Research Briefs for Practitioners – August 2023 - Dr. Michael Ruscio, DC

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Future of Functional Health Review Clinical Newsletter

Research Briefs for Practitioners – August 2023

by the Ruscio Institute for Functional Health Clinical Team

Medically reviewed & fact checked by a
board-certified doctor
Medically reviewed & fact checked by a
board-certified doctor
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Episodes 109 & 110

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Randomized controlled trials reporting the effects of probiotics in individuals with overweight and obesity: A critical review of the interventions and body adiposity parameters

  • Do probiotics improve weight loss?
  • Systematic review: 33 RCTs on obese participants, randomized to: 
    • Control
    • Probiotics
  • 80% of studies found probiotics improved weight loss
  • Probiotics were most effective for weight loss when: 
    • Given for ≥3 months
    • ≥10 billion CFU/day


Effects of probiotic/synbiotic supplementation on body weight in patients with diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analyses of randomized-controlled trials

  • Do probiotics help diabetic patients lose weight?
  • Meta-analysis: 27 RCTs, 1,787 type 2 diabetic and pre-diabetic patients assigned to:
    • Placebo
    • Probiotics 
      • Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces
    • Synbiotics 
  • Compared to placebo, probiotics or synbiotics led to:
    • Weight loss (-1.1 lbs)
  • Note: Probiotics were most effective for weight loss if:
    • Dose >1 billion CFU/day 
    • Treatment duration ≥3 months


Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of the effects of probiotics in Parkinson’s disease

  • Can probiotics help patients with Parkinson’s disease?
  • Meta-analysis: 9 RCTs, 663 Parkinson’s patients assigned to:
    • Control
    • Probiotics
  • Compared to control, probiotics led to improvements in:
    • Constipation (medium effect size) 
    • Glutathione levels (medium effect size) 
    • Anxiety (small effect size) 
    • Depression (small effect size) 
    • Motor symptoms (small effect size)
    • Need for laxatives (small effect size)


Probiotics in IBS: A Treatment Boon or a Pill Bulk: RCT-based Analysis

  • Do probiotics improve IBS symptoms?
  • RCT: 72 IBS patients, randomized to:
    • Placebo
    • Probiotics
      • Lactobacillus, bifidobacterium and streptococcus 
  • Compared to placebo, probiotics led to: 
    • Symptom improvement in 78%
    • Significant relief of symptoms (50% probiotics vs 25% placebo
  • Most improvement was seen in those with IBS-D 


The clinical effect of probiotics on patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a meta-analysis

  • Do probiotics improve fatty liver disease?
  • Meta-analysis: 18 RCTs, patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, randomized to: 
    • Control  
    • Probiotics
      • Varied by study, included lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, enterococcus or streptococcus 
  • Compared to control, treatment with probiotics for ≥ 3 months led to improvements in: 
    • ALT (-20.3 IU/L)
    • AST (-22.4 IU/L)
    • GGT (-13.7 IU/L)
    • Triglycerides (-22 mg/dl) 


Lactobacillus Probiotics Improve Vaginal Dysbiosis in Asymptomatic Women

  • Can probiotics reduce vaginal dysbiosis?
  • Clinical trial: 10 asymptomatic women with vaginal dysbiosis, treated with:
    • Oral probiotics
      • Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. rhamnosus,  L. reuteri 
  • After 6 weeks, probiotics led to: 
    • Improved vaginal dysbiosis in 60%


Heat-killed Lacticaseibacillus paracasei GMNL-653 ameliorates human scalp health by regulating scalp microbiome

  • Do topical probiotics increase hair growth?
  • Clinical trial: 22 participants, treated with: 
    • Control shampoo
    • Probiotic shampoo
      • Heat killed lactobacillus paracasei GMNL-653
  • After 5 months, topical probiotics led to:
    • Increased hair growth
    • Reduced dandruff
    • Reduced dysbiotic bacteria on scalp
      • Staph epidermidis, cutibacterium acnes

