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Nutrients, Volume 6, Issue 4 (April 2014), Pages 1333-1781

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Open AccessArticle Identifying Critical Nutrient Intake in Groups at Risk of Poverty in Europe: The CHANCE Project Approach
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1374-1393; doi:10.3390/nu6041374
Received: 10 December 2013 / Revised: 6 March 2014 / Accepted: 13 March 2014 / Published: 2 April 2014
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Abstract
The aim of the CHANCE project is to develop novel and affordable nutritious foods to optimize the diet and reduce the risk of diet-related diseases among groups at risk of poverty (ROP). This paper describes the methodology used in the two initial [...] Read more.
The aim of the CHANCE project is to develop novel and affordable nutritious foods to optimize the diet and reduce the risk of diet-related diseases among groups at risk of poverty (ROP). This paper describes the methodology used in the two initial steps to accomplish the project’s objective as follows: 1. a literature review of existing data and 2. an identification of ROP groups with which to design and perform the CHANCE nutritional survey, which will supply new data that is useful for formulating the new CHANCE food. Based on the literature review, a low intake of fruit and vegetables, whole grain products, fish, energy, fiber, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and C, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc and a high intake of starchy foods, processed meat and sodium were apparent. However, the available data appeared fragmented because of the different methodologies used in the studies. A more global vision of the main nutritional problems that are present among low-income people in Europe is needed, and the first step to achieve this goal is the use of common criteria to define the risk of poverty. The scoring system described here represents novel criteria for defining at-risk-of-poverty groups not only in the CHANCE-participating countries but also all over Europe. Full article
Open AccessArticle Comparison of Two Doses of Elemental Iron in the Treatment of Latent Iron Deficiency: Efficacy, Side Effects and Blinding Capabilities
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1394-1405; doi:10.3390/nu6041394
Received: 9 January 2014 / Revised: 24 March 2014 / Accepted: 26 March 2014 / Published: 4 April 2014
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Abstract
Adherence to iron supplementation can be compromised due to side effects, and these limit blinding in studies of iron deficiency. No studies have reported an efficacious iron dose that allows participants to remain blinded. This pilot study aimed to determine a ferrous [...] Read more.
Adherence to iron supplementation can be compromised due to side effects, and these limit blinding in studies of iron deficiency. No studies have reported an efficacious iron dose that allows participants to remain blinded. This pilot study aimed to determine a ferrous sulfate dose that improves iron stores, while minimising side effects and enabling blinding. A double-blinded RCT was conducted in 32 women (18–35 years): 24 with latent iron deficiency (serum ferritin < 20 µg/L) and 8 iron sufficient controls. Participants with latent iron deficiency were randomised to 60 mg or 80 mg elemental iron or to placebo, for 16 weeks. The iron sufficient control group took placebo. Treatment groups (60 mg n = 7 and 80 mg n = 6) had significantly higher ferritin change scores than placebo groups (iron deficient n = 5 and iron sufficient n = 6), F(1, 23) = 8.46, p ≤ 0.01. Of the 24 who completed the trial, 10 participants (77%) on iron reported side effects, compared with 5 (45%) on placebo, but there were no differences in side effects (p = 0.29), or compliance (p = 0.60) between iron groups. Nine (69%) participants on iron, and 11 (56%) on placebo correctly guessed their treatment allocation. Both iron doses were equally effective in normalising ferritin levels. Although reported side-effects were similar for both groups, a majority of participants correctly guessed their treatment group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Iron Deficiency: Development, Implications and Treatment)
Open AccessArticle Nutritional Knowledge of UK Coaches
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1442-1453; doi:10.3390/nu6041442
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 24 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 10 April 2014
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Abstract
Athletes obtain nutritional information from their coaches, yet their competency in this area is lacking. Currently, no research exists in the UK which has a different coach education system to many other countries. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate [...] Read more.
Athletes obtain nutritional information from their coaches, yet their competency in this area is lacking. Currently, no research exists in the UK which has a different coach education system to many other countries. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the sports nutrition knowledge of UK coaching certificate (UKCC) level 2 and 3, hockey and netball qualified coaches. All coaches (n = 163) completed a sports nutrition questionnaire to identify: (a) if they provided nutritional advice; (b) their level of sport nutrition knowledge; and (c) factors that may have contributed to their level of knowledge. Over half the coaches provided advice to their athletes (n = 93, 57.1%), even though they were not competent to do so. Coaches responded correctly to 60.3 ± 10.5% of all knowledge questions with no differences between those providing advice and those who did not (p > 0.05). Those coaches who had undertaken formal nutrition training achieved higher scores than those who had not (p < 0.05). In conclusion, UK sports coaches would benefit from continued professional development in sports nutrition to enhance their coaching practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Performance Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle Detailed Distribution of Lipids in Greenshell™ Mussel (Perna canaliculus)
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1454-1474; doi:10.3390/nu6041454
Received: 25 February 2014 / Revised: 25 March 2014 / Accepted: 26 March 2014 / Published: 11 April 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (261 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Greenshell™ mussels (GSM–Perna canaliculus) are a source of omega-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA). Farmed GSM are considered to be a sustainable source of LC-PUFA as they require no dietary inputs, gaining all of their oil by [...] Read more.
