HSN – New research on 1-Food-drug reactions, 2-Gut inflammation, & 3-Nutrition for PMS

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Health Scoop News 📑 – 1-Food-drug reactions, 2-Gut inflammation, & 3-Nutrition for PMS

I always have my nose in new health research, so I’m sharing some of the most relevant studies with you in regular editions of “Health Scoop News.”

[This news summary is a bit reminiscent of my old “This week in science for holistic health” newsletters that I used to do circa 2016 (I deleted most, but here’s one post I kept live), as well as the rEATsearch podcast I used to co-host.]

These are my top three study picks (comment below to tell me what health topics/niches are best for you!). All of the studies listed below are very high quality studies (most are studies that review and analyze data from several previous studies, including clinical trials).

These studies were all published in the past month or so.

1 – Food-medication interactions

Study title: Possible interactions between selected food processing and medications

This is a review study, summarizing what we know about the effects that certain foods and food processes have on how drugs are absorbed and metabolized.

Here’s some background info:

  • “Adverse food-drug interactions can be serious and, in extreme cases, may result in severe health consequences.”

The review found several negative effects that certain foods and food processes can have when taking medications:

  • Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, fried pork chops, fried sweet potatoes, fried banana chips): “Fried foods, typically prepared with high-fat cooking methods, can delay gastric emptying and influence the enteric absorption of certain drugs, particularly those that are lipophilic.” Also, “The high oil content of the fried foods could interact with the drug enteric coating. . . . potentially altering the drug’s release profile.”
  • The toxicity of oxysterols (from frying, grilling, and barbequing animal-based foods) and oxyphytosterols (created by exposing plant-based foods to high temperatures) can interfere with absorption of medicines because they can damage the lining of the gut; however, these effects can be quenched by eating a nutritious diet that includes vitamin E, fatty acids, polyphenols—nutrients found in olive oil, healthy plants, and other nutritious foods.
  • Air frying, barbecuing and grilling give rise to other harmful compounds,” (e.g., acrylamide, polycyclic hydrocarbons, and heterocyclic amines) that can induce cytochrome P450 enzymes that metabolize many medications.
  • It is known that flavonoids contained in grapefruit juice, such as naringinin and hesperidin, are responsible for the inhibition of transmembrane transporters, which play a role in the passage of several drugs from the intestinal lumen within the bloodstream.” . . . “Besides the possible interference with drug metabolism, grapefruit juice can affect drug transporters proteins and the final result is that less drug enters the blood.”
  • Ginkgo biloba, an important herbal compound and a dietary supplement, has actually been proven to interfere with the effectiveness of some medications.” . . . “Herbal preparations containing Ginkgo biloba should be avoided in patients treated with antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs.”
  • Omega-3 fatty acids “can interact with blood thinning drugs and could have possible adverse effects, or determine therapeutic failure.”
  • Food processing drastically changes the cationic content of natural foods, increasing sodium and decreasing potassium. Only approximately 12% of dietary sodium chloride originates naturally in foods, whereas approximately 80% is the result of food processing, the remainder being discretionary (added during cooking or at the table).” Too much dietary salt can impair the absorption of several heart and blood pressure-lowering medications, such as quinidine, verapamil, and candesartan.
  • Foods high in iodine may cause side effects when taken with thyroid medications and treatments.

The review found several positive effects that certain food processes can have on bioavailability of nutrients:

  • Cooking, heating, or mechanical or enzymatic processing may also increase carotenoids accessibility by softening the tissue matrix.”
  • Pasteurization shown to increase bioavailability of [carotenoids from] processed juice compared with its fresh counterpart.”
  • Using high-pressure processing can help reduce the amount of salt needed for foods like beef jerky, pork for sausages, and chicken breasts.

Concluding statements from the researchers:

  • The preceding data underscore the dearth of elucidation on explicit interactions between food processing and their potential beneficial or adverse drug interaction consequences, which may precipitate in some cases in health hazards.”

In other words, according to this review, there is a lot more to be learned about food-drug interactions. Some interactions to note are that high-temperature cooking of many foods creates compounds that can damage the gut, resulting in many potential health concerns; that grapefruit, ginkgo biloba, omega-3s, salt, and iodine can interfere with some medications; and some food processing can help improve nutrition of certain foods.


2 – Probiotics for gut inflammation

Study title: Probiotics: Shaping the gut immunological responses

This is a summary review of the current understanding of probiotics and how different strains can impact inflammation in the gut.

