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posted by chromas on Friday August 20, @03:31PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the could dept.

UCLA-led study could clarify how microbes can exacerbate cognitive decline:

In the experiment, which was conducted with mice, researchers found that gut microbes can exacerbate the effects of cognitive impairment because of how they affect the hippocampus, the region of the brain that is critical for memory and learning. They found that the concentration of one group of bacteria called Bilophila increased dramatically in the gut microbiota of mice that were fed a ketogenic diet — high in fat, and low in carbohydrates — and were intermittently deprived of oxygen, creating a condition called hypoxia.

The scientists also found that a ketogenic diet, hypoxia and treatment with a species of Bilophila called Bilophila wadsworthia impaired the hippocampus, leading to reduced cognitive ability in mice.

The researchers gave several mice a ketogenic diet and others a standard diet. Then, all of the mice received reduced levels of oxygen for five consecutive days and then were given four days to recover. Depriving the animals of some oxygen was a way for the scientists to cause cognitive impairment, in order to mimic the cognitive impairment in humans that can be caused by neurological diseases or aging.

Next, the scientists observed their ability to navigate a maze. When trying to find their way out of a maze, mice on the ketogenic diet made an average of 30% more errors than mice given the standard diet. (The range of difference between the two groups was 25% to 75%.)

The researchers also evaluated whether the different diets alone could cause any change in cognitive behavior in mice who had not been deprived of oxygen. In that experiment, there was no appreciable difference in the mice’s ability to find their way out of the maze based on whether they had a ketogenic diet or a standard diet — indicating that the negative impact on cognitive ability only occurred in combination with oxygen deprivation.

[...] Next, the researchers investigated what would happen if they depleted the mice’s microbiota before administering a ketogenic diet and exposing them to hypoxia. Interestingly, mice that had their microbiota depleted first made significantly fewer errors in the maze than mice that were exposed to hypoxia and given a ketogenic diet but had not had changes to their microbiota first.

Journal Reference:
Christine A. Olson. Alterations in the gut microbiota contribute to cognitive impairment induced by the ketogenic diet and hypoxia, Cell Host & Microbe (DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2021.07.004)


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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, @04:12PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, @04:12PM (#1168872)

    Given that humans are omnivores and mice are herbivores, how valid is it to test the effects of a ketogenic diet on mice and extrapolate that to people? Mice are evolved to eat a very high carb diet. People less so.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, @07:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, @07:10PM (#1168976)
      80% of mice studies end up not being applicable to humans, so at this point I'd say it's more worrisome to be subjected to hypoxia for 5 days than anything else, especially considering the shear size of human brains (the genus Florida Man being an obvious exception).
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, @07:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, @07:16PM (#1168981)

      TFA: "the negative impact on cognitive ability only occurred in combination with oxygen deprivation"

      Even if the effect translates to humans, it only concerns those engaging in certain unsafe sexual practices. :)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @12:19AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @12:19AM (#1169122)

      Mice are not herbivores.

  • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by Snotnose on Friday August 20, @08:21PM (2 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Friday August 20, @08:21PM (#1169007)

    I would give anything to forget about my sister and her waste of oxygen daughter. My sister was the executor of dad's estate and stole $350k from it while A) moving into the house for 3 years while doing diddly to settle the estate; B) I went to court to remove her as executor, she lost in March 2021; C) Needing a court order (3 months) to get her evicted from the house (note, she has a house she shares with her BF of 20+ years); and D) Did I mention she drained dad's savings in that last 3 months?

    Her daughter is the apex of the parasite species. She moved from her mom's to a husband (marine dude), he booted her after 2 years and she moved back to her mom, then moved to mom and dad's house, bailed after mom died and dad was getting to be a handful, and, AFAIK at close to 40 years old has yet to hold a job for more than 6 months. Not a druggie, just lazy as fuck and won't take responsibility for anything and someone has always been there to support her.

    This turned into a rant, sorry. But I am so absolutely pissed at the situation my sister put me in, well, I'm gonna shut up now.

    --
    If at first you don't succeed use a bottle opener. It's probably not a screw off cap.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, @09:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, @09:15PM (#1169028)

      lol, what did that have to do with what the article was presenting?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @11:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @11:07PM (#1169425)

      Really need to add some reference to her being Democrat or "urban" to carry the narrative.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, @09:26PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, @09:26PM (#1169039)

    I can't quite find the discussions but we had discussions about how lab and farm animals and people are gaining weight even when fed the same exact diet. There was some discussion over it in the comments and some possible correlation between it and CO2 levels

    Rats Exposed to Beijing Air Gain Weight
    https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=16/02/23/0214220 [soylentnews.org]

    Along with the decline in average body temperature

    Researchers Examine the Decline in Average Body Temperature Among Healthy Adults
    https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=20/10/29/0519236 [soylentnews.org]

    Anywho I found this video very interesting that also discusses the topic and relates it to CO2 levels as well.

    Is Our Food Becoming Less Nutritious?
    Veritasium
    https://youtu.be/Yl_K2Ata6XY?t=294 [youtu.be]

    I guess the thinking is that, due to increased CO2 levels in the environment, plants (and food) have been putting on more carbs, compared to proteins and other nutrients, so humans and animals must consume more plants/carbs to get the appropriate amount of other nutrients. This causes more weight gain.

    I wonder if this can also impact body temperature as well.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @12:23AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @12:23AM (#1169123)

      Monoculture farming with tons of chemical fertilizer is also depleting trace minerals from soils, which are not allowed to recover naturally.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @01:25AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @01:25AM (#1169133)

        Absolutely this. Even without monoculture farming, soil depletion matters. Rotating crops won't re-mineralize the soil inherently

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @11:10PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @11:10PM (#1169427)

        Yep - those fields of crops that look like the land is fertile are in actual fact sterile deserts supported by imported chemicals and water. Like Arizona.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @01:19AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @01:19AM (#1169132)

      Lower body temperature means easier to maintain temperature homeostasis, literally you burn fewer calories for heat. This is a positive feedback loop, too, because adipose is good insulation.

      This insulation is only slightly counteracted by the increase in surface area, which is small because of volume-to-surface scaling in 3d, and further minimized by how deposits literally take the forms which have lower surface area, becoming rounder and rounder from less spherical low-fat shapes.

      A literal real bummer for those of us trying to lose weight.

      However, we can hack it. Swimming or even doing cardio in water has a high metabolic cost because the thermal conductiveness is so much higher than clothed in air.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @11:15PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 21, @11:15PM (#1169429)

        Or you could, ya know, put down the family size Cheetos.

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