Monday, 26 October 2015

new paper on dairy products

(just published at "Dairy Science and Technology")
Evaluation of the in vitro anti-atherogenic activities of goat milk and goat dairy products


Given that goat milk and dairy products should be consumed daily according to suggestions based on Mediterranean diet, the current study evaluates the anti-atherogenic properties of goat milk and goat dairy products (yogurt and white cheese). Total lipids (TLs) of all three samples were extracted by the method of Bligh and Dyer and further separated into total polar lipids (TPLs) and total neutral lipids (TNLs) by counter current distribution. The fatty acid profiles of TPL and TNL of all three samples were determined by gas chromatography analysis. TL and TPL were tested to determine whether they induce platelet aggregation or inhibit platelet aggregation induced by the platelet-activating factor (PAF). The most active lipids were found in goat white cheese (i.e., since they showed lower IC50 values in both TL and TPL samples than corresponding fractions of goat milk and goat yogurt), so the TPL of goat white cheese were further separated by preparative thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The obtained polar lipid fractions after TLC separation were also tested for their biological activity. All the samples’ lipids, and especially the polar ones, were found to exhibit strong anti-atherogenic activities. This fact highlights the nutritional value of goat dairy products in terms of cardioprotection, as PAF is a crucial inflammatory mediator that is implicated in the mechanism of atherogenesis.


Goat Platelet-activating factor (PAF) Polar lipids Atherosclerosis Platelets

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

What’s best for Cardiovascular Diseases?

First published in International Aquafeed, September-October 2015

In my May/June article, some of the latest data on the functionality of statins and fish lipids against Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) were given. The story goes on and some related developments are given below. 

In the US, an FDA advisory panel has voted at the beginning of June to recommend approval of two new injectable cholesterol-lowering drugs that work differently than statins. These two drugs, Praluent by the drug company Sanofi and Repatha from Amgen, are a class of drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors. These drugs block the PCSK9 protein in the blood, which allows the body to more effectively reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol.
Two articles claiming cholesterol-reducing statins may be unsafe are to be investigated and could be retracted by the British Medical Journal. The authors have withdrawn figures suggesting up to 20 percent of users would suffer harmful side effects such as liver disease and kidney problems.

Given that about seven million people in the UK at risk of heart disease are prescribed statins, experts fear the articles, which were widely reported in October 2014, will have discouraged people from taking them. British Medical Journal (BMJ) editor-in-chief Dr Fiona Godlee said last May it was publicising the withdrawal of the sideeffects figures "so that patients who could benefit from statins are not wrongly deterred from starting or continuing treatment because of exaggerated concerns over side effects". But the scientific question: how severe are the real side effects of statins?

On the other front, for example, the one of consuming fish instead of statins, the news is encouraging:

Eating fatty fish, such as salmon, herring and mackerel, at least three to four times a week has been shown to boost levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and lessen the risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the journal PLoS One.

In a relevant recent research announcement, Australian researchers have found that fish oil supplements do not protect against heart disease with the evidence suggesting that eating fish is of greater benefit to the heart. Researchers examined the benefit of fish oil supplements for the hearts of healthy people and those who have had a heart attack and are taking the supplement to prevent further episodes.

The study, which has been published in the Heart, Lung and Circulation Journal, has prompted the National Heart Foundation to review its guidelines on fish and fish oil supplements. The Foundation said it shows higher fish intake is consistently associated with lower rates of sudden cardiac death, stroke, heart failure and heart attack. It is urging all Australians to eat two to three servings of fish a week, including oily fish.

The evidence is clear and the news for the Aquaculture society is rosy! Eating fish protects better against CVDs (and without side effects) than any current drug at the moment! Plus, fish has a pleasant flavour!

Ioannis Zabetakis

Read the magazine HERE.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

inflammation, obesity and diabetes

 UN goals on diet-related disease will fail to be met because of the soaring numbers of people becoming obese or overweight, with almost 1 billion of the world’s adults projected to be obese by 2025, analysis shows.

Further to this worrying news, parents tend to fail to recognise obesity or overweight in their children.

Today, there is strong scientific evidence that inflammation, obesity and diabetes type II are interlinked.(see also here).

Therefore, our current research efforts are focused on how to inhibit inflammation and all its knock-on effects.

Yannis Zabetakis

Friday, 2 October 2015

anchovies and aquaculture

Yesterday, I was writting about the aquaculture sustainability and how it depends on sardine oil.

This news can not, thus, be shocking, this suspension was deemed necessary in order set to safeguard the resource stock.

Overfishing is still though a huge problem, a problem that needs urgent solutions. More info on the issue of marine oils and their bio-availability  is given at chapters 1 and 3 of the book "Marine Oils, from Sea to Pharmaceuticals" by my colleagues Mags Crumlish and Tony Bimbo.


Thursday, 1 October 2015

on the value of sustainable farming

ASC-certified salmon is on sale in mainland Europe, but is not currently being stocked by UK supermarkets. Photograph: ASC

A recent article on the Guardian wonders
"Is it OK to eat farmed salmon now?".

Well, of course it is. From a safety point of view, farmed fish are safer than wild ones, since in aquaculture HACCP and ISO22000 are applied.

From a sustainability point of view, now aquaculture is trying to become more aware of the bigger picture and to address the paradox we have there.

The paradox is this: we need FishOil (FO) to make fish feeds to produce fish. At the moment, we are (over-) fishing wild sardines to get FO. If numbers of sardines go down though, how can we have FO?

This is a major issue we need to address. Some ideas have been described here and here.

Yannis Zabetakis