Greenshell™ mussels (GSM–Perna canaliculus) are a source of omega-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA). Farmed GSM are considered to be a sustainable source of LC-PUFA as they require no dietary inputs, gaining all of their oil by filter-feeding microorganisms from sea water. GSM oil is a high-value product, with a value as much as 1000 times that of fish oils. GSM oil has important health benefits, for example, anti-inflammatory activity. It also contains several minor lipid components that are not present in most fish oil products, and that have their own beneficial effects on human health. We have shown the lipid content of the female GSM (1.9 g/100 g ww) was significantly greater than that of the male (1.4 g/100 g ww). Compared with male GSM, female GSM contained more n-3 LC-PUFA, and stored a greater proportion of total lipid in the gonad and mantle. The higher lipid content in the female than the male GSM is most likely related to gamete production. This information will be useful to optimize extraction of oils from GSM, a local and sustainable source of n-3 LC-PUFA. Full article
Open AccessArticle Dietary Pattern among Schoolchildren with Normal Nutritional Status in Navarre, Spain
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1475-1487; doi:10.3390/nu6041475
Received: 2 February 2014 / Revised: 24 March 2014 / Accepted: 3 April 2014 / Published: 11 April 2014
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Abstract
A nutrition survey was carried out (food intake registration of three consecutive school days) in a randomly selected group of 353 schoolchildren (188 males and 165 females) with normal nutritional status. The average age of the surveyed students was 10.5 years (CI [...] Read more.
A nutrition survey was carried out (food intake registration of three consecutive school days) in a randomly selected group of 353 schoolchildren (188 males and 165 females) with normal nutritional status. The average age of the surveyed students was 10.5 years (CI 95%: 10.3–11.7). There were no significant differences between both sexes in mean values for calorie intake (males: 2072.7 ± 261.7 and females: 2060.9 ± 250.6) and intake of macronutrients, minerals and vitamins. Cereals (34%), dairy products (19%) and meats (17%) were responsible for approximately 70% of total calorie intake. Protein accounted for 20.3% of energy intake, carbohydrates for 48.8%, total fat for 30.9%, and saturated fat for 12.6%. Cholesterol intake was excessive and over two-thirds of protein intake was from animal sources. The mean intakes of calcium, iodine and Vitamins A, D and E were below recommended levels. The dietary patterns of the schoolchildren with normal nutritional status differed from the Mediterranean diet. Intakes of meat were too high and dairy products and cereals consumption was relatively limited; while that of vegetables; legumes; fruits and fish were insufficient; leading to excessive protein and fat intake from animal sources and insufficient mineral (calcium and iodine) and Vitamins A; D and E intake. Full article
Open AccessArticle Variation in Gastric pH May Determine Kiwifruit’s Effect on Functional GI Disorder: An in Vitro Study
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1488-1500; doi:10.3390/nu6041488
Received: 7 February 2014 / Revised: 24 March 2014 / Accepted: 27 March 2014 / Published: 11 April 2014
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Abstract
Consumption of kiwifruit is reported to relieve symptoms of functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. The effect may be related to the proteases in kiwifruit. This in vitro study aimed to measure protein hydrolysis due to kiwifruit protease under gastric and duodenal conditions. A [...] Read more.
Consumption of kiwifruit is reported to relieve symptoms of functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder. The effect may be related to the proteases in kiwifruit. This in vitro study aimed to measure protein hydrolysis due to kiwifruit protease under gastric and duodenal conditions. A sequence of experiments incubated meat protein, with and without kiwifruit, with varying concentrations of pepsin and hydrochloric acid, at 37 °C for 60 min over the pH range 1.3–6.2 to simulate gastric digestion. Duodenal digestion was simulated by a further 120 min incubation at pH 6.4. Protein digestion efficiency was determined by comparing Kjeldahl nitrogen in pre- and post-digests. Where acid and pepsin concentrations were optimal for peptic digestion, hydrolysis was 80% effective and addition of kiwifruit made little difference. When pH was increased to 3.1 and pepsin activity reduced, hydrolysis decreased by 75%; addition of kiwifruit to this milieu more than doubled protein hydrolysis. This in vitro study has shown, when gastric pH is elevated, the addition of kiwifruit can double the rate of hydrolysis of meat protein. This novel finding supports the hypothesis that consumption of kiwifruit with a meal can increase the rate of protein hydrolysis, which may explain how kiwifruit relieves functional GI disorder. Full article
Open AccessArticle Dietary Patterns in Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1539-1553; doi:10.3390/nu6041539
Received: 12 February 2014 / Revised: 17 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 14 April 2014
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Abstract
The role of diet in the behavior of children has been controversial, but the association of several nutritional factors with childhood behavioral disorders has been continually suggested. We conducted a case-control study to identify dietary patterns associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [...] Read more.
