Zcharia Madar

Gil Zandani, Sarit Anavi-Cohen, Tal Assa-Glazer, Jonathan Gorelick, Abraham Nyska, Noa Sela, Nirit Bernstein, and Zecharia Madar. 2022. “Cannabis Extract Effects on Metabolic Parameters and Gut Microbiota Composition in a Mice Model of NAFLD and Obesity.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2022, Pp. 7964018. Abstract
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major cause of chronic liver abnormalities and has been linked with metabolic syndrome hallmarks. Unfortunately, current treatments are limited. This work aimed to elucidate the effects of three cannabis extracts on metabolic alteration and gut microbiota composition in a mouse model of NAFLD and obesity. Male mice were fed with a high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks. Following the establishment of obesity, the HFD-fed group was subdivided into HFD or HFD that was supplemented with one of three cannabis extracts (CN1, CN2, and CN6) for additional 8 weeks. Metabolic parameters together with intestinal microbiota composition were evaluated. Except for several minor changes in gene expression, no profound metabolic effect was found due to cannabis extracts addition. Nevertheless, marked changes were observed in gut microbiota diversity and composition, with CN1 and CN6 exhibiting microbial abundance patterns that are associated with more beneficial outcomes. Taken together, specific cannabis extracts' addition to an HFD results in more favorable modifications in gut microbiota. Although no marked metabolic effect was disclosed, longer treatments duration and/or higher extracts concentrations may be needed. More research is required to ascertain this conjecture and to establish the influence of various cannabis extracts on host health in general and NAFLD in particular.
Jonathan Gorelick, Tal Assa-Glazer, Gil Zandani, Anna Altberg, Noa Sela, Abraham Nyska, and Zecharia Madar. 2022. “THC and CBD affect metabolic syndrome parameters including microbiome in mice fed high fat-cholesterol diet.” Journal of cannabis research, 4, 1, Pp. 27. Abstract
BACKGROUND: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with metabolic syndrome, which often includes obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Several studies in mice and humans have implicated the involvement of the gut microbiome in NAFLD. While cannabis and its phytocannabinoids may potentially be beneficial for treating metabolic disorders such as NAFLD, their effects on liver diseases and gut microbiota profile have yet to be addressed. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic effects of the two major cannabinoids, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), on NAFLD progression. METHODS: NAFLD was induced by feeding mice a high fat-cholesterol diet (HFCD) for 6 weeks. During this period, the individual cannabinoids, THC or CBD, were added to the experimental diets at a concentration of 2.5 or 2.39 mg/kg. Profile of lipids, liver enzymes, glucose tolerance, and gene expression related to carbohydrate lipids metabolism and liver inflammation was analyzed. The effect of THC or CBD on microbiota composition in the gut was evaluated. RESULTS: While not alleviating hepatic steatosis, THC or CBD treatment influenced a number of parameters in the HFCD mouse model. CBD increased food intake, improved glucose tolerance, reduced some of the inflammatory response including TNFa and iNOS, and partially mitigated the microbiome dysbiosis observed in the HFCD fed mice. THC produced a much weaker response, only slightly reducing inflammatory-related gene expression and microbiome dysbiosis. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate the potential therapeutic effects of individual phytocannabinoids are different from the effects of the cannabis plant possessing a mixture of compounds. While CBD may help ameliorate symptoms of NAFLD, THC alone may not be as effective. This disparity can putatively be explained based on changes in the gut microbiota.
T. Assa-Glazer, J. Gorelick, N. Sela, A. Nyska, N. Bernstein, and Z. Madar. 2020. “Cannabis Extracts Affected Metabolic Syndrome Parameters in Mice Fed High-Fat/Cholesterol Diet.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 5, 3, Pp. 202-214. Publisher's Version Abstract
Introduction: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with metabolic syndrome, which often includes obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Several studies in mice and humans have implicated the involvement of the gut microbiome in NAFLD. While cannabis may potentially be beneficial for treating metabolic disorders such as NAFLD, the effects of cannabis on liver diseases and gut microbiota profile are yet to be addressed. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic effects of cannabis strains with different cannabinoid profiles on NAFLD progression. Materials and Methods: NAFLD was induced by feeding mice a high-fat/cholesterol diet (HFCD) for 6 weeks. During this period, cannabis extracts were administrated orally at a concentration of 5 mg/kg every 3 days. Profile of lipids, liver enzymes, glucose tolerance, and gene expression related to carbohydrate lipid metabolism and liver inflammation were analyzed. The effect of cannabis strains on microbiota composition in the gut was evaluated. Results: A cannabidiol (CBD)-rich extract produced an increase in inflammatory related gene expression and a less diverse microbiota profile, associated with increased fasting glucose levels in HFCD-fed mice. In contrast, mice receiving a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-rich extract exhibited moderate weight gain, improved glucose response curves, and a decrease in liver enzymes. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the administration of cannabis containing elevated levels of THC may help ameliorate symptoms of NAFLD, whereas administration of CBD-rich cannabis extracts may cause a proinflammatory effect in the liver, linked with an unfavorable change in the microbiota profile. Our preliminary data suggest that these effects are mediated by mechanisms other than increased expression of the endocannabinoid receptors cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and CB2. © Copyright 2020, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2020.
A. Altberg, R. Hovav, N. Chapnik, and Z. Madar. 2020. “Effect of dietary oils from various sources on carbohydrate and fat metabolism in mice.” Food and Nutrition Research, 64, Pp. 1-12. Publisher's Version Abstract
Background: Dietary oils differ in their fatty acid composition and the presence of additional microcompo-nents (antioxidants, etc.). These differences are thought to invoke different biochemical pathways, thus affecting fats and carbohydrates metabolism differently. Olive oil (OO) and soybean oil (SO) are common vegetable oils in the local cuisine. Peanuts oils of local varieties are viewed as potential sources of dietary vegetable oils, especially in the food industry. Objective: We examined the effect of four different dietary vegetable oils on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in mice. The selected oils were OO, high in oleic acid, extracted from cultivated high oleic acid peanut (C-PO), regular peanut oil (PO), and SO. Design: In this study, 32 male C57BL/6J mice were randomly divided into four groups (n = 8 in each group) and were fed with four different diets enriched with 4% (w/w) dietary vegetable oils (OO, C-PO, PO, or SO). After 10 weeks, the mice were sacrificed. Western blot was used to examine proteins such as phospho-AMP-activated protein kinase (p-AMPK), ace-tyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), cluster of differentiation 36 (CD36), and Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), whereas real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to examine the expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1C), fatty acid synthase (FAS), glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase), and CD36 transcripts. Results: In mice-fed SO, lipid accumulation was predominately in adipose tissue, accompanied a tendency decrease in insulin sensitivity. Mice-fed OO had lower plasma triglycerides (TG) and increased hepatic CD36 gene expression. The C-PO group presented lower messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in the liver for all examined genes: SREBP-1c, FAS, G6Pase, and CD36. There were no significant differences in weight gain, plasma cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, hepatic ACC, SIRT1, AMPK, and CD36 protein levels or in liver function among the diets. Discussion: It seems that as long as fat is consumed in moderation, oil types may play a lesser role in the metabolism of healthy individuals. Conclusion: This finding has the potential to increase flexibility in choosing oil types for consumption. © 2020 Anna Altberg et al.