A team of Israeli researchers have identified five proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 virus that are responsible for severe vascular damage that could lead to heart attack or stroke.
While Covid-19 is largely known as respiratory disease, there has been a very high incidence of vascular disease and blood clotting, for example stroke and heart attack, among Covid patients.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University identified the five proteins from a total of 29 different proteins that make up the novel coronavirus. When the coronavirus enters the body, it begins to produce 29 proteins, the team said.
In the process of infection and the protein development, the "blood vessels turn from opaque tubes into kind of permeable nets or pieces of cloth, and in parallel there is an increase in blood clotting", said Dr Ben Maoz, Afrom the varsity's Department of Biomedical Engineering and Sagol School of Neuroscience.
The team thoroughly examined the effect of each of the 29 proteins expressed by the virus, and were successful in identifying the five specific proteins that cause the greatest damage to endothelial cells and hence to vascular stability and function.
"We tend to think of Covid as primarily a respiratory disease, but the truth is that coronavirus patients are up to three times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack. All the evidence shows that the virus severely damages the blood vessels or the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels. However, to this day the virus has been treated as one entity. We wanted to find out which proteins in the virus are responsible for this type of damage," Maoz said.
In the study, published in the journal eLife, the team used the RNA of each of the Covid-19 proteins and examined the reaction that occurred when the various RNA sequences were inserted into human blood vessel cells in the lab.
In addition, the team used a computational model which allowed them to assess and identify which coronavirus proteins have the greatest effect on other tissues, without having seen them 'in action' in the lab.
"Our research could help find targets for a drug that will be used to stop the virus's activity, or at least minimise damage to blood vessels," Maoz noted. (Agency)
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A well balanced and nutritious diet plays an essential role in the holistic development of a child. The tiny toddlers tend to be highly selective when it comes to food which might miss out on the crucial components of their nutritious needs. It is therefore very important to ensure a substantial intake of nutrients for a child's proper growth and development which further can be provided with desirable milk powders or supplements. During the growing years of a child's life, some nutrients carry more weightage than others like that of proteins.Right from the initial years of infancy through adolescence, proteins fuel a child's physical and mental growth leading to stronger bodies and minds. Protein is a crucial component because it is responsible for building tissues such as muscles, skin and bones. Kids require more proteins during their childhood than at any other time in their lives. As suggested by the National Academies of Science, 1-3 year olds should get at least 13 grams a day, 4-8-year-olds should get at least 19 grams a day and 9-13-year-olds should get at least 34 grams a day, says Yashna Garg, CMO E-Commerce, ZeoNutra.Here are a few things she suggests to focus on in your child's development years --Try to engage your kid in as much physical activity from their initial years itself. Activities like -- dance, skating, cycling, swimming, etc. will not only help them to grow physically but mentally as well.Including foods rich in healthy fats is also very essential. Try to add olives, nuts, avocados and seafood which provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E.The best results are found by consuming just the milk powder in the milk without additional sugars. The compound has clinically the ideal amount of sweetness to intake by the kids to help them grow well. Kids these days are in high contact with electronic gadgets which restricts brain development and also increases lethargy in them. It is suggested to pursue them in brain teaser activities and reading books. (Siddhi Jain can be contacted at [email protected])--IANS<br>sj/ <br>
Toronto, Aug 5 (IANS) Scientists have identified a protein in the blood that could be responsible for an aggressive inflammatory response, known as a cytokine storm, which is also the leading cause of death in Covid-19 patients.The team, from the University of Alberta in Canada, analysed the blood plasma of 120 patients with Covid-19. They found that Covid-19 patients have significantly elevated levels of a protein called galectin-9 in their blood plasma. They also found a positive correlation between the levels of galectin-9 and pro-inflammatory cytokines released in the blood, which can lead to a cytokine storm."We have reported in the past that galectin-9 levels go up in HIV infection and with some cancers," said Shokrollah Elahi, Associate Professor in the School of Dentistry's Division of Foundational Sciences."However, when we compared the levels of galectin-9 in the Covid-19 patients to HIV and cancer patients, we could easily distinguish the Covid patients based on the galectin-9 levels," Elahi added. The findings have been published in the journal mBio.The discovery of elevated galectin-9 levels in Covid-19 patients is important because of the positive correlation between the protein and a wide range of pro-inflammatory cytokines."Cytokines as small cell-signalling proteins are involved in checks and balances in the immune system; they can turn on or turn off some cells to regulate the immune system," said Elahi."In the context of Covid, the problem is that there is a dysregulation of cytokine production - they are released very quickly in elevated levels. That's what we call a 'cytokine storm.'"Elahi found that galectin-9 is responsible for instructing immune cells to release the pro-inflammatory cytokines quickly in response to Covid-19 infection by binding to immune cells and forcing them to produce the cytokines. Further, as tissues are damaged as a result of inflammation, more galectin-9 is released from the cells, which activates more immune cells and releases more cytokines in a vicious cycle. The resulting cytokine storm damages tissue and organs, causes severe inflammation and can lead to death, Elahi said. Even if patients survive the storm, the dysregulation of the immune system can have ongoing consequences and could be associated with the condition known as post-Covid-19 syndrome or long Covid.--IANSrvt/bg
Protein intake is a widely-discussed issue among those trying to achieve their fitness goals like building muscle mass or muscle loss after intensive fitness training. Since women tend to have lower quantities of lean mass and more fat mass compared to men, boosting protein can sustain the lean mass.
