Targeted nutrient therapy can improve lung function in obese teens with asthma, without requiring weight loss, according to the results of the pilot clinical trial conducted by the researchers of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI). The study was published in the journal FASEB. The study showed that having specially designed nutrition bars called CHORI-Bars. twice a day for eight weeks improved lung function in obese adolescents with a form of asthma that is resistant to usual treatment.
CHORI-bar is a patent-pending supplement bar designed to fill nutritional gaps in poor diets. It took 10 years for the researchers to develop the bar backed up by 15 small clinical trials.
“The obese are eating the worst diets,” said Ames, the lead author of the study. “Our group had previously demonstrated that the CHORI-bar improved metabolic health in obese, otherwise healthy, adults. We wanted to test whether the bar would also benefit people that had been diagnosed with obesity-linked conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension.”
“We chose obese asthma as the first test of this idea for several reasons”, said Joyce McCann, Ph.D., director of the CHORI-bar project and co-first author of the paper.” We knew that eating a Mediterranean diet had been shown to protect against asthma and that the bar composition had some similarities to a Mediterranean diet. In addition, we knew that obese asthma had been shown in some studies to be associated with the same type of metabolic dysregulation that the bar improves. The aim of the study was to find out if consumption of the bar would improve overall metabolic health in obese asthmatics, and secondarily also improve asthma symptoms.”
The Triage Theory proposed by Ames in 2006 led to the development of the CHORI-Bar. According to the theory, when an essential nutrient is modestly deficient, the body directs the nutrient’s limited supply to essential short-term functions, at the expense of those preventing long-term insidious damage which leads to diseases of aging, such as cancer and heart disease. The theory predicts that even a modestly inadequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals (which is very common) can have an adverse effect on bodily functions needed for a long and healthy life.
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To test the efficacy of CHORI-Bar, the researchers included 56 obese adolescents with poorly controlled asthma and divided them into two groups. Both groups attended eight weekly classes that emphasized the importance of healthy eating and exercise, though participants were not required to change their diets. One of the groups also ate two CHORI-Bars each day.
Lung function and other indicators of metabolic health at the beginning and end of the study was measured by the investigators. The study found that improvement in lung function occurred only in participants who ate the CHORI-Bar. The study also found that improved lung function only occurred in individuals with a low level of chronic inflammation and was not seen in those with higher levels.
“While we do not know the mechanism by which the CHORI-bar is improving lung function, we suspect it may be by strengthening the barrier in the lining of the lung”, said Shigenaga, the co-author of the study. “This barrier is known to be weakened in asthma, leading to the entry of antigens and inflammation. This parallels the way we think the bar is working at the gut barrier.”
For reference log on to https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.201700338