Favipiravir May be an Effective COVID-19 Treatment
November 25, 2020 09:00pm
By Sara Karlovitch, Assistant Editor
The latest news on chronic, acute, and preventive care across the health care landscape.
Chronic: Plant Protein Consumption May Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Plant protein was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), whereas diets rich in meat had a higher risk, according to a study published in theBritish Journal of Nutrition. The investigators examined the diets of 2332 men aged 42 to 60 years who did not have T2D at baseline. During the 19-year follow-up, 432 men were diagnosed with T2D. The result of the study showed that the risk of men with the highest intake of plant protein to develop T2D was 35% lower than the risk of those with the lower plant protein intake. The investigators used a computational model to estimate that replacing approximately 5 grams of animal protein with plant protein daily would reduce the risk of diabetes by 18%. At the beginning of the study, plant protein consumption was associated with lower blood glucose levels, which could explain the link between plant protein and the reduced risk of diabetes. In addition, the investigators found an association between high meat intake and a higher risk of T2D. The strongest association was seen in the consumption of meat in general, which included processed and unprocessed red meat, white meat, and variety meats. The findings suggest that a plant protein diet may help prevent T2D, the authors concluded.
Acute: Liquid Cannabidiol Reduces Seizures by Half for Severe Form of Epilepsy
Cannabidiol reduced seizures by 50% in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, the investigators followed 225 patients with LGS for 14 weeks. On average, participants were 16 years old, and had an average of 85 drop seizures per month. They had already tried an average of 6 epilepsy drugs that were unsuccessful, and they were taking an average of 3 epilepsy drugs during the study. The participants received either 20 mg/kg of cannabidiol daily, 10 mg/kg of cannabidiol daily, or placebo as an add-on to their current medications. The results of the study showed that patients who took the higher dose of liquid cannabidiol had a 42% reduction in drop seizures overall, and in 40% of patients their seizures were reduced by half or more. Participants who received the 10 mg/kg dose of cannabidiol had a 37% reduction in drop seizures, and 36% had their seizures reduced by half or more. Patients in the placebo arm had a 17% reduction in drop seizures, and in 15% of patients the seizures were reduced by half or more. Patients who received cannabidiol were up to 2.6 times more likely to report that their overall condition had improved compared with patients who received the placebo, with up to 66% reporting improvement compared to 44% in the placebo arm. “Our results suggest that cannabidiol may be effective for those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in treating drop seizures,” said author Anup Patel, MD. “This is important because this kind of epilepsy is incredibly difficult to treat. While there were more side effects for those taking cannabidiol, they were mostly well-tolerated. I believe that it may become an important new treatment option for these patients.” The findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 69th Annual meeting in Boston. Currently, there is a plan to submit a New Drug Application for the FDA later this year.
Preventive: Strawberry Extract Suppresses Breast Cancer Metastasis in Mice
Strawberry extract can inhibit the spread of breast cancer cells inin vitroandin vivomodels. In the study published inScientific Reports, the investigators used cells from a highly aggressive, invasive A17 tumor cell line and treated them with different concentrations—–between 0.5 mg/ml and 5 mg/ml––of the extract of the Alba variety of strawberry for 24, 48, and 72 hours. The results of the study showed that it decreased cell viability, blocked the cycle leading to cell division, and inhibited migration. In addition, the extract reduced the expression Csf1, Mcam, Br4a3, and Set genes, while simultaneously stimulating Htatip2 expression. The Htatip2 gene is thought to suppress metastasis to the lymphatic ganglion in patients with breast cancer. For thein vivomodel, the investigators used female mice that were divided into 2 groups at 1 month of age. One group received a standard diet, while the other received an enriched diet, 15% of which was strawberry extract. After a month, all of the mice were injected with A17 breast cancer cells. After 5 weeks, the tumors were extracted and analyzed to evaluate the weight and volume. The strawberry extract diet stopped the propagation of cancer cells to adjacent healthy tissue, according to the authors. Furthermore, they also saw a significant reduction in the weight and volume of the tumor. Although the findings show promise, the investigators stressed that this testing was done on animals and cannot be extrapolated to humans.