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Exercise habits that include exercise partners and irritable bowel syndrome in a young Japanese population: a cross-sectional study

  • Is exercise associated with lower risk of IBS? 
  • Observational study: 8,923 young adults, all assessed for: 
    • Level of exercise
    • IBS symptoms  
  • Exercise was associated with lower risk of IBS, specifically: 
    • Moderate frequency (-35%)
    • Moderate intensity (-24%)
    • High intensity (-38%) 
    • Group exercise (-47%)


Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowths and Intestinal Methanogen Overgrowths Breath Testing in a Real-Life French Cohort

  • What is the prevalence of SIBO/IMO in patients with GI symptoms? 
  • Observational study: 331 symptomatic patients
    • All tested with lactulose breath test
  • A total of 68% tested positive for SIBO/IMO
    • H2 dominant (40.3%) 
    • CH4 dominant (47.3%) 
    • CH4/H2 positive (12.4%) 
  • Severity of symptoms did NOT correlate with level of CH4 or H2 gas measured 


Prevalence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Correlating H2 or CH4 production with severity of IBS

  • What is the prevalence of SIBO in those with IBS? 
  • Observational study: 247 IBS patients
    • All tested with glucose breath test
  • A total of 36.4% of IBS patients were diagnosed with SIBO
  • Gas types correlated with specific symptoms, including:
    • Diarrhea in H2 SIBO
    • Constipation in CH4 SIBO 
  • A positive SIBO breath test did NOT correlate with greater IBS symptom severity
  • Note: This study did not use the North American Consensus guidelines for diagnosing H2 SIBO.


Predictors of impaired functioning among long COVID patients

  • Do gastrointestinal symptoms predict long COVID severity?
  • Observational study: 299 long COVID patients
  • More severe GI symptoms after initial COVID-19 infection correlated with:
    • More severe long COVID symptoms 
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome


Gastrointestinal-Specific symptom anxiety in patients with gastroparesis: Relationships to symptom severity and quality of life

  • Does anxiety worsen gastrointestinal symptoms?
  • Observational study: 100 patients with gastroparesis
  • Higher GI-specific anxiety was associated with more severe:
    • Nausea/vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Early satiety


Celiac disease seroprevalence in patients with infertility. A case-control study

  • How common are celiac disease antibodies in patients with infertility?
  • Observational study: 171 infertility patients and 171 controls
  • Compared to controls, patients with infertility had:
    • Higher rate of celiac disease antibodies (4.6% vs 0.5%)


The effect of melatonin on irritable bowel syndrome patients with and without sleep disorders: a randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled trial study

  • Is melatonin helpful for IBS?
    • RCT: 136 IBS patients +/- sleep disorders, randomized to:
      • Placebo
      • Melatonin
        • 6 mg/day
  • After 2 months, compared to placebo, melatonin led to improvements in:
    • Abdominal pain
    • Bloating
    • Stool consistency
    • Quality of life


Fungal dysbiosis facilitates inflammatory bowel disease by enhancing CD4+ T cell glutaminolysis

  • Is fungal dysbiosis associated with inflammatory bowel disease?
  • Observational study: 40 IBD patients and healthy controls underwent:
    • Stool sample assessment (DNA)
  • Compared to healthy controls, patients with IBD had:
    • Higher levels of stool fungus
    • … especially in those with active IBD
  • Note: The type of fungus was not reported in the study. 


Changes in the gut mycobiome in pediatric patients in relation to the clinical activity of Crohn’s disease

  • Do IBD patients have candida overgrowth?
  • Observational study: 105 children with Crohn’s disease, 40 healthy controls, all underwent:
    • Stool sample assessment (PCR)
  • Compared to healthy controls, Crohn’s patients had:
    • Higher levels of candida
    • Lower levels of saccharomyces
  • In patients with CD, we have documented an increased load of fungi with potential pro-inflammatory effects (e.g., Candida spp., Malassezia spp.), while fungi with potential anti-inflammatory effects (such as Saccharomyces) were found in a lower percentage.”

