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Could the CHORI-Bar be the Key?
CHORI Researchers Receive Grant to Study Nutritional Intervention in Obese Asthma Adolescents

January, 2013 – CHORI is pleased to announce that Pediatric Pulmonary Fellow Mustafa Bseikri, MD, CHORI Clinical Scientist Ashutosh Lal, MD, CHORI Senior Scientist Bruce N. Ames, PhD, CHORI Staff Scientist and Co-Investigator, Joyce McCann, PhD, and their colleagues have received a grant through the University of California, San Francisco’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) to study the affects of a nutritional intervention in adolescent patients with obesity and asthma.

“It’s a pretty original idea that has never been tried before, which is to use a dietary intervention that has been shown to improve insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and oxidative stress, to improve the quality of life in asthmatics and possibly even asthma symptoms,” says Dr. McCann.

“It’s a pretty original idea that has never been tried before, which is to use a dietary intervention that improves insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and oxidative stress, to improve asthma symptoms.”



As the obesity epidemic continues to grow, asthma has become more and more prevalent in obese patients. Recent research has shown that asthma in obese patients may in fact be a distinct asthma subtype, however, different in both symptoms and causes from classic asthma. What the exact connection is between the two conditions, however, is not yet fully understood.

"That is one of the goals of the study, to try and determine what the mechanistic link between the two conditions is is it based on insulin resistance? Vitamin and mineral intake? Oxidative stress? Or some other metabolic change?" says Dr. Bseikri.
“Is the mechanistic link between obesity and asthma based on insulin resistance? Vitamin and mineral intake? Oxidative stress? Or some other metabolic change?”
The study utilizes the CHORI-Bar, a low-calorie, high-fiber, fruit-based, nutrient-dense bar that was developed in collaboration with the USDA over eight years by a team of scientists at CHORI led by Dr. Ames and CHORI Assistant Scientist and Co-Investigator Mark Shigenaga, PhD, to address important gaps in the standard American diet, which is high in calories, fat and sugar but low in fiber and micronutrients. Previous research has shown that the CHORI-bar improves insulin sensitivity, anti-oxidant defense, dyslipidemia, and vitamin/mineral intake.

"One of the challenges with obese asthma is that we don't have any really good therapies. The asthma in these patients tends to be resistant to many of the classic medications for asthma," Dr. Bseikri explains.
"We want to find out if we can potentially identify the mechanism of action by using the CHORI-bar to change the diet and introduce micronutrients, fiber, fruit polyphenolics, omega-3 fatty acids and other food components in which most of the obese are deficient."

Understanding the mechanism will allow researchers to target that mechanism with interventions specific to the obese asthma population. Drs. Bseikri and the collaborative team hope that the CHORI-bar may not only help identify the causes of obese asthma, but may also provide a potential new treatment option in the form of a simple dietary intervention.

The study builds on preliminary data that were very encouraging and helped inform the current grant. The study will compare two cohorts of patients. One group will consume the CHORI-bar twice-daily in addition to standard of care (weekly nutrition and exercise classes), and the other group will receive only standard of care. Markers of nutrient and metabolic status including inflammation, oxidative stress, and dyslipidemia as well as overall asthma control and lung function will be assessed.

“In addition to shedding light on the underlying mechanisms linking the metabolic dysregulation of obesity and asthma, the study will hopefully provide the preliminary evidence necessary to conduct a large-scale clinical trial,” says Dr. McCann.

 

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Friday, April 12, 2013 7:39 AM

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