Study Shows Dietary Habits to Affect the Risk of Cancer

Some previous studies have shown a link between a person’s dietary habits and the risk of cancer development. It suggests that a lesser-known factor that contributes to the development of cancer worldwide is obesity.

Approximately 20 percent of all the cancers in the U.S. have linked to obesity, poor nutrition, physical inactivity or excessive alcohol consumption. More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight and obese, making this an important topic for people living with cancer.

Scientists said that it’s not only the risk of developing cancer that is affected by the food, but diet may have a substantial impact on how a person will respond to any treatment for cancer. Still, it is difficult to take any clinical decisions while treating cancer patients.

The recent review authored by Dr. Barrie Peck from the Structural Biology Group at The Institutional of Cancer Research; London is published in the journal Trends in Cancer.

Dr. Peck said it is known that obesity is the major cause of cancer but there is also the role of diet and weight in one’s life which affects the course of disease and response to treatment.

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Usually, the response shown by obese patients to cancer treatments is worse as compared to non-obese patients. As a result, obese people show more severe outcomes than people who have normal weight. But still, the researchers are not in a state to take any clinical decision for such patients based on their obesity status.

When damage occurs to DNA then cancer develops in the body at a particular site. The damage can be transformed in different forms but all lead to abnormal division of cells and due to this uncontrolled replication of cells, cancer results.

Cancerous cells undergo all other types of changes that enable them to survive in the body such as they alter energy sources, change their processes and renew themselves in different and unusual ways. Sometimes cancers development can be detected before it appears in the body.

What is the role of food in developing cancer? A common idea states that obesity puts a person at an increased risk of developing cancer so far scientists carried out a little research to assess the impact of food on cancer development.

Dr. Peck said that smokers are at a higher risk to develop lung cancer and this risk is reduced in the non-smoker because smoking is the main element that puts a person at a higher risk of developing lung cancer.

In the above-mentioned case, it’s a better option to stop smoking for avoiding lung cancer but in the case of obesity, cessation of eating is not possible for someone and it’s not the valid advice for treating an obese cancer patient.

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Scientists have not much knowledge about how to modify a diet for obese patients that will give the best results for cancer treatments. As obesity increases the risk of getting cancer so the most appropriate therapy for these people is to reduce the weight to a healthier level so that it put them at a lower risk of developing cancer.

The reduction of weight in diseased patients is not achieved by those typical dietary modifications. In fact, those dietary changes could induce the opposite and negative effects on the body.

It is a common idea that antioxidants found in “superfruits” prevent a person from getting cancer so people should eat a lot of fruits in order to get antioxidants but research showed that this practice is wrong as it produces the negative effects when a person is receiving treatment.

Because when a person who is receiving any treatment for cancer takes a high level of antioxidants, it hinders the action of the drug in the body. Researchers said that more investigations are needed in this field that why antioxidants stop the drug’s ability to do its action.


Research Identifies a Protein for Tissue Repair After the Spinal Cord Injury

Recently researchers discovered an axon guidance protein known as Plexin B2 in the central nervous system (CNS). During the spinal cord injury, this protein plays a significant role in the healing of the wound and neural repair.

The experiment was designed and conducted by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. This study could help the development of the treatments or therapies which target axon guidance pathways for treating the patients of Spinal cord injury more effectively.

the complete study findings are published in the journal “Nature Neuroscience.”

The spinal cord is a soft tissue of the body and is normally protected by vertebrae. Sometimes they can be dislocated or broken down through many ways that create the damaging pressure on the spinal cord. Injuries in the spinal cord can occur at any level.

Which body function will be compromised or lost depends on the severity of damage to the nervous tissue and segment of the cord that is injured. Injury to the spinal cord induces any physiological changes to the different parts of the body that are controlled by the nerves.

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When the spinal cord injury occurs it damages a few, several or approximately all the axons of the spinal cord that are located at the site of injury. Many other cells that are present around the injury site may also die.

The injuries in which little or no nerve cell is damaged and only pressure induce blockage of nerve signaling or demyelination of axons result then complete recovery is possible.  The injury in which nerve cells are completely damaged even at a small horizontal level then the paralysis results and recovery is impossible at this stage.