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Thyroid & Hormones

Effect of Humulus lupulus L. (Hop) on Postmenopausal Sexual Dysfunction: A Randomized Clinical Trial

  • Does a natural herb improve postmenopausal sexual dysfunction? 
  • RCT: 63 postmenopausal women, randomized to:
    • Vaginal estradiol 
    • Vaginal hops (Humulus lupulus
  • Either treatment led to similar improvements in: 
    • Sexual desire
    • Arousal
    • Vaginal dryness 


Dietary advanced glycation end-products and postmenopausal hot flashes: A post-hoc analysis of a 12-week randomized clinical trial

  • Does improving dietary quality reduce hot flashes?
    • RCT: 63 postmenopausal women, randomized to: 
      • Control
      • Plant-based diet 
  • Dietary advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) were measured in both groups 
  • A reduction in dietary AGEs in the plant-based group was associated with: 
    • 90% reduction in hot flashes
    • … independent of changes in calorie intake or weight loss


Association of Serum Ferritin, Folate, Vitamin B12 with Thyroid Hormone Levels in Patients with Thyroid Disorders

  • Do hypothyroid patients have a higher prevalence of anemia?
  • Observational study: 144 hypothyroid patients
    • Complete blood count (CBC) performed on all patients
  • 71% of hypothyroid patients had anemia


A Study on Vitamin B12 Levels in Hypothyroid Patients Presenting to a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital

  • Do hypothyroid patients have lower B12 levels? 
  • Observational study: 100 hypothyroid patients, all assessed for B12 deficiency
    • B12 deficiency defined as <160 pg/ml
  • B12 deficiency was found in: 
    • 68% of hypothyroid patients
    • 78% with anti-thyroglobulin antibody
    • 79% with anti-TPO antibodies


A Prospective Study to Evaluate the Possible Role of Cholecalciferol Supplementation on Autoimmunity in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

  • Does vitamin D improve autoimmune thyroid disease? 
  • Prospective study: 100 patients with hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Vitamin D deficiency, treated with either: 
    • Placebo 
    • Vitamin D 
      • 60,000 IU/week
  • After 2 months, compared to placebo, vitamin D supplementation led to: 
    • Reduced TPO-antibodies (-167 vitamin D vs -114 IU/mL placebo


Seasonal Variation in Thyroid Function in Over 7,000 Healthy Subjects in an Iodine-sufficient Area and Literature Review 

  • Does TSH vary by time of the year?
  • Observational study: 7,256 participants, all had thyroid levels tested
  • TSH levels significantly varied by time of year:
    • Highest in January (average 1.61 mIU/L)
    • Lowest in May (average 1.16 mIU/L)
  • “The present study demonstrated seasonal changes in the serum TSH levels, with high levels in winter… seasonal variation in thyroid function should be taken into account to precisely evaluate thyroid function in clinical practice.”

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Diet & Lifestyle

Dietary collagen peptides alleviate exercise-induced muscle soreness in healthy middle-aged males: a randomized double-blinded crossover clinical trial

  • Does collagen supplementation reduce muscle soreness after exercise?
  • RCT: 18 sedentary individuals, randomized to: 
    • Placebo
    • Collagen peptides, 10 grams/day
  • After 1 month, compared to placebo, the collagen group experienced:
    • Less muscle soreness 
    • Less post-exercise fatigue 
    • Increased muscle strength 


Optimal dose and type of exercise to reduce pain, anxiety and increase quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia. A systematic review with meta-analysis

  • Does exercise improve symptoms of fibromyalgia?
  • 68 RCTs, 5,474 participants, randomized to:
    • Control
    • Exercise
      • Varied by study, included aerobic, strength, flexibility, Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates
  • Compared to other therapies, exercise led to improvements in:
    • Pain (moderate effect)
    • Impact of fibromyalgia on daily life (moderate effect
    • Anxiety (small effect) 
  • The most effective prescription of exercise to improve fibromyalgia was:
    • 3 sessions per week (large effect) 
    • 2-3 months of exercise (large effect)
    • 1-1.5 hour sessions (large effect) 


