Wednesday, 23 May 2018

season review

The school and sports season draws to an end...
The month of May is traditionally the month of the Finals, the Cups and the revisions for school exams...

Summarising the season, there are two truly memorable days...

1. Thursday 26th April 2018 when 3 St Munchins Year 1 Boys won a SciFest prize

Darragh, Rory and Nathaniel (Right to Left) - smiley "Scientists to be"


2. Sunday 20th May 2018 when Corbally United's U12a squad won the Div 1 cup.

U12a Corbally United the Cup winners as picured in UL Sunday 20th May (the Mentors, the Boys, the smiles)

I am not not sure if one photo equals to 1000 words but these two photos are  millions of words for me :)

Well done, Boys and do not forget... to ...Carpe Diem !



Carpe Diem, Boys; make your Life extraordinary!

Structural Elucidation of Irish Organic Farmed Salmon (Salmo salar) Polar Lipids with Antithrombotic Activities

just published in Marine Drugs

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Limerick, V94 T9PX Limerick, Ireland
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, via Ospedale 72, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre, Limerick Institute of Technology, Moylish Park, V94 E8YF Limerick, Ireland
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, School of the Environment, University of the Aegean, GR 81400 Myrina, Lemnos, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 April 2018 / Revised: 16 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3602 KB, uploaded 23 May 2018]   |  
Graphical Abstract


While several marine polar lipids (PL) have exhibited cardioprotective properties through their effects on the platelet-activating factor (PAF) pathways, salmon PL have not been tested so far. In this study, the antithrombotic activities of salmon PL were assessed in human platelets and the structural characterisation of bioactive salmon PL was performed by GC-MS and LC-MS analyses. PL from fillets of Irish organic farmed salmon (Salmo salar) were extracted and separated into several lipid subclasses by thin-layer chromatography (TLC), while their fatty acid profile was fully characterised by GC-MS. Salmon total lipids (TL), total neutral lipids (TNL), total polar lipids (TPL), and each PL subclass obtained by TLC were further assessed for their in vitro effects towards PAF-induced and thrombin-induced platelet aggregation in human platelets. Salmon PL exhibited antithrombotic effects on human platelet aggregation, mostly through their strong inhibitory effects against the PAF pathway with IC50 values comparable to other marine PL, but with lower effects towards the thrombin pathway. PL fractions corresponding to phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine derivatives exhibited the most potent anti-PAF effects, while LC-MS analysis putatively elucidated their structure/function relationship. Several diacyl-PC/PE and alkyl-acyl-PC/PE species containing mostly docosahexaenoic acid at their sn-2 glycerol-backbone may be responsible for the bioactivity. The data presented suggests that salmon contains PL with strong antithrombotic bioactivities.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Low-fat or full-fat fermented dairy products, such as yogurt, may benefit cardiovascular health

[reposting from here]


As latest research questions conventional dietary recommendations on dairy foods due to the properties of dairy fats, fermented dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and kefir, could prove to be a healthy choice for protecting against cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Dairy foods have long been believed to increase the risk of CVD due to their fats content and their association with increased cholesterol levels. In response, dietary guidelines in Western countries recommend limiting full-fat dairy products in favour of low-fat versions.
However, with recent evidence suggesting that systemic inflammation is the key biochemical driver of atherosclerosis and damage to the heart muscle, this advice and the science underlying it are now under debate, according to the authors of this review article.

High saturated fatty acid intake may not cause harmful cholesterol levels

Question marks have been raised over the science that suggested a causal relationship between a high intake of saturated fatty acids (SFA), high LDL-cholesterol, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
Indeed, the authors say, despite high levels of SFAS, full-fat dairy foods have positive or at least neutral effects on cardiovascular health, while also contributing to higher intakes of nutrients such as vitamins D and K.

The focus is shifting to consider the effect of the fermented dairy food matrix on cardiovascular health

Research has moved away from focusing on single nutrients, such as saturated fat, towards considering the food matrix, the nutrient and non-nutrient components of foods and how they interact and affect body chemistry.
Researchers are also trying to pin down the specific effects of different types of dairy foods, including fermented products, such as yogurt, cheese and kefir, on cardiovascular health.

