute to symptoms of IBS. IBS is characterized by abdominal discomfort, bloating, and change in bowel habits (constipation and/or diarrhoea).

Although lactose intolerance is well-known, fructose intolerance is just beginning to be recognised. Dr Young K. Choi and colleagues from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics found previously that one-third to one-half of patients with IBS symptoms are fructose intolerant.

"A fructose-restricted diet significantly improved symptoms in patients with IBS and fructose intolerance," said Dr Choi. "Fructose intolerance is yet another piece of the IBS puzzle, whose treatment -- when adhered to -- confers significant benefits."

The University of Iowa researchers tested 80 patients with suspected IBS and found that 30 were fructose intolerant. Patients were taught about eliminating fructose from their diet, and after one year, 26 were interviewed to assess their symptoms. Only one-half of the patients complied with the fructose-restricted diet.

For those who were compliant, symptoms (such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhoea) declined significantly from their reported symptoms before the diet modification. Also, the prevalence of IBS in this group declined, said the researchers. For the group that did not comply with the diet modification, bowel symptoms stayed the same over the study period.

In the second study, Dr Yuri A. Saito and colleagues of the dof Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic and Foundation carried out a population-based study on 221 participants aged 20 to 50 years old. 53 cases and 58 controls were asked to record their diet for one week.

Dr Saito and colleagues found that those with IBS or dyspepsia reported consuming a significantly higher proportion of fat in their diet (33.0 per cent for those with GI disorders, 30.7 per cent for controls). No significant differences were found for protein, fibre, iron, calcium, niacin, or vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D, or E.

"Future studies are needed to determine whether fat intake causes gastrointestinal symptoms," said Dr Saito. Further studies are also needed to confirm the results of the first, smaller study.

http://www.nutraingredients.com/news/ng.asp?id=38799

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