what's the buzz....

what's the buzz....

Beer compound may aid obese diabetics

A class of compounds found in hops, the crop usually known for its role in beer production, reduces weight gain in obese and diabetic mice, according to a study.
The study, led by Patrice Cani of the Universite catholique de Louvain in Brussels, Belgium, showed that eight weeks of treatment with the compounds, called tetrahydro iso-alpha acids, also reduced gut permeability and normalized insulin sensitivity markers in the mice, among other beneficial metabolic effects.

Hops have been known to contain anti-inflammatory compounds with potential medicinal uses for metabolic disorders, like insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which are associated with low-grade inflammation. These new results suggest a novel mechanism contributing to the positive effects of the investigated treatment, the authors wrote.

Lone presence in room may up bacteria concentration

Just the presence of a person in a room can add 37 million bacteria to the air every hour — material mostly left behind by earlier occupants and stirred up from the floor — according to a new research. Many previous studies have surveyed the variety of germs present in everyday spaces. But this is the first study that quantifies how much a lone human presence affects the level of indoor biological aerosols.

 “We live in this microbial soup, and a big ingredient is our own microorganisms,” said Jordan Peccia, associate professor of environmental engineering at Yale University and the principal investigator of a study.

 “Mostly people are re-suspending what’s been deposited before. The floor dust turns out to be the major source of the bacteria that we breathe.”

Peccia and his research team measured and analyzed biological particles in a single, ground-floor university classroom over a period of eight days — four days when the room was periodically occupied, and four days when the room was continuously vacant. At all times the windows and doors were kept closed. The HVAC system was operated at normal levels. Researchers sorted the particles by size. Overall, they found that “human occupancy was associated with substantially increased airborne concentrations” of bacteria and fungi of various sizes.

Occupancy resulted in especially large spikes for larger-sized fungal particles and medium-sized bacterial particles. The size of bacteria- and fungi-bearing particles is important, because size affects the degree to which they are likely to be filtered from the air or linger and recirculate, the researchers note. “Size is the master variable,” Peccia said. Researchers found that about 18 percent of all bacterial emissions in the room — including both fresh and previously deposited bacteria — came from humans, as opposed to plants and other sources. Of the 15 most abundant varieties of bacteria identified in the room studied, four are directly associated with humans, including the most abundant, Propionibacterineae, common on human skin.

Fish-oil fortified yogurt may meet daily nutritional needs

A number of people seek increasing their intake of heart-healthy n-3 fatty acids, found naturally in fish and fish products, but find it difficult to consume the recommended levels.

 Scientists at Virginia Tech have demonstrated that it may be possible to achieve the suggested daily intake in a single serving of a savoury-flavoured yogurt, providing an easily incorporated dietary source for these valuable fatty acids.  “The international popularity of yogurt and the health-promoting properties associated with probiotics, minerals, vitamins, and milk proteins suggest yogurt could be an excellent vehicle for the delivery of n-3 fatty acids,” said lead author Susan E. Duncan.

“Recent innovations in exotic yogurt flavours provide innovation opportunities. We tested different levels of fish oil in a savoury chilli and lime flavoured yogurt, and found that a 1 per cent concentration of fish oil, which provides more than the suggested daily intake, could be acceptable to a large proportion of the general population, and have a potential market among health- and nutrition-conscious consumers.”

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