Seaweed Extract helps to treat arthritis
Categories Medical news

Novel Molecule from Algae Extract Shows a Promising Effect in Arthritis

It is known that people who are aged over 65 are suffering from joint pains and stiffness due to inflammation at bone joints called arthritis. This inflammation, resultant of oxidative stress (frequent cause of damage and cell death), can spread to all other joints in the body and degenerates the protective cartilage layer, a connective tissue at joints which protects bones from eruption due to friction. Affected joints, particularly knee, hip, and finger joints can be extremely painful and gets worse if left untreated.

So far, therapeutic approach for arthritis involves anti-inflammatory medication, pain killers, and some other immune suppressor drugs. In an attempt to develop a new therapeutic molecule for arthritis, researchers (at ETH Zurich, Empa, and the Norwegian research institute SINTEF) have extracted a polysaccharide substance (similar to specific extracellular bio molecules of cartilage tissue) from brown algae,Laminaria hyperborean,to supress the autoimmune responses to overcome oxidative stress that degenerate the cartilage tissue at bone joints.

This polysaccharide was chemically modified by adding additional sulphate groups and subjected it for in vitro studies on various cell cultures. Interestingly, researchers found that, the added sulphate groups to the polysaccharide extracted from brown algae have significantly suppressed the inflammatory reactions by combating the oxidative stress.

This compound is referred as alginate sulphate and demonstrated encouraging results at laboratory level. Markus Rottamar, researcher at Empa says that, this alginate sulphate can even stop the oxidative degeneration of cartilage tissue at bone joints (arthritis).

high fat diet diminish the neural activity
Categories Medical news

Localized Inflammation in the Brain Linked To Overeating and Weight Gain

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and University of Washington Medical Center have shown that consumption of a fat-rich diet increases the number of brain immune cells called microglia which triggers a local inflammation within the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) and causes an individual to eat more food, burn fewer calories, and gain more weight.

A series of experiments were conducted on two groups of mice. One group was fed a fat-rich diet for four weeks and the other with a healthier low-fat diet. Comparing the results, the group that was fed with fat-rich diet consumed more food, burnt fewer calories and exhibited substantial weight gain.

The researchers further gave the mice on a fatty diet an experimental drug called PLX5622 which depleted the number of microglia in the mice. These mice ate 15 percent less appetite and gained 20 percent less weight than untreated mice on the same diet.

The results were confirmed by giving microglial inflammation activating drug to the mice fed with healthy, low-fat diet. This resulted in the mice eating 33 percent more food, burning 12 percent less energy and 400 percent increase in weight gain.

“It can be confidently concluded that the inflammatory activation of microglia is sufficient to alter the regulation of energy balance in the hypothalamus, leading to overeating and weight gain,” said Joshua Thaler, associate professor of medicine at the UW Medicine Diabetes Institute and senior co-author of the study.