When the spinal cord injury results than for repairing, the tissue immune cells and glial cells start to move at this site which forms a protective barrier around the wound. It facilitates the clearing of debris from the wound and inflammation results.

A barrier is built through a process known as corralling wherein microglia and macrophages which separates the narcotic tissue from the healthy tissues. In this study, researchers found that at the early stage of the healing process this corralling wherein microglia begin, and it requires Plexin B2 protein as it stimulates the movement of immune cells to the site of injury.

If the Plexin B2 in the macrophages and microglia are absent then it impaired the corralling process and it leads to inflammation spillover, tissue damage and hindered the regeneration of axon ( it is slender part of the nerve cell which involved in the transmission of nerve impulse).

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Hongyan Jenny Zou who is a professor of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience at the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a lead investigator said that in the spatial organization of the glial cells the role of macrophages and microglia around the site of injury through an axon guidance receptors is quite unexpected.

In the central nervous system process of tissue repair relies on a coordinated response from many cell types during the overlapping phases. Due to this complex system, it becomes difficult to differentiate the roles of specific glial cells.

Previously Scientists assumed that astrocytes are the main cells that drive the corralling process. Astrocytes involve in supporting the glial cells. This study identifies the role of microglia and macrophages which become activated due to spinal cord injury. It also identifies the function of Plexin B2 proteins in the corralling.

After spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injuries, Improvements have seen in neural repair by understanding the signaling pathways and glial cell interactions with each other and the injury.

Mental Health of a Pregnant Mother may Influence the Immunity of her Unborn Child

A new study from the pediatric researchers at the University of Alberta reveals that during pregnancy mental health of woman greatly influence the development of the infant immune system.

The previous studies in the same field linked women’s mental health with the development of allergies and asthma in children, but this new study is the first-ever evaluation to detect the exact mechanism that how women’s mental health influence a child’s immune system.

Anita Kozyrskyi who is a leading researcher on gut microbes and a pediatric epidemiologist said the findings of the study showed that every event that happens to mothers during pregnancy duration may have a great impact on the levels and functions of immune cells in children. It particularly affects those cells which synthesize immunoglobulin in the body.

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1043 pregnant mothers participated in the Child Cohort Study and researchers observed their health records.

Mothers are provided with a questionnaire which contains the questions about regular mood swing during and after the gestation period for example whether the mother felt sad or lazy during pregnancy. The presence of intestinal secretory immunoglobulin A (sTgA) was check in the stool samples taken from the babies. Immunoglobulin a (sIgA) is an antibody that plays a critical role in developing the body immunity.

Liane Kang who carried out the research for her MSC and a lead author of the study said that for developing the oral tolerance to environmental antigens these immunoglobulins are really important in the microbiome.

Babies whose mothers complain about the symptoms of depression in their third trimester and after birth usually have low levels of immunoglobulins A in their gut. The symptoms of depression were not as severe as to be diagnosed at the clinical level. No association is seen with postpartum depression.

Results become more accurate when variables factors such as antibiotics and breastfeeding that are used by babies and mothers were considered.

Kang further said that the woman who suffers from some psychological distress is less likely to breastfeed and interact with her child. Antibiotic use also greatly influences the development of gut microbiota of infants.

Besides all these factors still, there is an association found between the lower levels of immunoglobulin A in the child and depression of mother.

Kozyrskyi observed that low levels of immunoglobulin A in the infant were found between the 4 and 8 months of age. It is time when the child starts to synthesize his own immunoglobulin.

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Scientists said the low level of immunity in a child increases the risk of developing allergies, asthma, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. It may also put the child at the risk of having obesity, depression and autoimmune disorders later in life for example diabetes.

Kozyrskyi postulated that if the mother suffers from depression then the level of cortisol is high in her blood which may be transferred to the child. It may disturb the cell production that will synthesize immunoglobulin after birth. Researchers need to carry out a further investigation for understanding this link between the infant immunity development and maternal microbiome in a better way.

The study showed that if a mother receives mental health support during pregnancy then it will improve the immune system of the child after birth.