Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for August 25th, 2019

Remembering “Time Out” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

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This is via an Open Culture post that’s worth reading in its entirety.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 August 2019 at 4:43 pm

Posted in Jazz, Music, Video

Mediterranean Power Squash reprise, with peppers

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I made this recipe just now, but instead of red pepper flakes, I added:

1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Hungarian purple pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Hungarian pale green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 red habanero, seeded and chopped

with the garlic, leek/scallions, squash, and zucchini.

Very tasty. Recipe at the link has been updated.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 August 2019 at 3:23 pm

Exercise Changes Our Gut Microbes, But How Isn’t Yet Clear

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Ashley Yeager writes in The Scientist:

When Sara Campbell first typed “exercise and microbiome” into PubMed in 2010 and hit enter, “the search literally said zero,” she tells The Scientist. Campbell was just beginning an assistant professorship in exercise science at Rutgers University. Being an athlete herself and having studied cholesterol metabolism and exercise and diet during her PhD and postdoc, she started to wonder if exercise could influence the microbes in the gut.

“We know that exercise does all of these incredible things,” Campbell says, such as keeping inflammation down and enhancing antioxidant defenses. And so she thought, “well, if there’s symbiosis and mutualism that go on between the host and the microbes, there has to be something going on . . . something changing about the microbes” during exercise. When her PubMed search came up empty, she decided: “I’ve got to study this.”

Teaming up with microbiologists and toxicologists from Rutgers and a pathologist from Oklahoma City, Campbell designed an experiment to analyze fecal samples of male mice fed a normal or high-fat diet for 12 weeks. Some of the mice in each group were allowed to exercise, while the others remained sedentary. Physical activity, the results showed, generated a unique microbiome in the guts of the mice, independent of the animals’ diet: specifically, the mice that exercised hosted FaecalibacteriumClostridium, and Allobaculum, while the sedentary mice did not. The high-fat diet also caused inflammation in the guts of the sedentary mice, which was not seen in the mice that ate the fatty diet and exercised.

Published in March 2016, the results bolstered findings that came out a few years before showing that exercise prevented weight gain and altered the gut microbes in mice that became obese eating a high-fat diet. They also aligned nicely with a longitudinal study in humans published in 2018 that found lean, sedentary people who exercised for six weeks also developed higher levels of ClostridialesLachnospiraRoseburia, and Faecalibacterium in their guts, but those microbes returned to baseline levels when the individuals stopped exercising. Obese individuals who started exercising had changes to their gut microbes too, but those changes were different than what was seen in lean individuals.

While the reasons for the difference in changes between lean and obese individuals aren’t understood yet, the results make it clear that exercise, regardless of diet or body composition, change the gut microbiota of humans, says Jeffrey Woods, a researcher at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a coauthor of the 2018 paper.

“This is a fairly new field in general and definitely a new field of exercise science,” he says, explaining that while the connection between exercise and gut microbe changes has been established, “how exercise changes the microbes, we do not know.” It’s also not yet clear whether the changes are beneficial to health, but there are clues that they might be.

Clues to the exercise-gut connection

One of the leading ideas in the field of exercise’s influence on the microbiome is that working out boosts the levels of gut microbes that produce butyrate—a short chain fatty acid that has a whole host of health benefits in humans, from producing satiety hormones that curb hunger to playing a role in supporting the survival of existing neurons and promoting the growth of new ones.

See “The Microbiome and Human Health

Faecalibacterium, along with other bacteria, such as Lachnospiraceae, that appear to increase in abundance in the gut after exercise, typically produce short chain fatty acids in response to the digestion of dietary fiber. In a review of animal and human experiments on physical activity and gut microbiome composition published in Exercise and Sport Science Reviews in April, Woods and colleagues propose that exercise might alter the gene expression of immune cells in the tissues of the gut, leading to the production of fewer pro-inflammatory cell-signaling proteins and more anti-inflammatory ones, as well as antioxidant enzymes. The immune cells sit near the microbial communities in the gut and could produce antimicrobial compounds that tamp down certain taxa while bolstering the growth of butyrate-producing bacteria. Exercise might also change the composition of mucus in the gut, which would affect bacterial species that live there, such as Akkermansia muciniphila—a bacterium with anti-inflammatory properties that appears to increase in abundance in response to exercise.

See “Commensal Bacterium Reduces ALS Symptoms in Mice

Exercise also raises a person’s core temperature and reduces blood flow to the intestines, which could lead to more direct contact between gut microbes and immune cells in the mucus of the gut—and has the potential to shift microbial composition. The circulation of bile acids, which can alter the microbial community of the gut, also increases during exercise, as does lactate, which might change the pH of the gut, shifting the diversity of the microbial community. “Those are some possible mechanisms we could test,” Woods says, “but they are not easy to test because it’s hard to isolate any one of them.”

Exercise, microbes, and bowel health

These potential mechanisms help explain some connections scientists have observed between the microbiome and bowel health. For example, colorectal cancer patients have a reduced abundance of butyrate-producing bacteria such as Roseburia and Lachnospiraceae. Butyrate in healthy cells spurs epigenetic modifications that lead to cell turnover and cell proliferation, while in colon cancer cells the fatty acids work through epigenetics to suppress cell proliferation and promote cell death, suggesting a benefit to colon cancer patients who exercise.

To measure the benefit of exercise against inflammation in the gut, Woods and colleagues performed the first  . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 August 2019 at 1:16 pm

Inexpensive prescription drugs

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From the newsletter Recomendo:

Sometimes you can purchase a prescription drug yourself for less money than paying your insurance co-pay. And when you buy, drug prices vary wildly between retailers. Go to GoodRx website to find the cheapest source for a drug, including online pharmacies. They also supply coupons at steeply discounted prices, up to 80% off (their biz model).  It’s free, no account or personal info required. — KK

Written by LeisureGuy

25 August 2019 at 5:41 am

Posted in Daily life, Medical

Free and confidential crisis line

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From the newsletter Recomendo:

If you’re in the United States and need someone to talk to you can text 741741 any hour of the day and be connected with a crisis counselor (For Canada text 686868, and for UK text 85258). My sister-in-law volunteers for the Crisis Text Line, and she said counselors go through continuous training and are always supervised by mental health professionals. I tested it out to make sure it works and the first text was automated, but I was connected with a live person in less than 2 minutes. I hope I don’t need it, but I’m relieved to know that it’s there. For more info check out their website: crisistextline.org

Written by LeisureGuy

25 August 2019 at 5:35 am

Identify nature app

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From Recomendo a newsletter I get:

Identify nature app

There is utility and pleasure in being able to identify wild creatures and plants. But it’s a steep learning curve. The fastest way I found to learn is via the iOS app Seek, which will identify flowers, plants, fungi, animals, bugs instantly. It’s kind of magical. You point your phone at the specimen and it tells you the species about 95% of the time (in North America). The other 5% it can often identify the family. Someone called it Shazam for nature. The app is patient; you can keep asking it to ID the same thing you asked about before and it will will answer again with no judgement. Seek is free; it was developed by folks who did iNaturalist, an app that uses crowdsourcing to identify species, but Seek uses machine learning to render the ID instantly. I’ve been impressed by how well this magic works. Kids and teachers love it. It gives them a superpower to name everything around them.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 August 2019 at 5:29 am

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