The role of diet in the behavior of children has been controversial, but the association of several nutritional factors with childhood behavioral disorders has been continually suggested. We conducted a case-control study to identify dietary patterns associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study included 192 elementary school students aged seven to 12 years. Three non-consecutive 24-h recall (HR) interviews were employed to assess dietary intake, and 32 predefined food groups were considered in a principal components analysis (PCA). PCA identified four major dietary patterns: the “traditional” pattern, the “seaweed-egg” pattern, the “traditional-healthy” pattern, and the “snack” pattern. The traditional-healthy pattern is characterized by a diet low in fat and high in carbohydrates as well as high intakes of fatty acids and minerals. The multivariate-adjusted odds ratio (OR) of ADHD for the highest tertile of the traditional-healthy pattern in comparison with the lowest tertile was 0.31 (95% CI: 0.12–0.79). The score of the snack pattern was positively associated with the risk of ADHD, but a significant association was observed only in the second tertile. A significant association between ADHD and the dietary pattern score was not found for the other two dietary patterns. In conclusion, the traditional-healthy dietary pattern was associated with lower odds having ADHD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paediatric Nutrition) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Orally Administrated Ascorbic Acid Suppresses Neuronal Damage and Modifies Expression of SVCT2 and GLUT1 in the Brain of Diabetic Rats with Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1554-1577; doi:10.3390/nu6041554
Received: 30 December 2013 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 1 April 2014 / Published: 15 April 2014
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Abstract
Diabetes mellitus is known to exacerbate cerebral ischemic injury. In the present study, we investigated antiapoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects of oral supplementation of ascorbic acid (AA) on cerebral injury caused by middle cerebral artery occlusion and reperfusion (MCAO/Re) in rats with streptozotocin-induced [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus is known to exacerbate cerebral ischemic injury. In the present study, we investigated antiapoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects of oral supplementation of ascorbic acid (AA) on cerebral injury caused by middle cerebral artery occlusion and reperfusion (MCAO/Re) in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. We also evaluated the effects of AA on expression of sodium-dependent vitamin C transporter 2 (SVCT2) and glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) after MCAO/Re in the brain. The diabetic state markedly aggravated MCAO/Re-induced cerebral damage, as assessed by infarct volume and edema. Pretreatment with AA (100 mg/kg, p.o.) for two weeks significantly suppressed the exacerbation of damage in the brain of diabetic rats. AA also suppressed the production of superoxide radical, activation of caspase-3, and expression of proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β) in the ischemic penumbra. Immunohistochemical staining revealed that expression of SVCT2 was upregulated primarily in neurons and capillary endothelial cells after MCAO/Re in the nondiabetic cortex, accompanied by an increase in total AA (AA + dehydroascorbic acid) in the tissue, and that these responses were suppressed in the diabetic rats. AA supplementation to the diabetic rats restored these responses to the levels of the nondiabetic rats. Furthermore, AA markedly upregulated the basal expression of GLUT1 in endothelial cells of nondiabetic and diabetic cortex, which did not affect total AA levels in the cortex. These results suggest that daily intake of AA attenuates the exacerbation of cerebral ischemic injury in a diabetic state, which may be attributed to anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects via the improvement of augmented oxidative stress in the brain. AA supplementation may protect endothelial function against the exacerbated ischemic oxidative injury in the diabetic state and improve AA transport through SVCT2 in the cortex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C and Human Health) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Wheat Prolamins, the Causative Agents of Celiac Sprue, Using Reversed Phase High Performance Liquid Chromatography (RP-HPLC) and Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS)
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1578-1597; doi:10.3390/nu6041578
Received: 27 December 2013 / Revised: 26 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 15 April 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2453 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Wheat prolamins, commonly known as “gluten”, are a complex mixture of 71–78 proteins, which constitute ~80% of the proteins in the wheat grains and supply 50% of the global dietary protein demand. Prolamins are also responsible for numerous gluten-induced disorders and determine [...] Read more.
Wheat prolamins, commonly known as “gluten”, are a complex mixture of 71–78 proteins, which constitute ~80% of the proteins in the wheat grains and supply 50% of the global dietary protein demand. Prolamins are also responsible for numerous gluten-induced disorders and determine the unique visco-elastic properties of the wheat dough. These properties necessitate the reliable determination of the prolamin composition in wheat grains and their derived products. Therefore, this study examined the impact of HPLC conditions, including column type, column temperature, flow rate, and the gradient of polar and non-polar solvents in the mobile phase, to improve the analytical resolution of prolamins. The following conditions were found optimal for analyses: column temperature 60 °C, flow rate 1.0 mL/min and an elution gradient of 20%–60% of 0.1% trifluoroacetic acid + acetonitrile in 60 min. For further improvement of resolution, gliadin and glutenin extracts were analyzed using MALDI-TOF-MS in combination with HPLC fractionation. Two semi-quantitative methods, densitometry of stained polyacrylamide gels and HPLC, were used to determine relative prolamin quantities and the correspondence between the methods was established. The combinatorial gluten analyses approach developed during the present study was used to analyze prolamin profiles of wheat transformants expressing DEMETER silencing artificial microRNA, and the results are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Protein and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Nativity and Serum Concentrations of Antioxidants in Mexican American Children: A Cross-Sectional Study
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1598-1607; doi:10.3390/nu6041598
Received: 23 January 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2014 / Accepted: 31 March 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
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Abstract
There is limited research on the effect of immigration on biological markers of nutrition among children of Mexican origin in the United States. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [...] Read more.