Here’s some background info:

  • Probiotics are live microorganisms exerting beneficial effects on the host’s health when administered in adequate amounts.” For example, bacteria from the families Lactobacillaceae, Bifidobacteriaceae, and yeasts (e.g., Saccharomyces).
  • Probiotics work by “improving the gut microbiota composition, promoting the wound healing process and shaping the immunological responses.
  • The human microbiota [are] found on the cutaneous and mucus surfaces of the human body.

Core Tip: Probiotics, such as Lactiplantibacillus plantarum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, exert remarkable anti-inflammatory properties on the gut’s immune responses. These beneficial microorganisms not only restore immunity markers but also enrich the gut’s microbiota, crucial for a healthy microbial balance. Incorporating probiotics or foods rich in these beneficial microorganisms, particularly in conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, holds promise for restoring gut health, boosting the immune system, and alleviating inflammation.

Probiotics have health benefits because of three main mechanisms:

  • “(1) By displacement of potential pathogens via competitive exclusion”in other words, they can “crowd out” pathogenic microbes in the gut;
  • (2) by offering protection to the host through the secretion of various defensive mediators” – in other words, probiotics secrete various health-promoting compounds; and
  • “(3) by supplying the host with essential nutrients.”

Probiotic strains and their health benefits:

  • Lactiplantibacillus plantarum (L. plantarum), which has been found to thrive in a wide range of environments, including fermented foods, several types of meat and plants, as well the mammalian gastro-intestinal tract. . . . L. plantarum has been shown to boost wound healing and promote anti-inflammatory processes.” . . . “L. plantarum may participate in the alertness of the intestinal immune system.”
  • Lactobacillus [has] significant anti-inflammatory properties.”
  • Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus, (formerly Lactobacillus rhamnosus, L. rhamnosus), has also been shown to exert anti-inflammatory and immunoregulating properties.”
  • Two species of the Limosilactobacillus genus, L. fermentum MN410703 and MN410702, . . . both strains have strong anti-inflammatory properties, and thus prevent chronic gut inflammation.”
  • Levilactobacillus (formerly also known as Lactobacillus) is a genus of Gram-positive bacteria found mainly in fermented foods and in the composition of the intestinal microbiota. One of its species, Levilactobacillus brevis, has been found to have promising anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Bifidobacterium longum (B. longum) can promote wound healing and especially angiogenesis. However, its gut mucosal effect on inflammation is still under discussion.”
  • Bifidobacterium breve (B. breve) and B. lactis have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Akkermansia . . . [can help produce] SCFA [short-chain fatty acids]. Additionally, it promotes mucin turnover, thus strengthening the mucosal barrier and reducing gut permeability.” It “enhance[s] the epithelial barrier integrity and [enriches] the microbiome and metabolome profiles. Regarding the inflammation status, it resulted in the upregulation of anti-inflammatory markers, GPR109A and SLC5A8, and the downregulation of pro-inflammatory TNFα, IFN-γ, IL1β, and IL6.
  • [Rouxiella] badensis subsp. acadiensis . . . increase in serum IgA, a decrease in several pro-inflammatory cytokines and an increase in the anti-inflammatory subset population of cells in the small intestine.
  • “Enterococcus is a genus of lactic acid bacteria, the species of which exert both harmful and beneficial effects, thus some species may be considered as possible probiotic supplements. . . . Enterococcus faecium (E. faecium) could have a protective effect against the enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection, since it enhances the expression of tight-junction proteins and downregulates pro-inflammatory cytokines.
  • Clostridium is a genus of Gram-positive anaerobic bacteria and, similar to the Enterococcus genus, it includes both harmful and beneficial species. Clostridium butyricum (C. butyricum), one of its species, exerts possible anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Saccharomyces is a yeast and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) is one of the most well-known species, widely used in the food industry – brewer’s yeast – but additionally serves as a very potent probiotic. . . . When four different yeasts were tested both in vitro and in vivo, S. cerevisiae predominate as shown to have the strongest anti-inflammatory properties.

In other words, some of the main health benefits of probiotics are that they reduce gut inflammation, restore the gut barrier, and enhance immunity. Probiotics can achieve these health benefits because they work to crowd out pathogens, secrete health-promoting compounds, and provide nutrients.


For a list of dozens of credible sites to find health information, plus some PubMed tips, download your free guide here:


3 – Nutrition for PMS

Study title: Effect of nutritional interventions on the psychological symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in women of reproductive age: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

This is a review that summarizes what we know about how nutrition can impact certain PMS symptoms.

