Matching Items (7)

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Effects of urbanization on the nutritional physiology and gut microbiome of house sparrows (Passer domesticus)

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The natural habitat as well as the food abundance and food sources of avian species is changing due to urbanization, and such anthropocentric actions could lead to devastating impacts on bird populations. As changes in distribution and nutrition are thought

The natural habitat as well as the food abundance and food sources of avian species is changing due to urbanization, and such anthropocentric actions could lead to devastating impacts on bird populations. As changes in distribution and nutrition are thought to be related to the gut microbiome, the goal of this study was to determine the relationship between nutritional markers, including body mass, gizzard mass, triglycerides, free glycerol and glycogen, and the gut microbiome in urban and rural house sparrows (Passer domesticus), to understand physiological differences between urban and rural house sparrows. We hypothesized that increased access to human refuse, through urbanization, may significantly alter the gut microbiome and thus, the nutritional physiology-the effects of foods on metabolism-of urban birds. Fecal samples were collected from rural (n=13) and urban (n=7) birds to characterize the gut microbiome and plasma samples were collected to measure nutritional markers using commercially available kits. Following euthanasia, liver samples were collected to measure triglycerides, free glycerol and glycogen. While there were no significant differences in circulating triglycerides or free glycerol between populations, urban birds had significantly greater blood glucose (p=0.046) compared to rural birds, when normalized to body mass. Additionally, rural birds had significantly more plasma uric acid (p=0.016) and liver free glycerol (p=0.044). Higher blood glucose suggests greater accessibility to carbohydrates in an urban setting or higher rates of gluconeogenesis. Uric acid is a byproduct of purine catabolism and a potent antioxidant. Thus, higher uric acid suggests that rural birds may utilize more protein for energy. Finally, higher liver free glycerol in rural birds suggests they metabolize more fat but could also indicate that urban birds have greater glycerol gluconeogenesis, which may consume free glycerol resulting in higher glucose concentrations. However, the current study does not provide evidence for this as there were no significant differences in the gluconeogenic enzyme PEPCK-C levels between urban and rural house sparrows (p= 0.165). While triglyceride, glucose, and uric acid levels differed between urban and rural birds, there were additionally no significant differences in the gut microbiome, indicating that although nutritional physiology can be affected by distribution and varying food availability and sources, differences in the gut microbiome are evident at the phyla level.

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2018-05

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Genistein's Impact on Inflammation and the Gut Microbiome

Description

Genistein, a compound found in soy that functions as a phytoestrogen, has been found to play a role in the body’s inflammatory response. By suppressing the expression of inflammatory genes and inhibiting tumor cell growth, genistein is thought to have

Genistein, a compound found in soy that functions as a phytoestrogen, has been found to play a role in the body’s inflammatory response. By suppressing the expression of inflammatory genes and inhibiting tumor cell growth, genistein is thought to have both anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties. This study seeks to demonstrate genistein’s potential to mitigate the negative consequences of consuming a high fat diet specifically as it relates to increased inflammation and changes in the gut microbiome. Using an animal model, the study tested whether supplementing the mice’s diet with soy derived genistein would affect their serum IL-6 levels and the way in which their gut microbiomes responded to their high fat consumption. It was presumed that genistein supplementation would result in a less significant shift from the biomarkers tested in the control group and reduce the impact of the high fat diet. It was also hypothesized that consumption of the high fat diet would raise IL-6 levels and increase the presence of harmful bacteria in the test subjects.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Evaluating Changes in the Gut Microbial Composition, Diet, and Overall Health in Children in the Nutrition and Health Awareness Program

Description

In the United States, the prevalence of pediatric obesity has increased to 17% in the general population and even more so in the Hispanic pediatric population to 22.4%. These children are at a higher risk for associated comorbidities, including cardiovascular