There is limited research on the effect of immigration on biological markers of nutrition among children of Mexican origin in the United States. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to examine data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) (1988–1994), on a national and representative sample of 1559 Mexican American children, 4–16 years of age, and assess the associations of country of birth with serum concentrations of carotenoids, vitamin A, and vitamin E. In multiple regression analyses, Mexico-born Mexican American children had significantly higher serum concentrations of α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin, vitamin A, and vitamin E than their counterparts who were born in the United States after adjustment for age, sex, poverty income ratio, level of education of family reference person, body mass index, total serum cholesterol, serum cotinine, total energy intake, and vitamin/mineral consumption. Our findings confirm evidence for a negative effect of immigration/acculturation on dietary quality in this population. These findings also suggest that immigrant Mexican families should be encouraged to maintain their consumption of fruits and vegetables. Prospective studies are needed to further assess the effects of immigration/acculturation on diet and other health outcomes in children of Mexican origin and immigrants. Full article
Open AccessArticle Associations between Infant Feeding Practice Prior to Six Months and Body Mass Index at Six Years of Age
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1608-1617; doi:10.3390/nu6041608
Received: 16 January 2014 / Revised: 10 March 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 17 April 2014
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Abstract
Rapid growth during infancy is associated with increased risk of overweight and obesity and differences in weight gain are at least partly explained by means of infant feeding. The aim was to assess the associations between infant feeding practice in early infancy [...] Read more.
Rapid growth during infancy is associated with increased risk of overweight and obesity and differences in weight gain are at least partly explained by means of infant feeding. The aim was to assess the associations between infant feeding practice in early infancy and body mass index (BMI) at 6 years of age. Icelandic infants (n = 154) were prospectively followed from birth to 12 months and again at age 6 years. Birth weight and length were gathered from maternity wards, and healthcare centers provided the measurements made during infancy up to 18 months of age. Information on breastfeeding practices was documented 0–12 months and a 24-h dietary record was collected at 5 months. Changes in infant weight gain were calculated from birth to 18 months. Linear regression analyses were performed to examine associations between infant feeding practice at 5 months and body mass index (BMI) at 6 years. Infants who were formula-fed at 5 months of age grew faster, particularly between 2 and 6 months, compared to exclusively breastfed infants. At age 6 years, BMI was on average 1.1 kg/m2 (95% CI 0.2, 2.0) higher among infants who were formula fed and also receiving solid foods at 5 months of age compared to those exclusively breastfed. In a high-income country such as Iceland, early introduction of solid foods seems to further increase the risk of high childhood BMI among formula fed infants compared with exclusively breastfed infants, although further studies with greater power are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paediatric Nutrition) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Selected Activities of Citrus Maxima Merr. Fruits on Human Endothelial Cells: Enhancing Cell Migration and Delaying Cellular Aging
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1618-1634; doi:10.3390/nu6041618
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 2 April 2014 / Accepted: 4 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
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Abstract
Endothelial injury and damage as well as accumulated reactive oxygen species (ROS) in aging play a significant role in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Recent studies show an association of high citrus fruit intake with a lower risk of CVD and [...] Read more.
Endothelial injury and damage as well as accumulated reactive oxygen species (ROS) in aging play a significant role in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Recent studies show an association of high citrus fruit intake with a lower risk of CVD and stroke but the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. This study investigated the effects of pummelo (Citrus maxima Merr. var. Tubtim Siam, CM) fruit extract on human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVECs) migration and aging. The freeze-dried powder of fruit extract was characterized for antioxidant capacity (FRAP assay) and certain natural antioxidants, including ascorbic acid, gallic acid, hesperidin, and naringin (HPLC). Short-term (48 h) co-cultivation of HUVECs with CM enhanced cell migration as evaluated by a scratch wound assay and Boyden chamber assay. A long-term treatment with CM for 35 days significantly increased HUVEC proliferation capability as indicated by population doubling level (PDL). CM also delayed the onset of aging phenotype shown by senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) staining. Furthermore, CM was able to attenuate increased ROS levels in aged cells when determined by 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCDHF) while eNOS mRNA expression was increased but the eNOS protein level was not changed. Thus, further in vivo and clinical studies are warranted to support the use of pummelo as a functional fruit for endothelial health and CVD risk reduction. Full article
Open AccessArticle Intake of Tibetan Hull-Less Barley is Associated with a Reduced Risk of Metabolic Related Syndrome in Rats Fed High-Fat-Sucrose Diets
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1635-1648; doi:10.3390/nu6041635
Received: 30 December 2013 / Revised: 2 April 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to assess the effects of whole grain Tibetan hull-less barley on metabolic related syndrome induced by high-fat-sucrose diets in rats. The diets were designed to reflect the dietary patterns of Chinese individuals (>30% energy fat) with [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to assess the effects of whole grain Tibetan hull-less barley on metabolic related syndrome induced by high-fat-sucrose diets in rats. The diets were designed to reflect the dietary patterns of Chinese individuals (>30% energy fat) with refined wheat flour (HFS-W) or Tibetan hull-less barley (HFS-THB) as the main carbohydrate sources. Rats fed HFS-W had increased body weight, abdominal fat deposition, liver weight, liver fat deposition, triglyceride (TG), fasting blood glucose (FBG), serum fasting insulin (FINS), and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) scores, and decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels compared to rats fed a basal diet (BD). However, rats fed HFS-THB had reduced body weight gain, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. These findings indicate that whole Tibetan hull-less barley is a functional food that can reduce the prevalence of metabolic related syndrome induced by high-fat-sucrose diets. Full article
Open AccessArticle High Plasma Homocysteine Increases Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in 6 to 8 Year Old Children in Rural Nepal
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1649-1661; doi:10.3390/nu6041649
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 21 March 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
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Abstract
Little attention has been given to the association of plasma homocysteine (Hcy) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in children. We have evaluated the risk of MetS with plasma Hcy in a cohort of 6 to 8 year old rural Nepalese children, born to [...] Read more.