It has also been observed that most men are interested in hypertrophy, or a visible increase in the size of muscle cells. For women, who may not want to bulk up but rather lose visible fat and build lean muscle, nutritional requirements like protein needs can look different.
Protein and Protein Sources
Rightly called the 'building blocks of your body, protein is a macronutrient that serves various anatomical functions like the adequate flow of blood and oxygen through the body, digestion and regulation of hormone levels. Protein helps our muscles to repair and regrow after exercise and injury. It should also be noted that every gram of protein contains four calories, whereas that number for one gram of fat is nine calories.
Rich protein sources for both men and women include animal and plant-based sources like milk products, eggs, meat, soy, tofu, pulses, beans, black gram, and legumes, and a healthy person should consume all of these in combination to get high-quality proteins. ICMR-NIN says that protein requirements vary with age, physiological status and stress. More proteins are required by growing infants and children, pregnant women and individuals during infections and illness or stress. For people doing fitness training, protein requirements differ as well.
According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), while the recommended daily allowance for a 55-kg woman (whether doing sedentary or heavy work) is 55 grams of protein, for pregnant women and breastfeeding women, this goes up significantly. When it comes to health supplements as protein shakes, women often have to make do with products made for men, since the market is saturated with those.
Doctor's Choice, a 2018-established health supplement brand, is launching a new range of women-centric protein supplements that also aid fat loss. DC's Lean Pro, a high-protein meal replacement for a lean and fit body, balances weight, having zero trans-fat, is sugar-free, has no preservatives and is gluten-free which is safe to use. Suggested by Nupur Vats, Co-Founder, Doctor's Choice, here are things female fitness enthusiasts should keep in mind about their protein intake:
1. Try to build and maintain a high-protein diet that significantly aids weight loss and helps with fitness performance. Just increasing protein intake won't magically give results and needs to be complemented with healthy food choices and regular workouts.
2. If you are taking protein supplements, avoid fake products that saturate the market and do more harm than good. Go for makers who swear by the quality and international standards. Put health before money.
3. Most protein powders are formulated focusing on male body requirements. Women simply need smaller doses of protein to reach their macronutrient needs. While some proteins do have male-specific ingredients, like testosterone boosters. These products should not be taken by women. It's suggested to women consume soy-based protein more since it has agents which boost estrogen levels in women and hence it's advised for males to consume it less.
4. Beyond just the protein content, women's protein powders have additional ingredients that a body needs. There are brands in the market that aim at different kinds of whey protein made just for women. Folic Acid is essential for pregnant women or is trying to be. It helps women fight the risk of strokes, heart disease, and several kinds of cancer. Vitamin B6 helps women maintain a healthy immune system and reduce heart disease.
Iron assists red blood cells in the transferring of oxygen throughout the body. As women lose a lot of blood in their menstrual cycles, women need more iron than men in order to fight fatigue or anaemia. Women's specific protein powders typically have a higher content of folic acid, vitamin B6, and iron, which is required for growth in females.
5. To improve the taste, the sugar content that many brands use in their protein powder formulas are high. Especially true for powders that are marketed directly to women. But the finest protein powders for women won't add a lot of sugars just to give users a boost in flavour. For a natural solution instead of processed sugar, look for brands that use natural sweeteners such as honey or stevia.
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With hectic lifestyles, meeting deadlines, erratic work hours, nutrition intake is severely impacted. Hence, lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension etc are on the rise and it's time to face some hard facts, says an Indian nutrition expert.