In the United States, the prevalence of pediatric obesity has increased to 17% in the general population and even more so in the Hispanic pediatric population to 22.4%. These children are at a higher risk for associated comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance. The purpose of the following study is to determine the effectiveness of the Nutrition and Health Awareness curriculum at reducing childhood obesity by evaluating alterations in the gut microbial composition, diet, and overall health of the students throughout the five-week program. Nutrition and Health Awareness (NHA) is a student organization that strives to reduce the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, specifically in children, by providing active nutrition education services through peer mentoring in elementary schools and community programs. This study went through ASU's Institutional Review Board process and all forms were translated into Spanish. The control group maintained their normal routines and the experimental group received the 5 week NHA program and then continued with their normal routines. Anthropometric measures (Body Mass Index, waist-to-hip ratio, and blood pressure), diet measures (Hispanic food frequency questionnaire), fecal swabs, and content surveys were collected on weeks 0, 5, and 8. Contrary to expected, alpha diversity, kilocalorie intake, and macronutrient intake decreased as the study progressed for both the control and experimental groups. Anthropometric measurements were relatively stable. Though not statistically significant, the greatest difference in time points is between weeks 1 and 8. This decrease in alpha diversity and kilocalorie intake could be due to a change in environment since the children started school on week 8. Future implications of this study are that parental involvement is necessary for an effective, sustainable change in these children. More research in different settings is necessary to determine NHA's effectiveness

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Date Created
2016-05

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The Effects of Turmeric on Breath Hydrogen Emission and Small Bowel Transit Time

Description

Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, is a tropical plant that is most often consumed in India.1 The rhizome of the plant is dried and then ground into a fine, vibrant yellow powder. In addition to its function as a

Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, is a tropical plant that is most often consumed in India.1 The rhizome of the plant is dried and then ground into a fine, vibrant yellow powder. In addition to its function as a spice, turmeric is also used in traditional Ayervedic medicine due to its unique medical properties. These unique properties are attributed to the three major constituents of turmeric: curcumin, α-isocurcumin, and β-isocurcumin.2 Curcumin (Diferuloylmethane; C21H20O6), makes up 5% of turmeric by weight, and is the most prominent active ingredient within the turmeric root. Perhaps the most intriguing characteristic about curcumin is its ability to modulate targets such as, but not limited to, transcription factors, enzymes, apoptosis genes, and growth factors.1 Modern medical research has determined curcumin to be a viable treatment and prevention method for disease such as type II diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, liver cirrhosis, and certain cancers. However, research on turmeric’s effects on gastrointestinal health is significantly lacking. This randomized, double-blind, cross-over trial looked to see if supplemental turmeric (500 mg as dried root powder) would significantly raise breath hydrogen emission (BHE) and reduce small bowel transit time (SBTT) in 8 female adults who were suffering from chronic constipation. Although supplemental turmeric did not significantly impact BHE or SBTT, the number of bowel movements greatly increased during turmeric intervention.

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Date Created
2016-12

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The Metagenomic Analysis of the Gut Microbiome of the South American Locust (Schistocerca cancellata)

Description

Locusts are generalist herbivores meaning that they are able to consume a variety of plants. Because of their broad diet, and ability to respond rapidly to a favorable environment with giant swarms of voracious insects, they are dangerous pests. Their

Locusts are generalist herbivores meaning that they are able to consume a variety of plants. Because of their broad diet, and ability to respond rapidly to a favorable environment with giant swarms of voracious insects, they are dangerous pests. Their potential impacts on humans increase dramatically when individuals switch from their solitarious phase to their gregarious phase where they congregate and begin marching and eventually swarming together. These swarms, often billions strong, can consume the vegetation of enormous swaths of land and can travel hundreds of kilometers in a single day producing a complex threat to food security. To better understand the biology of these important pests we explored the gut microbiome of the South American locust (Schistocerca cancellata). We hypothesized generally that the gut microbiome in this species would be critically important as has been shown in many other species. We extracted and homogenized entire guts from male S. cancellata, and then extracted gut microbiome genomic DNA. Genomic DNA was then confirmed on a gel. The initial extractions were of poor quality for sequencing, but subsequent extractions performed by collaborators during troubleshooting at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville proved more useful and were used for PCR. This resulted in the detections of the following bacterial genera in the gut of S. cancellata: Enterobacter, Enterococcus, Serratia, Pseudomonas, Actinobacter, and Weisella. With this data, we are able to speculate about the physiological roles that they hold within the locust gut generating hypotheses for further testing. Understanding the microbial composition of this species’ gut may help us better understand the locust in general in an effort to more sustainably manage them.