Little attention has been given to the association of plasma homocysteine (Hcy) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in children. We have evaluated the risk of MetS with plasma Hcy in a cohort of 6 to 8 year old rural Nepalese children, born to mothers who had participated in an antenatal micronutrient supplementation trial. We assessed Hcy in plasma from a random selection of n = 1000 children and determined the relationship of elevated Hcy (>12.0 μmol/L) to MetS (defined as the presence of any three of the following: abdominal adiposity (waist circumference ≥ 85th percentile of the study population), high plasma glucose (≥85th percentile), high systolic or diastolic blood pressure (≥90th percentile of reference population), triglyceride ≥ 1.7 mmol/L and high density lipoprotein < 0.9 mmol/L.) and its components. There was an increased risk of low high-density lipoproteins (HDL), [odds ratios (OR) = 1.77, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 1.08–2.88; p = 0.020], high blood pressure [OR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.10–2.46; p = 0.015] and high body mass index (BMI) [OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.33–2.96; p = 0.001] with elevated Hcy. We observed an increased risk of MetS (OR = 1.75, 95% CI = 1.06–2.90; p = 0.029) with elevated Hcy in age and gender-adjusted logistic regression models. High plasma Hcy is associated with increased risk of MetS and may have implications for chronic disease later in life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paediatric Nutrition) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Weight Status and Psychological Distress in a Mediterranean Spanish Population: A Symmetric U-Shaped Relationship
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1662-1677; doi:10.3390/nu6041662
Received: 14 February 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 10 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
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Abstract
Psychological disorders in people with extreme weight (low weight or obesity) should be taken into consideration by health professionals in order to practice an effective treatment to these patients. This study evaluates the association between body mass index (BMI) and psychological distress [...] Read more.
Psychological disorders in people with extreme weight (low weight or obesity) should be taken into consideration by health professionals in order to practice an effective treatment to these patients. This study evaluates the association between body mass index (BMI) and psychological distress in 563 inhabitants of Málaga (South of Spain). Participants were classified in four categories of BMI: Underweight (BMI <18.5 Kg/m2), Normal weight (BMI 18.5–24.99 Kg/m2), Overweight (BMI 25.0–29.99 Kg/m2) and Obesity (BMI >30 Kg/m2). Psychological distress was measured with the Spanish version of the Derogatis’ Symptoms Checklist Revised (SCL-90-R). We observed a symmetric U-shaped relationship between weight status and psychological distress in all SCL-90-R dimensions (p for quadratic trend <0.001) for both men and women. Participants with extreme weight showed the worst psychological status, and participants with normal weight exhibited the best. We found no statistically significant differences between underweight and obese participants in 9 of the 10 SCL-90-R dimensions analyzed among men, and in 8 of the 10 dimensions among women. Underweight and obese participants showed no gender differences in psychological distress levels. Psychological treatment of Mediterranean people with extreme weight, should consider underweight and obese patients at the same level of psychological distress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Neuroscience)
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Open AccessArticle Caffeine Intake May Modulate Inflammation Markers in Trained Rats
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1678-1690; doi:10.3390/nu6041678
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 19 March 2014 / Accepted: 25 March 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
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Abstract
Caffeine is presented in many commercial products and has been proven to induce ergogenic effects in exercise, mainly related to redox status homeostasis, inflammation and oxidative stress-related adaptation mechanisms. However, most studies have mainly focused on muscle adaptations, and the role of [...] Read more.
Caffeine is presented in many commercial products and has been proven to induce ergogenic effects in exercise, mainly related to redox status homeostasis, inflammation and oxidative stress-related adaptation mechanisms. However, most studies have mainly focused on muscle adaptations, and the role of caffeine in different tissues during exercise training has not been fully described. The aim of this study was therefore, to analyze the effects of chronic caffeine intake and exercise training on liver mitochondria functioning and plasma inflammation markers. Rats were divided into control, control/caffeine, exercise, and exercise/caffeine groups. Exercise groups underwent four weeks of swimming training and caffeine groups were supplemented with 6 mg/kg/day. Liver mitochondrial swelling and complex I activity, and plasma myeloperoxidase (MPO) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities were measured. An anti-inflammatory effect of exercise was evidenced by reduced plasma MPO activity. Additionally, caffeine intake alone and combined with exercise decreased the plasma AChE and MPO activities. The per se anti-inflammatory effect of caffeine intake should be highlighted considering its widespread use as an ergogenic aid. Therefore, caffeine seems to interfere on exercise-induced adaptations and could also be used in different exercise-related health treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Performance Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle Factors Associated with Exclusive Breastfeeding in Timor-Leste: Findings from Demographic and Health Survey 2009–2010
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1691-1700; doi:10.3390/nu6041691
Received: 30 December 2013 / Revised: 15 April 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2014 / Published: 22 April 2014
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Abstract
Exclusive breastfeeding is known to have nutritional and health benefits. This study investigated factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding among infants aged five months or less in Timor-Leste. The latest data from the national Demographic and Health Survey 2009–2010 were analyzed by binary [...] Read more.