Effects of caffeine chewing gum supplementation on exercise performance: A systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Does caffeine chewing gum improve exercise performance?
  • Meta-analysis: 14 studies, 200 participants assigned to:
    • Placebo
    • Caffeine chewing gum
  • Compared to placebo, caffeine chewing gum led to improvements in:
    • Endurance (small effect size)
    • Strength/power (small effect size)
  • Protocol: Caffeine chewing gum was most effective if:
    • Taken 15 min prior to exercise
    • At a dose of ≥3 mg/kg body mass


Effects of mindfulness meditation and Acceptance and commitment therapy in patients with obstructive sleep apnea with residual excessive sleepiness: A randomized controlled pilot study

  • Can mindfulness or psychotherapy improve sleep apnea symptoms?
  • RCT: 16 patients with obstructive sleep apnea randomized to:
    • Mindfulness-based stress reduction
    • Psychotherapy
      • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • After 2 months, mindfulness and psychotherapy led to improvements in:
    • Daytime sleepiness (large effect size)
    • Insomnia symptoms (large effect size)
  • Note: This corroborates a recent meta-analysis that found cognitive behavioral therapy can improve insomnia in those with sleep apnea. 


Comparative Effectiveness of Digital Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs Medication Therapy Among Patients With Insomnia

  • Is cognitive behavioral therapy more effective than medication for insomnia?
  • Observational study: 4,052 insomnia patients were treated with either: 
    • Digital CBT-I (dCBT-I)
    • Medication
    • dCBT-I + medication  
  • Compared to medication alone, insomnia was most improved with: ‘
    • dCBT-I (moderate effect) 
    • cCBT-I + medication (moderate effect) 
  • “In this study, clinical evidence suggested that combination therapy was optimal, and dCBT-I was more effective than medication therapy, with long-term benefits for insomnia.” 


Effect of intermittent fasting on circulating inflammatory markers in obesity: A review of human trials

  • Does intermittent fasting reduce inflammation?
  • Systematic review: 11 RCTs, overweight or obese subjects randomized to:
    • Control
    • Intermittent fasting
      • Alternate day fasting or time-restricted feeding
  • Compared to control, intermittent fasting did not decrease:
    • Inflammatory markers
      • CRP, TNF-alpha, and IL-6


Pilot study of single-dose psilocybin for serotonin reuptake inhibitor-resistant body dysmorphic disorder

  • Can psilocybin improve body dysmorphia? 
  • Clinical trial: 12 adults with treatment-resistant body dysmorphic disorder, treated with:
    • Single-dose psilocybin (25 mg) + psychotherapy 
  • After a 3 month follow up, participants experienced improved: 
    • Body dysmorphia (large effect)
    • Mood & emotional wellbeing 
  • No serious adverse events occurred 


Relationship between physical activity and individual mental health after traumatic events: a systematic review

  • Does physical activity help with recovery from traumatic events?
  • Systematic review: 33 studies involving participants who experienced traumatic events, classified as:
    • Control group
      • No physical activity
    • Physical activity group
      • Strength training, aerobic, flexibility, balance, walking 
  • Physical activity was associated with:
    • Increased
      • Mental resilience
      • Well-being after traumatic events
      • Sleep quality
      • Quality of life
    • Decreased
      • Depression
      • Anxiety
      • Tension
      • PTSD


Catastrophizing and rumination mediate the link between functional disabilities and anxiety/depression in fibromyalgia. A double-mediation model

  • Does negative thinking lead to more severe fibromyalgia?
  • Observational study: 82 fibromyalgia patients
  • Repetitive negative thinking was associated with more severe:
    • Pain
    • Anxiety
    • Depression

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Episodes 111 & 112

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Assessment of a Multispecies Probiotic Supplement for Relief of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial

  • Do probiotics improve seasonal allergy symptoms?
  • RCT: 142 participants with seasonal allergies, randomized to: 
    • Placebo
    • Probiotic 
      • Lacto/bifido blend, 8 billion CFU/day
  • After 2 months, compared to placebo, probiotic group experienced: 
    • NO difference in improved allergy symptoms 


A systematic review and meta-analysis: the therapeutic and preventive effect of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17,938 addition in children with diarrhea

  • Should probiotics be used to treat and prevent diarrhea in kids? 
  • Meta-analysis: 9 RCTs, 963 kids, randomized to:
    • Placebo
    • Probiotics
      • Lactobacillus reuteri, 100 million to 1 billion
  • Compared to placebo, probiotics led to:
    • Reduced days with diarrhea
    • Less severe diarrhea
    • NO effect on preventing diarrhea
    • NO effect on antibiotic associated diarrhea


Impact of Saccharomyces boulardii on jaundice in premature infants undergoing phototherapy

  • Can probiotics improve jaundice in premature babies?
  • RCT: 100 premature infants with jaundice, randomized to:
    • Phototherapy alone
    • Phototherapy + Saccharomyces boulardii
      • ≥1.3 billion CFU per day
  • After 2 weeks, compared to control, the addition of probiotics led to:
    • Quicker resolution of jaundice (-7 days)
    • Shorter duration of phototherapy needed (-56 hours)
    • Improved stool frequency and form


Effect of Early Infant Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG Supplementation in Preventing Viral Respiratory Illness

  • Do probiotics prevent viral illness in infants?
  • Observational study: 184 infants randomized to:
    • Control
    • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
      • Given during first 6 months of life
  • After 2 years, compared to control, probiotics did not reduce:
    • Viral illnesses frequency
    • Severity of viral symptoms


Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis as adjunct to non-surgical periodontal treatment in periodontitis: a randomized controlled clinical trial

  • Do probiotics improve dental health?
  • RCT: 32 patients with periodontitis were randomized to:
    • Yogurt
    • Yogurt + probiotics
      • Bifidobacterium animalis
  • After 1 month, the addition of probiotics led to improvements in:
    • Plaque
    • Gum inflammation
    • Gum bleeding


Effect of the probiotic strain, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum P9, on chronic constipation: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

  • Do probiotics improve chronic constipation?
  • RCT: 163 patients with chronic constipation randomized to:
    • Placebo
    • Lactiplantibacillus plantarum P9 
      • 100 billion CFU/day
  • After 6 weeks, compared to placebo, probiotics led to:
    • Improved bowel movement frequency
    • Less concerns related to constipation


Efficacy and safety of bifidobacterium quadruple viable tablets in the treatment of Helicobacter pylori-infected peptic ulcer or gastritis patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Do probiotics improve the efficacy of standard therapy for H. pylori?
  • Meta-analysis: 17 studies involving H. pylori-infected patients with gastritis or ulcers, treated with: 
    • Standard quadruple therapy
    • Standard therapy + probiotics
      • Lacto/bifido, enterococcus and soil-based blend
  • Compared to standard H. pylori treatment, the addition of probiotics led to:
    • 3.7x greater H. pylori eradication rate
    • Less abdominal pain
    • Less acid reflux 
    • Fewer medication side effects
      • Loss of appetite, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation


Probiotics fortify intestinal barrier function: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials

  • Do probiotics improve leaky gut?
  • Meta-analysis: 26 RCTs, 1,891 participants randomized to:
    • Control
      • Placebo, standard treatment, parenteral nutrition
    • Probiotics
      • Type varied, mostly lacto/bifido blends
  • Compared to control, probiotic supplementation led to improved:
    • Leaky gut markers
      • Serum zonulin, LPS, endotoxin
    • Inflammatory markers
      • CRP, TNF-α, IL-6
    • Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium levels


The impact of multistrains of probiotics on Th17-related cytokines in patients with asthma: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

  • Do probiotics improve asthma?
  • RCT: 40 asthma patients randomized to:
    • Placebo
    • Probiotic
      • Unspecified multi-strain probiotic
  • After 2 months, compared to placebo, probiotic supplementation improved:
    • Lung function
    • Asthma symptoms
    • Inflammation markers
      • IL-6, IL-17, IL-21 and TGF-β