Here’s some background info:

  • “Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects approximately 48% of women of reproductive age worldwide. It can lead to functional impairment, lower quality of life, and decreased work productivity.”
  • “PMS is defined as ‘at least one emotional, physical or behavioral symptom that increases in severity during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (1–2 weeks before menstruation), and resolves by the start or within a few days of menstruation.'”
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a more severe and debilitating form of PMS.”
  • There are more than 200 recorded symptoms for PMS/PMDD, with the most common often categorized into physical symptoms (fatigue, weight gain, abdominal bloating, headache, acne, breast tenderness, and food craving), and emotional and behavioral symptoms (crying, anxiety, depression, irritability, confusion, low mood, and anger).
  • “The exact mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of PMS-associated emotional symptoms are currently unknown; however, cyclical fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone, key hormones central to the regulation of the female reproductive system and menstrual cycle, are thought to play a large role. . . . In addition to hormonal alterations, emerging research implicates brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in PMS/PMDD pathogenesis, although its exact role has yet to be elucidated.”
  • “Many nonpharmacological approaches to PMS management involve positive health and lifestyle practices, including exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, and dietary changes.”

Summary of studies that link dietary patterns to PMS symptoms:

  • “The Mediterranean diet’s abundance in vitamins, antioxidants, polyphenols, and unsaturated fats may reduce symptoms of PMS by attenuating oxidative stress.” . . . “A diet rich in whole grains and fiber may exert beneficial effects on neurotransmitter metabolism, decrease chronic inflammation by mitigating lipid oxidation, and positively modulate the gut microbiota by regulating short-chain fatty acid production, potentially reducing PMS-associated mood symptoms.”
  • High amounts of bread and snack consumption and low adherence to a Mediterranean diet (characterized by high consumption of whole grains, nuts, olive oil, legumes, fruits, and vegetables) were associated with greater risk of PMS.”
  • “Western dietary pattern, characterized by high intake of energy-dense foods containing large amounts of sugar, saturated fat, and salt, is associated with inflammatory biomarkers (eg, cytokines) and a higher prevalence and severity of PMS symptoms.”

In other words, when it comes to food/dietary approaches to help with PMS symptoms:

  • ⬆️ Whole grains, nuts, olive oil, legumes, fruits, and vegetables
  • ⬇️ Breads, snacks, sugar, saturated fat, salt

Summary of studies that link specific nutrients to PMS symptoms:

  • High intakes of foods containing calcium and vitamin D may reduce risk of PMS development, because circulating levels fluctuate across the menstrual cycle in response to endogenous estrogen changes.” . . . “We found that although vitamin D supplementation appeared to be beneficial for alleviating PMS-related emotional symptoms in women with a preexisting vitamin D deficiency, there was no evidence to support supplementation in vitamin D–replete women with PMS.”
  • Zinc may also alleviate PMS symptoms through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.” . . . “Zinc is proposed to relieve PMS symptoms through its antidepressant-like role, supporting serotonin activities through increased brain synthesis of BDNF, and as an antioxidant by preventing oxidative stress.”
  • “We found in this review that both calcium and zinc supplementation may be beneficial dietary interventions for PMS symptom reduction.”
  • “Water-soluble B-group vitamins are involved in the metabolism of neurotransmitters. Among them, vitamin B6 acts as a cofactor in the synthesis of serotonin from tryptophan and may reduce PMS symptoms, similar to the effects of broad-spectrum multivitamins.” . . . “The mechanisms whereby vitamin B6 may alleviate PMS symptoms remain unclear. One clue lies in its role as a cofactor for neurotransmitter synthesis.”

In other words, when it comes to nutrient approaches to help with PMS symptoms:

  • ⬆️ Calcium, zinc, vitamin B6
  • ⬆️ Vitamin D *if the person is low in vitamin D*

Here’s what the researchers conclude:

  • “Consistent evidence from this review suggests women with PMS-related emotional symptoms may benefit from vitamin B6 (≥50mg/d), calcium (≥1000mg/d), and zinc (≥30mg/d) supplementation.”
  • “The current knowledge gap in this area of women’s health highlights a clear need for more high-quality studies to understand PMS pathophysiology and the potential biological mechanisms whereby nutritional interventions may reduce adverse PMS symptoms.”

Signing off and toasting: To keeping up with the latest and greatest scientific research in nutrition, fitness, and health coaching!


Over to you


Do you have a specific question about any of these new studies?

Are you looking for a easy-to-understand study summary that you can share with your audience and clients?

What health topic/niche is most important to you?

Let me know in the comments below!


What's the latest health research for your nutrition, fitness, or health coaching practice?

Find out in the weekly Health Scoop News 📑email updates. See some of the latest studies (with Leesa's "in other words" explainers) here. Sign up if you want to be first to know new research:

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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.

I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.


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