Saturday, 14 June 2014

Gum disease bacteria selectively disarm immune system

Gum disease bacteria selectively disarm immune system, study finds

Gum disease bacteria selectively disarm immune system, Penn study finds
Bacteria that cause gum disease use a sophisticated, two-prong approach to selectively disarm immune cells. The strategy prevents neutrophils from killing bacteria but still allows the cells to cause inflammation in the gums. Credit: University of Pennsylvania
The human body is comprised of roughly 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. In healthy people, these bacteria are typically harmless and often helpful, keeping disease-causing microbes at bay. But, when disturbances knock these bacterial populations out of balance, illnesses can arise. Periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, is one example.

Their findings, reported in the journal
 Cell Host & Microbe, lay out the mechanism, revealing that the periodontal bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis acts on two molecular pathways to simultaneously block immune cells' killing ability while preserving the cells' ability to cause inflammation. The selective strategy protects "bystander" gum bacteria from immune system clearance, promoting dysbiosis and leading to the bone loss and inflammation that characterizes periodontitis. At the same time, breakdown products produced by inflammation provide essential nutrients that "feed" the dysbiotic microbial community. The result is a vicious cycle in which inflammation and dysbiosis reinforce one another, exacerbating periodontitis.In a new study, University of Pennsylvania researchers show that bacteria responsible for many cases of  cause this imbalance, known as dysbiosis, with a sophisticated, two-prong manipulation of the human .
George Hajishengallis, a professor in the Penn School of Dental Medicine's Department of Microbiology, was the senior author on the paper, collaborating with co-senior author John Lambris, the Dr. Ralph and Sallie Weaver Professor of Research Medicine in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. Collaborators included Tomoki Maekawa and Toshiharu Abe of Penn Dental Medicine.
Work by Hajishengallis's group and collaborators had previously identified P. gingivalisas a "keystone pathogen." Drawing an analogy from the field of ecology, in which a species such as a grizzly bear is thought of as a keystone species because of the influence it has over a number of other species in the community, the idea suggests that, although P. gingivalis may be relatively few in number in the mouth, their presence exerts an outsized pull on the overall microbial ecosystem. Indeed, the team has shown that, although P. gingivalis is responsible for instigating the process that leads to periodontitis, it can't cause the disease by itself.
In this study, they wanted to more fully understand the molecules involved in the process by which P. gingivalis caused disease."Scientists are beginning to suspect that keystone pathogens might be playing a role in irritable bowel disease, colon cancer and other inflammatory diseases," Hajishengallis said. "They're bugs that can't mediate the disease on their own; they need other, normally non-pathogenic bacteria to cause the inflammation."
"We asked the question, how could bacteria evade killing without shutting off inflammation, which they need to obtain their food," Hajishengallis said.
The researchers focused on neutrophils, which shoulder the bulk of responsibility of responding to periodontal insults. Based on the findings of previous studies, they examined the role of two protein receptors: C5aR and Toll-like receptor-2, or TLR2.
Inoculating mice with P. gingivalis, they found that animals that lacked either of these receptors as well as animals that were treated with drugs that blocked these receptors had lower levels of bacteria than untreated, normal mice. Blocking either of these receptors on human neutrophils in culture also significantly enhanced the cells' ability to kill the bacteria. Microscopy revealed that P. gingivalis causes TLR2 and C5aR to physically come together.
"These findings suggest that there is some crosstalk between TLR2 and C5aR," Hajishengallis said. "Without either one, the bacteria weren't as effective at colonizing the gums."
Further experiments in mice and in cultured human neutrophils helped the researchers identify additional elements of how P. gingivalis operates to subvert the immune system. They found that the TLR2-C5aR crosstalk leads to degradation of the protein MyD88, which normally helps clear infection. And in a separate pathway from MyD88, they discovered that P. gingivalis activates the enzyme PI3K through C5aR-TLR2 crosstalk, promoting  and inhibiting neutrophils' ability to phagocytose, or "eat," invading bacteria.
Inhibiting the activity of either PI3K or a molecule that acted upstream of PI3K called Mal restored the neutrophils' ability to clear P. gingivalis from the gums.
"P. gingivalis uses this connection between C5aR and TLR2 to disarm and dissociate the MyD88 pathway, which normally protects the host from infection, from the proinflammatory and immune-evasive pathway mediated by Mal and PI3K," Hajishengallis said.
Not only does the team's discovery open up new targets for periodontitis treatment, it also suggests a bacterial strategy that could be at play in other diseases involving dysbiosis.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Ankh Rah Article in The Guardian’s Ethical & Green Innovation