Orally Ingested Probiotic, Prebiotic, and Synbiotic Interventions as Countermeasures for Gastrointestinal Tract Infections in Nonelderly Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

  • Do probiotics prevent GI infections?
  • Meta-analysis: 20 RCTs, 6,994 adults randomized to:
    • Placebo
    • Probiotics
      • Single and multi-strain Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, Streptococcus
    • Prebiotics
      • FOS, GOS
  • Compared to placebo, probiotics and prebiotics led to:
    • Reduced risk of GI infections
    • No effect on duration or severity of GI infections

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Impact of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth on Symptoms and Quality of Life in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • How does the coexistence of SIBO impact IBS? 
  • Observational study: 86 IBS patients
  • In those with IBS, the presence of SIBO was associated with: 
    • Higher likelihood of IBS-D
    • More severe IBS 
    • Worse quality of life 


Effects of inulin supplementation on inflammatory biomarkers and clinical symptoms of women with obesity and depression on a calorie-restricted diet: a randomised controlled clinical trial

  • Do PREbiotics improve depression and leaky gut?
  • RCT: 45 women with obesity and major depression randomized to:
    • Placebo
    • Inulin
      • 10 grams per day 
  • Compared to placebo, prebiotic supplementation did NOT improve:
    • Leaky gut markers
    • Depression


Maintenance Proton Pump Inhibitor Use Associated with Increased All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in Sweden

  • Do acid-suppressing medications increase the risk of dying from all causes?
  • Observational study: 935,236 participants with a history of either:
    • No heartburn drug use
    • Long-term drug use (≥ 6 months)
      • Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) or histamine-2 receptors blockers (H2 blocker)
  • Those taking acid-suppressing medications had:
    • Increased all-cause mortality
      • 35% increase with PPI
      • 31% increase with H2 blockers
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Diet & Lifestyle

The use of esketamine in the treatment of patients with severe depression and suicidal ideation: systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Does ketamine therapy improve severe depression?
  • Meta-analysis: 524 patients with major depression and suicidal ideation, randomized to:
    • Placebo + medication 
    • Intranasal ketamine, 84 mg, twice/week + medication
  • Compared to placebo, ketamine nasal sprays led to: 
    • 18% response rate within 24 hours of first dose
      • Response rate = >50% reduction in depression score
    • No difference in response rate at 25 day follow up
    • No difference in adverse events  
  • “Therefore, it is concluded that patients with major depression and suicidal ideation benefit from the use of esketamine 84 mg, nasal spray 1 puff 3 times, with an interval of 5 min, twice a week for 4 weeks, associated with antidepressants, in follow-up for up to 25 days.”


Rapid neuroplasticity changes and response to intravenous ketamine: a randomized controlled trial in treatment-resistant depression

  • What is the possible mechanism by which ketamine improves depression?
  • RCT: 98 patients with treatment-resistant depression, randomized to: 
    • Placebo
    • Intravenous Ketamine
  • Ketamine led to greater improvements in depression, which was associated with: 
    • Increased neuroplasticity based on neuroimaging


Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Psoriasis Severity in Patients With Lower-Range Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels: A Randomized Clinical Trial

  • Does vitamin D supplementation improve psoriasis?
  • RCT: 120 psoriasis patients with vitamin D deficiency, randomized to: 
    • Placebo
    • Vitamin D
      • 100,000 IU loading dose, followed by 20,000 IU/week 
  • After 4 months, compared to placebo, vitamin D led to:
    • NO difference in psoriasis 
  • Note: Vitamin D levels in the treatment group were ~30 ng/mL by the end of the study. 