Fermented dairy products such as yogurt may hold potential benefits for cardiovascular health

Although fermented dairy products are often linked with gut health, they also appear to benefit cardiometabolic health, which encompasses cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes (T2D) and the metabolic syndrome.
Higher consumption of cheese, yogurt and kefir is linked with lower levels of LDL-cholesterol and blood pressure, together with a lower risk of T2D, stroke and coronary heart disease (CHD). These potential benefits may increase the more you consume.

Yogurt in particular is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD)

Yogurts in particular, with their diverse assortment of different bioactive, nutrient-rich compounds, especially when consumed with fruit, have been linked with a reduced risk of CVD, diabetes and metabolic syndrome – i.e.  high blood pressure, high blood glucose, large waist circumference and abnormal blood fats.

Choose fermented dairy products to optimise nutrient intake and potential cardiovascular health benefits

Exactly how fermented foods influence risk factors for CVD is yet to be uncovered. However, it is thought that probiotics and vitamin K2, which are both present in fermented dairy foods, may play a part.
The fermentation process itself may also have a role as it leads to changes in the structure of fats and proteins. These may account for some of the observed effects. There may also be benefits of full-fat dairy consumption based on higher bioavailability of high-value nutrients and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Hence while full-fat dairy products can continue to be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle, choosing fermented dairy products is most likely to optimise nutrient intake and potential cardiovascular health benefits.
Find out more: read the original article

Source: Lordan R, Tsoupras A, Mitra B, Zabetakis I. Dairy fats and cardiovascular disease: do we really need to be concerned? Foods 2018 Mar 1;7(3)

To go further, we invite you to read the authors’ post on the topic: “Dairy fats and cardiovascular disease: Do we really need to be concerned?

Corbally United (extra curriculum activities)

It's a great pleasure to be involved in of young and when there is great result (Cup Winners U12 div 1) ( ) the pleasure is exponentially higher!

p.s. The best feeling is when looking back at all season and realise how much this team has grown and bonded since 30th August where we lost 3-1 to Lisnagry away and two linesmen were almost sent off 😋

Yesterday's Cup Final
(Corbally United - Lisnagry 2-0),

it was a Great Battle, all for one and one for all! Really Proud for all of You, lads!

Friday, 18 May 2018

Is Lipid Level or Inflammation the Critical Factor for Cardiovascular Disease Risk?

re-posting from here

No orthodoxy lacks accompanying heretics; it often seems that science is a business of proceeding abruptly and messily from one steady state consensus to another via the mechanism of heresy. It is of course worth bearing in mind that most heretics do turn out to be wrong, and are consequently forgotten by all but the most painstaking of scientific historians. In the paper I'll point out today, the orthodoxy of blood lipid levels as a cause of cardiovascular disease is challenged. The heresy is to suggest that it isn't the lipids at all, but all down to a matter of chronic inflammation.
This is a tough topic to arbitrate, because raised lipids, such as cholesterol, and raised inflammation go hand in hand. Dietary approaches to tackling cholesterol levels are minimally effective in the grand scheme of things, as dietary content is only a small factor in the lipid content of blood, but they also, inconveniently, tend to move the needle on inflammation as well. The calorie content of the diet, considered over the long-term, is linked to lipids and inflammation in equal measures via the amount of visceral fat tissue an individual carries. Therapies that are available and widely used to reduce blood cholesterol, such as statins, are shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Therapies under development, such as delivery of the APOA1 protein that makes up the HDL particles responsible for dragging cholesterol out of vulnerable cells and transporting it to the liver, also have significant anti-inflammatory effects. You can probably see the challenge.
On the one hand, it doesn't seem completely unreasonable to mount the argument that lipid levels are a smokescreen, and we should be caring about chronic inflammation. We know that chronic inflammation is very damaging, and contributes to the progression of all of the common age-related diseases. When it comes to cardiovascular disease, and particularly atherosclerosis, it seems hard to write off a role for lipid levels in blood, however. Atherosclerosis is caused by oxidized lipids that overwhelm the cells sent to clean them up when they irritate blood vessel walls; the fatty deposits that narrow blood vessels are made up of lipids and dead cells. More lipids means more overwhelmed cells. Lower lipid levels means fewer oxidized lipids. But does that simple calculus hold up when looked at in detail? To answer that question, we need more data on highly effective therapies that are either anti-lipid or anti-inflammatory, but not both.
Inflammation, not Cholesterol, Is a Cause of Chronic Disease