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Date Created
2021-05

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Microbiome after bariatric surgery and microbial insights into surgical weight loss

Description

Obesity is a worldwide epidemic accompanied by multiple comorbidities. Bariatric surgery is currently the most efficient treatment for morbid obesity and its comorbidities. The etiology of obesity is unknown, although genetic, environmental, and most recently, microbiome elements have

Obesity is a worldwide epidemic accompanied by multiple comorbidities. Bariatric surgery is currently the most efficient treatment for morbid obesity and its comorbidities. The etiology of obesity is unknown, although genetic, environmental, and most recently, microbiome elements have been recognized as contributors to this rising epidemic. The role of the gut microbiome in weight-loss or weight-gain warrants investigation, and bariatric surgery provides a good model to study influences of the microbiome on host metabolism. The underlying goals of my research were to analyze (i) the factors that change the microbiome after bariatric surgery, (ii) the effects of different types of bariatric surgeries on the gut microbiome and metabolism, (iii) the role of the microbiome on the success of bariatric surgery, and (iv) temporal and spatial changes of the microbiome after bariatric surgery.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) rearranges the gastrointestinal tract and reduces gastric acid secretions. Therefore, pH could be one of the factors that change microbiome after RYGB. Using mixed-cultures and co-cultures of species enriched after RYGB, I showed that as small as 0.5 units higher gut pH can aid in the survival of acid-sensitive microorganisms after RYGB and alter gut microbiome function towards the production of weight loss-associated metabolites. By comparing microbiome after two different bariatric surgeries, RYGB and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), I revealed that gut microbiome structure and metabolism after RYGB are remarkably different than LAGB, and LAGB change microbiome minimally. Given the distinct RYGB alterations to the microbiome, I examined the contribution of the microbiome to weight loss. Analyses revealed that Fusobacterium might lessen the success of RYGB by producing putrescine, which may enhance weight-gain and could serve as biomarker for unsuccessful RYGB.

Finally, I showed that RYGB alters the luminal and the mucosal microbiome. Changes in gut microbial metabolic products occur in the short-term and persist over the long-term. Overall, the work in this dissertation provides insight into how the gut microbiome structure and function is altered after bariatric surgery, and how these changes potentially affect the host metabolism. These findings will be helpful in subsequent development of microbiome-based therapeutics to treat obesity.

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Date Created
2016

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Microbial Diversity in the Gut Microbiome in Relation to Weight Gain of Freshman Adolescents at Arizona State

Description

Historically, researchers in the gut microbiome have deemed the composition of the microbiome as being adult by the age of two. However, recent studies have contradicted this, demonstrating statistically significant differences in the microbiome even through childhood and adolescence. This

Historically, researchers in the gut microbiome have deemed the composition of the microbiome as being adult by the age of two. However, recent studies have contradicted this, demonstrating statistically significant differences in the microbiome even through childhood and adolescence. This difference is important in the field of microbiome research, particularly in studies examining this relationship with weight, because even though there have been significant associations between the gut microbiome and weight, they have been largely studied in adults. The freshman year of college is an interesting time to study this relationship in younger populations, due to the lifestyle changes that make them vulnerable to weight gain. This study included N=139 participants, a majority female (N=97, 69.8%), white (N=59, 42.4%), and non-Hispanic (N=89, 64%). Participants were only included in this analysis if they gave 2 or more fecal samples over the 4 timepoint study. Samples were sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq instrument after polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification was performed on the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene sequence. Statistical analysis was performed using the longitudinal plugin of QIIME2. Results demonstrate that low abundance features seemed to drive a majority of the differences in variability between those who maintained their weight over the course of the study and those who gained weight. This was demonstrated through many significant Unweighted UniFrac results with corresponding nonsignificant Weighted UniFrac data. This study demonstrated that changes in lower abundance features may have driven the significant differences in weight status in this study. This study emphasized the importance of low abundance features and how this relates to changes in weight status during a period of major lifestyle changes. Further work is needed to confirm these findings and explore how gut microbes change in free-living individuals gaining weight over time.

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Date Created
2021