The latest survey by the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) to ascertain the levels of protein deficiency and awareness about protein in India showed 73 per cent of urban rich are protein deficient with 93 per cent of them unaware about their daily protein requirements. In fact, despite the urban populace eating poultry products as a source of animal protein, India's consumption of poultry meat products remains one of the lowest in the world at less than 4 kg per capita for poultry while other developed countries have a per capita consumption of as much as 40 kg.
To create awareness about the need to incorporate the essential component of protein in our diets, Protein Week is celebrated from July 24-30 each year.
Detailing the importance of including protein in one's diet, leading nutritionist Ritika Samaddar shares, "As a building block of life, protein is present in every cell of the body. Protein is crucial for growth and development and to fight against diseases. The RDA for protein for an average Indian Adult is 0.8-1.0g per kg body weight, which is around 50-60 g of protein per day for the healthy adult population. There is a need to create awareness on the importance of protein on our health, how much to take and the sources of protein in our diet. India is a crab loving country. We as a nation consume excess starch and fat and grossly inadequate in proteins and there are multiple reasons for this."
Debunking the common myths around protein consumption, Samaddar said, "Firstly the common perception is that "protein is difficult to digest", "leads to weight gain" and "protein is only for bodybuilders"."
So how do we make sure that we get adequate proteins in our diet? Protein is of two types complete and incomplete, which is determined by the composition of amino acids. Complete proteins are found in poultry, egg, milk, fish etc. Complete protein sources like chicken, turkey, duck and egg are high in quantity and quality and 100 per cent digested. Eggs and poultry, besides being an excellent source of protein, are also loaded with micronutrients like vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Iron, Selenium.
"One egg gives around 7 g of protein, whereas 100g of chicken, duck or turkey is around 20-21g. So the focus should be not just on the quantity but also on the quality of protein one takes. Eating high-quality protein like egg and poultry increases metabolism, improves satiety and keeps energy levels high. Inadequate intake of protein leads to weakness and fatigue and delays wound healing and over a long period of time can precipitate into lifestyle diseases like central adiposity, diabetes and high triglyceride levels, besides malnutrition."
Recommending a guideline on protein intake, Samaddar added, "To have adequate protein in one's diet, including a source of protein in every meal. Start your day with a healthy breakfast and include an egg daily or milk. Meals should include some protein food like chicken or lentils. Also snack on protein-rich foods like nuts, sprouts or eggs. In this pandemic too the nutrient most talked about and of utmost importance is protein. Protein is required to build immunity and also fight the disease. Post recovery too, increasing intake of protein is important to rebuild muscle loss, immunity and energy levels."
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New York, July 24 (IANS) A team of US researchers has created an "atlas" that charts how 152 different antibodies attack a major piece of the SARS-CoV-2 machinery, the spike protein, as it has evolved since 2020.The study, published in the journal Cell, highlights antibodies that are able to neutralise the newer strains, while identifying regions of the spike protein that have become more resistant to attack."Emerging data show that vaccines still confer some protection from new SARS-CoV-2 variants, and our study shows how that works from an antibody standpoint," said Duane Wesemann, of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Division of Genetics at Brigham and Women's Hospital."These data can help us think about what the best kind of booster vaccine might be by studying how the repertoire of human antibodies recognises the spike protein," Wesemann added.The researchers examined the antibody-producing Memory B cells of 19 patients who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 in March of 2020, before the emergence of new variants.They studied how these antibodies, as well as other antibodies that have been characterised by researchers, bind to spike protein models of the B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1351 (Beta) and P.1 (Gamma) variants of SARS-CoV-2, which were first identified in the UK, South Africa, and Brazil, respectively.An analysis of the Delta variant is currently underway.Overall, the hundreds of antibodies they studied largely bind to seven major "footprints" on the spike protein. While many of these antibodies "compete" to bind to the same regions of the early version of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, when it comes to newer strains, some of these antibodies lose their potency while others emerge as broadly responsive neutralisers, the researchers said.In particular, antibodies binding to two of these spike protein regions, dubbed RBD-2 and NTD-1, were the most potent neutralisers of initial forms of the spike protein.The B.1.351 spike variant proved to exhibit the greatest ability to evade existing antibody arsenals, escaping many RBD-2- and NTD-1-binding antibodies. Some antibodies binding another region, called S2-1, could recognise spike proteins from more distantly related viruses such as MERS, SARS, and common cold coronaviruses, the team explained."Now that we can identify the antibodies that are more broadly reactive to all of the variants, we can think about how to elicit them more strongly in a vaccine," Wesemann said.--IANSrvt/ksk/