The annual meeting of The Endocrine Society (ENDO 2016) was held from April 1 to 4 in Boston and attracted more than 9,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in endocrine and metabolic disorders. The conference highlighted recent advances in the diagnosis and management of obesity, diabetes, thyroid diseases, and other endocrine disorders.
In one study, Rebekah Kennedy, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and colleagues evaluated the effects of triclocarban (TCC), a non-prescription antimicrobial found primarily in bar soaps, on the composition of the gut microbiota of suckling rat pups. The investigators previously found that TCC concentrates in the breast milk of lactating rats exposed during pregnancy and lactation.
“By sequencing the gut microbiota of control and exposed pups from three days after birth until 16 days after birth, we demonstrated that TCC exposure during the nursing period resulted in microbial compositional changes during bacterial colonization,” Kennedy said. “Lactational TCC exposure induces a compositional change in the gut microbiota of suckling rat pups over time, altering the colonization process. Given the importance of the composition of the gut microbiota to both health and disease, future investigation should focus on the potential health risks associated with changes to the gut microbial colonization process as a result of nonprescription antimicrobial use.”
In another study, Olivia Farr, Ph.D., of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues found that glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptors exist in the human brain. In addition, the investigators also found that the GLP-1 analog liraglutide decreases attractiveness and reward-related brain activation to highly desirable (high calorie or high fat) food cues.
“Liraglutide likely also acts in the human brain to decrease appetite and effectively cause weight loss. This really explains how certain GLP-1 analogs, medications effective at treating type 2 diabetes and obesity, act within the human brain to alter eating behaviors,” Farr said. “We are planning more studies to ascertain whether we would obtain the same or stronger results with the higher liraglutide dose recently approved for obesity (Saxenda). Additionally, we hope to discover whether there are individual differences in terms of the brain’s response to liraglutide acutely or chronically and whether any compensatory brain activations may arise at higher doses to curb weight loss.”
One author disclosed financial ties to Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of liraglutide.
Charu Baskaran, M.D., of the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston, and colleagues examined the effect of estrogen replacement on mental processes, including memory, in 29 oligo-amenorrheic female athletes, ages 14 to 25 years, compared to 19 who received no estrogen replacement. The investigators randomized patients to one of three treatment groups for six months: (1) oral estradiol and progesterone at a dose similar to that in many birth control pills (16 participants); (2) transdermal estradiol at a physiological replacement dose with cyclic progesterone (13 athletes); or (3) no estrogen (19 subjects).
“We found that, compared to the no therapy group, the subjects who received estrogen replacement had greater improvement in verbal memory and cognitive flexibility scores (a measure of executive control) at the end of six months,” Baskaran said. “Oligo-amenorrheic athletes show improvements in verbal memory and executive control following estrogen replacement, supporting a role for gonadal steroids in the regulation of higher cognitive functions. Future studies comparing cognitive indices across eumenorrheic or amenorrheic athletes and healthy non-athletes are warranted.”
Two additional studies presented at the meeting focused on the effects and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In one study, Anju Elizabeth Joham, M.B.B.S., of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues evaluated the prevalence of asthma, as well as the impact of obesity on the prevalence of asthma, in women with PCOS. The investigators found that both PCOS status as well as obesity were independent risk factors for the development of asthma.
In another study, Joon Young Kim, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and colleagues evaluated whether anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) concentration levels in the blood could be altered over a six-month period in 37 obese girls with PCOS. The participating girls were randomized to receive drospirenone-ethinyl estradiol (DEE) or rosiglitazone over the six-month period
The investigators found that after the six-month period, DEE was associated with lower AMH levels compared to rosiglitazone. In addition, AMH levels were significantly higher in girls with PCOS compared to those without PCOS. The researchers found that AMH levels correlated positively with a number of factors, including age; abdominal visceral, subcutaneous, and total adipose tissue; and total and free testosterone. However, no association between AMH levels and insulin levels was observed.
Additionally, as part of the multi-ethnic, multi-site Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, Arun Karlamangla, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues developed a diagnostic tool using AMH to predict whether or not women going through early menopause will experience bone loss faster than others.
The investigators found that AMH levels were significantly correlated with the rate of bone loss during the menopause transition, which may aid clinicians in identifying women who can be prone to bone loss at an accelerated rate.
ENDO: Tanning May Limit Skin’s Ability to Produce Vitamin D
TUESDAY, April 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Tan skin may provide some protection against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, but this increase in pigment blocks vitamin D synthesis and limits the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D, according to findings presented at the annual meeting of the The Endocrine Society, held from April 1 to 4 in Boston.
ENDO: High BMI at 6 Months Tied to Probable Obesity at 6 Years
MONDAY, April 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) — A high body mass index (BMI) in infancy may predict which children are likely to be obese at age 6 years, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the The Endocrine Society, held from April 1 to 4 in Boston.
ENDO: Hypothyroidism Ups T2DM Odds Even With Low-Normal TSH
MONDAY, April 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Hypothyroidism may increase risk for type 2 diabetes, even if thyroid hormone levels are kept within normal range, according to findings presented at the annual meeting of the The Endocrine Society, held from April 1 to 4 in Boston.
ENDO: ‘Paleo’ Diet May Benefit Heart Health Post Menopause
MONDAY, April 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The “Paleo diet” may help older women lose weight, improve their cholesterol profile, and lower future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to findings presented at the annual meeting of the The Endocrine Society, held from April 1 to 4 in Boston.
ENDO: Oxytocin Shows Promise in Overweight/Obese Men
MONDAY, April 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Overweight/obese men receiving a dose of oxytocin nasal spray act less impulsively and exert more control over their behavior compared with men receiving placebo, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society, held from April 1 to 4 in Boston.
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