Exclusive breastfeeding is known to have nutritional and health benefits. This study investigated factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding among infants aged five months or less in Timor-Leste. The latest data from the national Demographic and Health Survey 2009–2010 were analyzed by binary logistic regression. Of the 975 infants included in the study, overall 49% (95% confidence interval 45.4% to 52.7%) were exclusively breastfed. The exclusive breastfeeding prevalence declined with increasing infant age, from 68.0% at less than one month to 24.9% at five months. Increasing infant age, mothers with a paid occupation, who perceived their newborn as non-average size, and residence in the capital city Dili, were associated with a lower likelihood of exclusive breastfeeding. On the other hand, women who could decide health-related matters tended to breastfeed exclusively, which was not the case for others whose decisions were made by someone else. The results suggested the need of breastfeeding promotion programs to improve the exclusive breastfeeding rate. Antenatal counseling, peer support network, and home visits by health workers could be feasible options to promote exclusive breastfeeding given that the majority of births occur at home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paediatric Nutrition) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle In Vitro Anti-Osteoporosis Properties of Diverse Korean Drynariae rhizoma Phenolic Extracts
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1737-1751; doi:10.3390/nu6041737
Received: 20 February 2014 / Revised: 9 April 2014 / Accepted: 21 April 2014 / Published: 24 April 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (945 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Drynariae rhizoma has been used to prevent bone loss that occurs with increasing age. However, the chemical compounds in extracts that act on bone metabolism in herbal medicine are poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate and compare the extraction efficacy of [...] Read more.
Drynariae rhizoma has been used to prevent bone loss that occurs with increasing age. However, the chemical compounds in extracts that act on bone metabolism in herbal medicine are poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate and compare the extraction efficacy of polyphenolic compounds, antioxidant activity, and in vitro anti-osteoporosis properties of water extract (DR-DW) and ethanol extract (DR-EtOH) from D. rhizoma. Total phenolics and flavonoids were better extracted with 70% EtOH, and this extraction method also resulted in higher antioxidant activity and in vitro anti-osteoporosis properties in these extracts. In particular, the contents of phloroglucinol, protocatechuic acid ethyl ester, 2-amino-3,4-dimethyl-benzoic acid, 3-(3,5-dimethyl-pyrazol-1-yl)-benzoic acid, chlorogenic acid, syringic acid, trans-ferulic acid, (−)-epigallocatechin, epigallocatechin gallate, quercetin dehydrate, luteolin and emodin in DR-EtOH were higher than those in DR-DW. These results indicated that DR-EtOH could be a good source of natural herbs with anti-osteoporosis properties. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Transcultural Diabetes Nutrition Algorithm (tDNA): Venezuelan Application
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1333-1363; doi:10.3390/nu6041333
Received: 12 December 2013 / Revised: 18 January 2014 / Accepted: 23 January 2014 / Published: 2 April 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (901 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is a necessary component of comprehensive type 2 diabetes (T2D) management, but optimal outcomes require culturally-sensitive implementation. Accordingly, international experts created an evidence-based transcultural diabetes nutrition algorithm (tDNA) to improve understanding of MNT and to foster portability of [...] Read more.
Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is a necessary component of comprehensive type 2 diabetes (T2D) management, but optimal outcomes require culturally-sensitive implementation. Accordingly, international experts created an evidence-based transcultural diabetes nutrition algorithm (tDNA) to improve understanding of MNT and to foster portability of current guidelines to various dysglycemic populations worldwide. This report details the development of tDNA-Venezuelan via analysis of region-specific cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, lifestyles, anthropometrics, and resultant tDNA algorithmic modifications. Specific recommendations include: screening for prediabetes (for biochemical monitoring and lifestyle counseling); detecting obesity using Latin American cutoffs for waist circumference and Venezuelan cutoffs for BMI; prescribing MNT to people with prediabetes, T2D, or high CVD risk; specifying control goals in prediabetes and T2D; and describing regional differences in prevalence of CVD risk and lifestyle. Venezuelan deliberations involved evaluating typical food-based eating patterns, correcting improper dietary habits through adaptation of the Mediterranean diet with local foods, developing local recommendations for physical activity, avoiding stigmatizing obesity as a cosmetic problem, avoiding misuse of insulin and metformin, circumscribing bariatric surgery to appropriate indications, and using integrated health service networks to implement tDNA. Finally, further research, national surveys, and validation protocols focusing on CVD risk reduction in Venezuelan populations are necessary. Full article
Open AccessReview Mediterranean Diet and Diabetes: Prevention and Treatment
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1406-1423; doi:10.3390/nu6041406
Received: 24 December 2013 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 20 March 2014 / Published: 4 April 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of the present review is to examine current scientific knowledge on the association between the Mediterranean diet and diabetes mellitus (mostly type 2 diabetes). A definition of the Mediterranean diet and the tools widely used to evaluate adherence to this [...] Read more.
The aim of the present review is to examine current scientific knowledge on the association between the Mediterranean diet and diabetes mellitus (mostly type 2 diabetes). A definition of the Mediterranean diet and the tools widely used to evaluate adherence to this traditional diet (Mediterranean diet indices) are briefly presented. The review focuses on epidemiological data linking adherence to the Mediterranean diet with the risk of diabetes development, as well as evidence from interventional studies assessing the effect of the Mediterranean diet on diabetes control and the management of diabetes-related complications. The above mentioned data are explored on the basis of evaluating the Mediterranean diet as a whole dietary pattern, rather than focusing on the effect of its individual components. Possible protective mechanisms of the Mediterranean diet against diabetes are also briefly discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mediterranean Diet Pattern and Public Health)
Open AccessReview The Effects of α-Tocopherol on Bone: A Double-Edged Sword?