On Saturday 7 September 2013 – Ethical & Green Innovations

Over 90 ways to nourish your body from 1 source

Ankh Rah specialises in products derived from the Moringa tree, one of nature’s most nutritious super-foods and the health food industry’s best-kept secret. Moringa Leaf Powder is rich in protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and it delivers substantially more super-food essentials – such as Vitamin C, potassium, iron and calcium – than oranges, bananas, spinach or milk. There’s more: it boosts energy levels, detoxifies and acts as an antibiotic, sleeping aid and skin treatment. Customers testify to the plant’s ability to energise, rejuvenate, nourish, detox, relax and simply create a general feeling of wellbeing. It is increasingly popular as a safe, gentle but effective way to aid concentration, boost energy and increase mental clarity in those who are tired and overworked. Moringa oleifera, or the horseradish shrub, is a pan-tropical plant that is known regionally as benzolive, drumstick shrub, marango, mulangay, nébéday or sajna. But not all Moringa is the same; Ankh Rah sources only the finest, most potent Moringa from around the world to produce the finest supplement on the market. Ankh Rah High Quality Moringa is safe to use as a sports supplement because it has been nutritionally analysed and tested according to the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) testing standards (ISO 17025). Produced using ethical farming methods, it is available in tablet form, powder or seeds and is delicious in tea, smoothies or in other cooking and foods such as soups and salads. It’s also available as Moringa oil which can be used for cooking or on the skin, hair and scalp as it’s also high in oleic acid with excellent skin smoothing properties. It is also available as a natural soap with virgin coconut oil so it is pure and mild enough to be used every day as a face and body soap. Ankh Rah source and supply a number of other dietary and health supplements, including Red Algae vegan capsules. Harvested from the clear waters of Iceland, the seaweed-derived mineral source improves bone and joint health. It is rich in calcium, magnesium and 70 other trace minerals including zinc, iron and selenium and is highly bioavailable so the human body easily absorbs the nutrients. Ankh Rah High Quality Supplements Tel: 0208 314 0551 Email:

Here is the editorial that appeared in the Guardian’s Ethical & Green Magazine on 7 September 2013:

A new health and nutrition company based in London, providing the highest quality natural foods and supplements from source to end product. It specialises in products derived from the Moringa tree. Professional sports men and women can feel safe using Moringa to enhance their performance because the company has had its High Quality Moringa Powder nutritionally analysed and tested according to the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) testing standards (ISO 17025).

Ankh Rah Interviewed by Vision News

Two members of Ankh Rah were interviewed by

VISION NEWSPAPER in April 2012. Here is the article:

Moringa - The Miracle Tree

Dubbed the miracle tree or tree of life -Moringa- is truly an outstanding plant for various reasons. It’s unique combination of vitamins, amino-acids and antioxidants makes it one of the most nutritious plants. All parts of the tree can be used medicinally, or for cosmetic and nutritional purposes. Crushed Moringa seeds have the ability to purify water by aggregating suspended particles and thus removing harmful elements. The juice of the trunk is used to disinfect wounds and makes them heal quicker. Moringa oil is used in the cosmetics industry and the leaves are crushed to a powder used as a nutritional supplement. Monica Marcu a Clinical Pharmacologist who has studied many plants calls it: “One of the most exciting trees.” A young entrepreneur team in London has set up Ankh Rah, a company who endeavours to make the use of Moringa more popular. Vision talks to Ankh Rah: Q. What exactly is Moringa? A. A tree which grows in tropical and subtropical regions (India, The Philippines, West Africa) that has been used for thousands of years. It’s referred to as the Tree of Life and the modern day scientist call it The Miracle tree, because of the amount of nutrients the tree carries. There are not many plants who have this characteristic. The Moringa leaves are the main part which are crushed to a powder rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and omega oils. Q. How did you discover Moringa for yourself? A. I came across it while travelling in West Africa. I saw people using it and was curious. That’s when we started to do our research and tested Moringa from different parts of the world. From the research we found slight differences. For our products we source the most potent of all the Moringa we tested. The whole process started three years ago with the research to eventually being able to sell the products and ensuring we are working with the right ones. Its been a long time in the making and we now can bring our ideas to reality. Q. How do you use the Moringa Leaf powder? A. The Moringa powder makes a very refreshing cup of tea. You can also sprinkle it on your greens or any other meal. For the tea one key thing is not to use hot boiling water as you will burn out the enzymes and some of the vitamins. Sports persons will quickly notice the energy they get from it. In fact there are some champions who use Moringa like the Philippinian champion boxer Manni Pacquio; this was his secret formula. Q. What products do you offer and where are they produced? A. We have products produced from all over the world. Our Moringa leaf powder is sourced from a special farm Ghana which does a nutritional analysis and we over here have our product ,tested according to the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) testing standards (ISO 17025). So we have made sure it’s absolutely safe for the public. It’s 100% natural and safe to use for all ages. The Moringa oil is from Uganda. It is used for dry lips or as a moisturiser after shaving to prevent shaving bumps, it is antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral. We also offer a Moringa soap, which sold out very fast at one point and is still selling fast!.. Sharpen the Brain is a combination of 12 herbs including Ginkgo Biloba, formulated specifically for activating the brain and helping your memory. People who are studying and using it find that their level of concentration improves. For women we have a product called Just like a Virgin! gel, vaginal gel for hormone balancing and PH correction, it is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, rich in minerals, helping women of all ages, also women to get through the menopause. Women find relief with their PMS symptoms. It’s anti-fungal and also has a tightening effect. All products have been tested and we don’t test on animals.

Moringa For Beauty

Africa’s influence grows with new beauty products

Thursday 7 Feb 2013 6:00 am

Mainstream beauty brands now realise African ingredients are essential.

We are used to ingredients from around the world but, with beauty, Africa is now the hot spot, with lush, plant-derived oils and extracts reaching mainstream brands. Protein-rich baobab, from the baobab tree, is a key ingredient for skincare as it’s high in antioxidants, calcium, and vitamins C and A. Marula oil, from the tree of the same name, boasts higher antioxidant and omega-9 levels than argan oil, while nutrient-dense moringa leaves contain no less than 30 antioxidants.

And the Winner is.....Ankh Rah High Quality Moringa

Ankh Rah High Quality Moringa. Winner of the Best New Product at The Natural Lifestyle Product Awards 2013