Spuds that Like you… in your Summer Salad
It has long been known that eating potatoes is good for bowel health, but new research suggests that they may also have a beneficial effect on the whole immune system. Especially if eaten cold or in a potato salad, Anne Pichon reports in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI.
Spanish researchers found that growing pigs fed large quantities of raw potato starch (RPS) had a healthier bowel. Not a surprise, but they also found that RPS pigs had decreased levels of white blood cells, such as leucocytes and lymphocytes in their blood. White blood cells are produced as a result of inflammation or disease, generally when the body is challenged.
The general down-regulation of leucocytes observed by the Spanish researchers suggests an overall beneficial effect, a generally more healthy body, according to immunology expert Lena Ohman at the Department of Internal Medicine, Göteborg University, Sweden. A reduction in leucocyte levels of about 15% was observed in the RPS pigs. Lower lymphocyte levels are also indicative of reduced levels of inflammation, but according to Ohman, the observed reduction in both lymphocyte density and lymphocyte apoptosis by the Spanish researchers is surprising.
Pigs were fed RPS over 14 weeks in what is the longest study of it kind on the effect of starch on bowel health (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture doi:10.1002/jsfa.2835). Study leader José Francisco Pérez at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, said: ‘The use of raw potato starch in this experiment is designed to simulate the effects of a diet high in resistant starch’ says Pérez.
Humans do not eat raw potatoes, but they do eat a lot of foods that contain resistant starch, such as cold boiled potatoes, legumes, grains, green bananas, pasta and cereals About 10% of the starch eaten by human is resistant starch - starch that is not digested in the small intestine and so is shunted into the large intestine where it ferments.
Starch consumption is thought to reduce the risk of large bowel cancer and may also have an effect on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Ohman’s team previously found that the overall lymphocyte levels do not vary for IBS patients, but that lymphocytes are transferred from the peripheral blood to the gut, which support the hypothesis of IBS being at least partially an inflammatory disorder. She says the decrease in lymphocytes observed by the Spanish is therefore interesting, and a diet of resistant starch may be worth trying in IBS patients.
SCI Press Office | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
New technique promises tunable laser devices
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...