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1424-1441; doi:10.3390/nu6041424
Received: 2 January 2014 / Revised: 22 February 2014 / Accepted: 28 February 2014 / Published: 10 April 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (486 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent studies have found conflicting evidence on the role of α-tocopherol (αTF) on bone health. This nonsystematic review aimed to summarize the current evidence on the effects of αTF on bone health from cell culture, animal, and human studies in order to [...] Read more.
Recent studies have found conflicting evidence on the role of α-tocopherol (αTF) on bone health. This nonsystematic review aimed to summarize the current evidence on the effects of αTF on bone health from cell culture, animal, and human studies in order to clarify the role of αTF on bone health. Our review found that αTF exerted beneficial, harmful or null effects on bone formation cells. Animal studies generally showed positive effects of αTF supplementation on bone in various models of osteoporosis. However, high-dose αTF was possibly detrimental to bone in normal animals. Human studies mostly demonstrated a positive relationship between αTF, as assessed using high performance liquid chromatography and/or dietary questionnaire, and bone health, as assessed using bone mineral density and/or fracture incidence. Three possible reasons high dosage of αTF can be detrimental to bone include its interference with Vitamin K function on bone, the blocking of the entry of other Vitamin E isomers beneficial to bone, and the role of αTF as a prooxidant. However, these adverse effects have not been shown in human studies. In conclusion, αTF may have a dual role in bone health, whereby in the appropriate doses it is beneficial but in high doses it may be harmful to bone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin E Nutrition and Metabolism)
Open AccessReview Vitamin D and Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Comparing Studies with and without Biological Flaws
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1501-1518; doi:10.3390/nu6041501
Received: 20 March 2014 / Revised: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 4 April 2014 / Published: 11 April 2014
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (465 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Efficacy of Vitamin D supplements in depression is controversial, awaiting further literature analysis. Biological flaws in primary studies is a possible reason meta-analyses of Vitamin D have failed to demonstrate efficacy. This systematic review and meta-analysis of Vitamin D and depression compared [...] Read more.
Efficacy of Vitamin D supplements in depression is controversial, awaiting further literature analysis. Biological flaws in primary studies is a possible reason meta-analyses of Vitamin D have failed to demonstrate efficacy. This systematic review and meta-analysis of Vitamin D and depression compared studies with and without biological flaws. The systematic review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The literature search was undertaken through four databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Studies were critically appraised for methodological quality and biological flaws, in relation to the hypothesis and study design. Meta-analyses were performed for studies according to the presence of biological flaws. The 15 RCTs identified provide a more comprehensive evidence-base than previous systematic reviews; methodological quality of studies was generally good and methodology was diverse. A meta-analysis of all studies without flaws demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in depression with Vitamin D supplements (+0.78 CI +0.24, +1.27). Studies with biological flaws were mainly inconclusive, with the meta-analysis demonstrating a statistically significant worsening in depression by taking Vitamin D supplements (−1.1 CI −0.7, −1.5). Vitamin D supplementation (≥800 I.U. daily) was somewhat favorable in the management of depression in studies that demonstrate a change in vitamin levels, and the effect size was comparable to that of anti-depressant medication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D and Human Health) Print Edition available
Open AccessReview Nitrates and Glucosinolates as Strong Determinants of the Nutritional Quality in Rocket Leafy Salads
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1519-1538; doi:10.3390/nu6041519
Received: 10 February 2014 / Revised: 21 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 14 April 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (399 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rocket is an important leafy vegetable crop and a good source of antioxidants and anticancer molecules such as glucosinolates and other sulfur compounds. Rocket is also a hyper-accumulator of nitrates which have been considered for long time the main factors that cause [...] Read more.
Rocket is an important leafy vegetable crop and a good source of antioxidants and anticancer molecules such as glucosinolates and other sulfur compounds. Rocket is also a hyper-accumulator of nitrates which have been considered for long time the main factors that cause gastro-intestinal cancer. In this review, the content of these compounds in rocket tissues and their levels at harvest and during storage are discussed. Moreover, the effect of these compounds in preventing or inducing human diseases is also highlighted. This review provides an update to all the most recent studies carried out on rocket encouraging the consumption of this leafy vegetable to reduce the risk of contracting cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegan diets and Human health)
Open AccessReview Epigenetic Effects of Human Breast Milk
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1711-1724; doi:10.3390/nu6041711
Received: 17 February 2014 / Revised: 2 April 2014 / Accepted: 17 April 2014 / Published: 24 April 2014
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A current aim of nutrigenetics is to personalize nutritional practices according to genetic variations that influence the way of digestion and metabolism of nutrients introduced with the diet. Nutritional epigenetics concerns knowledge about the effects of nutrients on gene expression. Nutrition in [...] Read more.
