Intestinal Inflammation and faecal calprotectin

Intestinal Inflammation and faecal calprotectin

Calprotectin has been found in several human biological materials: in serum, saliva, cerebrospinal fluid and urine. Although the dosage of calprotectin in feces is most advantageous in the evaluation of the degree of inflammation of the intestinbe. In fact, it is extremely stable in the stool, which remains unchanged for more than 7 days. The increase of the concentration of calprotectin in the feces is a direct consequence of the granulation of neutrophils as a result of a damage of the intestinal mucosa. The dosage of calprotectin in stool offers significant advantages in inflammatory bowel evaluation. In patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), internationally indicated by the initials IBD, the level of calprotectin is generally very high. Among the diseases that fall under the IBD we find ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and so-called “indeterminate colitis.” In IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome the level of calprotectin is decidedly lower than that in patients with active disease, but still higher than that in healthy...

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Mothers influence the food choices of children for life

Mothers influence the food choices of children for life

A study published in “Nature Communications”,  by researchers from the University of Kansas, led by Amanda Bruce, has shown that children take into account their own preference as well as the hypothetical preference of their mothers. Bruce and colleagues administered behavioral tests to 25 children aged from 8 to 14 years as well as administering, at the same time, functional magnetic resonance imaging scans, a technique that allows us to highlight areas of the brain that are activated when a person is engaged in some activity. In a first phase of the experiment, the children were asked to give a preference score to each of the images of 60 foods, including apples, broccoli, potato chips and candy. In a second phase, the same subjects had to indicate how intensively they wanted a certain food or indicate how likely their mothers would choose for them a certain food. Analysis of the results showed that the personal choices of the children were explained better by a combination of their personal taste and the idea they had regarding the preferences of their mothers. In particular, the fMRI scans showed that the activation of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, an area involved in reward, was connected to the personal choices of children. Instead, the activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is involved in self-control, was related to the idea of the mothers’...

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Human Microbiome Project

Human Microbiome Project

The topic of the microbiome is so important that in the US the NHS is carrying out a project with a total budget of 115 million dollars, which aims to identify and characterize the micro-organisms and their relationship with the state of health and disease of man. It is therefore necessary to consider the substantial importance of the co-presence of microbiota in our body and evaluate the plastic dynamism of microbiome, that can transform their gene expression in relation to environmental factors such as the type of diet and impact on health status. It has been observed that individuals from the same family have similarity in intestinal bacterial species and families that may change depending on interactions with the host and the environment. In the normal-weight individual, three main types of bacteria are recognized: Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes. Microbiota can affect the nutritional and metabolic balance of the body by modulating the ability to extract energy from the foods of one’s diet and interact with the glucose and lipid metabolism. The metabolites released by the fermentation of complex dietary polysaccharides can increase the absorption of glucose, stimulate lipogenesis, change the fatty acid composition of adipose tissue and the liver, alter the permeability of the intestinal mucosal barrier, altering the immune response, contribute to a state of systemic chronic inflammation and the state of insulin resistance related to obesity.   Only through complete typification of bacterial species that colonize the gastrointestinal tract and the knowledge of their pathophysiologic functions will be possible to more accurately define a significant pathogenetic aspect of obesity and metabolic syndrome and prepare targeted therapeutic...

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