Impact of Berberine or Berberine Combination Products on Lipoprotein, Triglyceride and Biological Safety Marker Concentrations in Patients with Hyperlipidemia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

  • What effect does berberine have on cardiometabolic health?
  • Meta-analysis: 41 RCTs, 4,838 patients with hyperlipidemia, randomized to: 
    • Control
      • Berberine 
    • Alone or with other nutriceuticals, including red yeast rice or milk thistle
  • Compared to control, berberine led to significant improvements in:
    • Total cholesterol (-17 mg/dl)
    • LDL-C (-15 mg/dl) 
    • Triglycerides (-19 mg/dl) 
    • HDL-C (+2 mg/dl) 
  • Berberine with milk thistle led to the greatest reduction in: 
    • Total cholesterol (-32 mg/dl
    • LDL-C (-31 mg/dl


Dietary intake of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans, adiposity and obesity status

  • Do endocrine disrupting chemicals from the diet promote obesity?
  • Observational study: 5,899 overweight participants were evaluated for:
    • Dietary exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals
  • Higher dietary endocrine disrupting chemicals was associated with greater: 
    • Prevalence of obesity
    • Waist circumference  
    • BMI
  • Food groups highest in endocrine disruptors were:
    • Red meat  
    • Fish and seafood 
    • Fruits and vegetables 
    • White meat 
    • Oils and fatS


Is antenatal or early-life vitamin D associated with eczema or food allergy in childhood? A systematic review

  • Can vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy prevent food allergies and eczema?
  • Meta-analysis: 4 RCTs involving pregnant mothers taking vitamin D
  • Compared to control, taking vitamin D during pregnancy did not improve:
    • Incidence of eczema
    • Incidence of food allergy


Effect of respiratory muscle training in asthma: A systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Can breathing exercises improve asthma?
  • Meta-analysis: 11 RCTs, 270 participants with asthma randomized to:
    • Control
      • Sham, usual care, no intervention
    • Respiratory muscle training
      • Devices to strengthen muscles involved in inspiration 
  • Compared to control, training muscles of inspiration led to reduced:
    • Asthma symptoms
    • Need for asthma medication
  • Protocol: Inspiratory muscle training for >6 weeks was most effective


Association of food allergy in children with vitamin D insufficiency: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Are low vitamin D levels associated with food allergies in children?
  • Meta-analysis: 10 observational studies involving children, all assessed for:
    • Vitamin D insufficiency
  • Children with vitamin D insufficiency had:
    • 68% higher probability of food allergies


Effect of sleep restriction on insulin sensitivity and energy metabolism in postmenopausal women: A randomized crossover trial

  • Does poor sleep impair metabolism?
  • RCT: 9 postmenopausal women were randomized to sleep either: 
    • 8 hours per night x 4 days
    • 5 hours per night x 4 days
  • Compared to 8 hours of sleep, sleeping 5 hours per night led to reduced:
    • Insulin sensitivity
    • Fat oxidation


Soluble Fiber Supplementation and Serum Lipid Profile: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

  • Does fiber supplementation improve blood lipids?
  • Meta-analysis: 181 RCTs, 14,505 participants randomized to:
    • Control
      • Placebo, no treatment
    • Soluble fibers
      • Varied by study, included gum arabic, inulin, psyllium, guar gum, glucomannan, pectin, beta glucan, resistant starch, fructooligosaccharide, flaxseed mucilage
  • Compared to control, soluble fiber supplementation improved:
    • Triglycerides (-5.5 mg/dL)
    • Total cholesterol (-11 mg/dL)
    • LDL cholesterol (-8 mg/dL)
    • Apo-B (-45 mg/L)
  • Note: the most effective dose of soluble fiber was 10-15 g/d 


Benefits of physical activity on reproductive health functions among polycystic ovarian syndrome women: a systematic review

  • Does physical activity improve reproductive health in women with PCOS?
  • Systematic review: 7 RCTs, 500 PCOS patients randomized to:
    • Control
      • No exercise
    • Exercise
      • HIIT, aerobic exercise, endurance training, or weightlifting
  • Compared to control, exercise interventions led to improved:
    • Menstrual frequency
    • Ovulation
    • Testosterone levels
    • BMI
    • Anxiety and depression
    • Sexual function


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