A current aim of nutrigenetics is to personalize nutritional practices according to genetic variations that influence the way of digestion and metabolism of nutrients introduced with the diet. Nutritional epigenetics concerns knowledge about the effects of nutrients on gene expression. Nutrition in early life or in critical periods of development, may have a role in modulating gene expression, and, therefore, have later effects on health. Human breast milk is well-known for its ability in preventing several acute and chronic diseases. Indeed, breastfed children may have lower risk of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis, infectious diseases, and also of non-communicable diseases, such as obesity and related-disorders. Beneficial effects of human breast milk on health may be associated in part with its peculiar components, possible also via epigenetic processes. This paper discusses about presumed epigenetic effects of human breast milk and components. While evidence suggests that a direct relationship may exist of some components of human breast milk with epigenetic changes, the mechanisms involved are still unclear. Studies have to be conducted to clarify the actual role of human breast milk on genetic expression, in particular when linked to the risk of non-communicable diseases, to potentially benefit the infant’s health and his later life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Epigenetics)
Open AccessReview Obesity and Lifespan Health—Importance of the Fetal Environment
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1725-1736; doi:10.3390/nu6041725
Received: 7 January 2014 / Revised: 9 April 2014 / Accepted: 15 April 2014 / Published: 24 April 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (728 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A marked increase in the frequency of obesity at the population level has resulted in an increasing number of obese women entering pregnancy. The increasing realization of the importance of the fetal environment in relation to chronic disease across the lifespan has [...] Read more.
A marked increase in the frequency of obesity at the population level has resulted in an increasing number of obese women entering pregnancy. The increasing realization of the importance of the fetal environment in relation to chronic disease across the lifespan has focused attention on the role of maternal obesity in fetal development. Previous studies have demonstrated that obesity during adolescence and adulthood can be traced back to fetal and early childhood exposures. This review focuses on factors that contribute to early developmental events, such as epigenetic modifications, the potential for an increase in inflammatory burden, early developmental programming changes such as the variable development of white versus brown adipose tissue, and alterations in organ ontogeny. We hypothesize that these mechanisms promote an unfavorable fetal environment and can have a long-standing impact, with early manifestations of chronic disease that can result in an increased demand for future health care. In order to identify appropriate preventive measures, attention needs to be placed both on reducing maternal obesity as well as understanding the molecular, cellular, and epigenetic mechanisms that may be responsible for the prenatal onset of chronic disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dyslipidemia and Obesity)
Open AccessReview Ascorbic Acid and the Brain: Rationale for the Use against Cognitive Decline
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1752-1781; doi:10.3390/nu6041752
Received: 25 October 2013 / Revised: 24 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 April 2014 / Published: 24 April 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1038 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review is focused upon the role of ascorbic acid (AA, vitamin C) in the promotion of healthy brain aging. Particular attention is attributed to the biochemistry and neuronal metabolism interface, transport across tissues, animal models that are useful for this area [...] Read more.
This review is focused upon the role of ascorbic acid (AA, vitamin C) in the promotion of healthy brain aging. Particular attention is attributed to the biochemistry and neuronal metabolism interface, transport across tissues, animal models that are useful for this area of research, and the human studies that implicate AA in the continuum between normal cognitive aging and age-related cognitive decline up to Alzheimer’s disease. Vascular risk factors and comorbidity relationships with cognitive decline and AA are discussed to facilitate strategies for advancing AA research in the area of brain health and neurodegeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C and Human Health) Print Edition available

Other

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Open AccessShort Communication l-Leucine Supplementation Worsens the Adiposity of Already Obese Rats by Promoting a Hypothalamic Pattern of Gene Expression that Favors Fat Accumulation
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1364-1373; doi:10.3390/nu6041364
Received: 8 January 2014 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 March 2014 / Published: 2 April 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (298 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several studies showed that l-leucine supplementation reduces adiposity when provided before the onset of obesity. We studied rats that were exposed to a high-fat diet (HFD) for 10 weeks before they started to receive l-leucine supplementation. Fat mass was increased in l-leucine-supplemented [...] Read more.
Several studies showed that l-leucine supplementation reduces adiposity when provided before the onset of obesity. We studied rats that were exposed to a high-fat diet (HFD) for 10 weeks before they started to receive l-leucine supplementation. Fat mass was increased in l-leucine-supplemented rats consuming the HFD. Accordingly, l-leucine produced a hypothalamic pattern of gene expression that favors fat accumulation. In conclusion, l-leucine supplementation worsened the adiposity of rats previously exposed to HFD possibly by central mechanisms. Full article
Open AccessOpinion A Nutrient Combination that Can Affect Synapse Formation
Nutrients 2014, 6(4), 1701-1710; doi:10.3390/nu6041701
Received: 18 March 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2014 / Accepted: 15 April 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (97 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Brain neurons form synapses throughout the life span. This process is initiated by neuronal depolarization, however the numbers of synapses thus formed depend on brain levels of three key nutrients—uridine, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, and choline. Given together, these nutrients accelerate [...] Read more.
Brain neurons form synapses throughout the life span. This process is initiated by neuronal depolarization, however the numbers of synapses thus formed depend on brain levels of three key nutrients—uridine, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, and choline. Given together, these nutrients accelerate formation of synaptic membrane, the major component of synapses. In infants, when synaptogenesis is maximal, relatively large amounts of all three nutrients are provided in bioavailable forms (e.g., uridine in the UMP of mothers’ milk and infant formulas). However, in adults the uridine in foods, mostly present at RNA, is not bioavailable, and no food has ever been compelling demonstrated to elevate plasma uridine levels. Moreover, the quantities of DHA and choline in regular foods can be insufficient for raising their blood levels enough to promote optimal synaptogenesis. In Alzheimer’s disease (AD) the need for extra quantities of the three nutrients is enhanced, both because their basal plasma levels may be subnormal (reflecting impaired hepatic synthesis), and because especially high brain levels are needed for correcting the disease-related deficiencies in synaptic membrane and synapses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Neuroscience)

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