= = =

our answer:

In our work

In vivo anti-atherogenic properties of cultured gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) polar lipid extracts in hypercholesterolaemic rabbits

we have shown that fish polar lipids do not affect significantly levels of LDL but increase levels of HDL and  reduce atherosclerotic lesions.

The diets employed led to significant increases (day 45 vs. day 0) in TC, LDL-C, HDL-C and TAG concentrations in animals of both groups (Table 1). TC, LDL-C and TAG levels did not exhibit significant differences between groups A and B by day 45. On the other hand, HDL-C levels exhibited significant increase in group B compared to group A by day 45 (p < 0.05) (Table 1).
Table 1. Basic plasma lipid profile in rabbits of both groups.

Time (days)A (n = 6)B (n = 6)
TC (mg/dl)062 ± 2066 ± 18
451906 ± 821a1555 ± 122a
LDL-C (mg/dl)019 ± 167 ± 5
451707 ± 742a1300 ± 126a
HDL-C (mg/dl)029 ± 430 ± 7
4582 ± 26a,b138 ± 30a,b
TAG (mg/dl)0141 ± 49146 ± 66
45652 ± 316a588 ± 141a
Results are expressed as mean ± SD.
A: atherogenic diet; B: atherogenic diet enriched with GSBPL.
Denotes statistical significance within same group (day 45 vs. 0; p < 0.05), according to the Wilcoxon test.
Denotes statistical significance between groups A and B (day 45; p < 0.05), according to the Mann–Whitney U-test.

Fig. 1. Representative optic micrographs × 100 of aortic wall sections stained with haematoxylin and eosin from the two experimental groups, where atherosclerotic lesions appear as foam cells (). (A) Group A (atherogenic diet); (B) Group B (atherogenic diet enriched with GSBPL).

We can thus suggest that it is NOT the cholesterol but the anti-inflammatory impact of fish lipids.
We have further studied that here.

Fish polar lipids retard atherosclerosis in rabbits by down-regulating PAF biosynthesis and up-regulating PAF catabolism




A moving front page on Plastic Plague

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Sustainability and functionality

(my latest Op-Ed in Aquafeed Magazine)

The news: “Retailer Holland and Barrett have bowed to Greenpeace pressure and removed krill products from its shelves after being warned they were stealing food from penguins” (Telegraph, March 23, 2018).

According to NGO Greenpeace, the krill-fishing industry, which involves catching the tiny shrimp-like creatures for products such as Omega-3 tablets, has threatened wildlife in Antarctica. For the environmental group, this activity depletes food from penguins, seals and whales in the fragile region.

The environmental campaign group accused Holland & Barrett of stocking products which put species that depend on the krill for food at risk. Supporters have sent 40,000 emails to the company's chief executive on the issue in 24 hours and stores across the UK have seen krill products labelled with stickers about their impact on the environment.

Separately, a polling of 2,024 adults by YouGov for Greenpeace has revealed almost two-thirds of people (65 percent) think retailers should not be stocking krill products fished in areas being considered for protection in the Antarctic Ocean.

A recent report from Greenpeace warned that tracking of ships targeting krill in Antarctica has revealed vessels close to wildlife feeding grounds and suggests some are anchoring near existing protected areas.

Greenpeace is calling for all vessels krill fishing in the region to stay out of all Antarctic areas which are being proposed as marine sanctuaries and for businesses which buy krill to avoid those that continue to fish in those places.

Holland & Barrett's chief executive Peter Aldis said all the krill-based supplements it sold were certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, but the company shared the concerns raised in the Greenpeace report.

Read the full article, HERE.