Nutrients2014, 6(12), 5900-5914; doi:10.3390/nu6125900 (registering DOI) - published 18 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Plasma homocysteine (Hcy) is a modifiable, independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and is affected by both environmental and genetic factors. This study aimed to describe the gender- and age-specific distribution of Hcy concentration for 1117 subjects aged 10–66 years, a subset of a community-based rural Chinese twin cohort. In addition, we examined environmental and genetic contributions to variances in Hcy concentration by gender and age groups. We found that the distribution pattern for Hcy varied by both age and gender. Males had higher Hcy than females across all ages. Elevated Hcy was found in 43% of male adults and 13% of female adults. Moreover, nearly one fifth of children had elevated Hcy. Genetic factors could explain 52%, 36% and 69% of the variation in Hcy concentration among children, male adults and female adults, respectively. The MTHFR C677T variant was significantly associated with Hcy concentrations. Smokers with the TT genotype had the highest Hcy levels. Overall, our results indicate that elevated Hcy is prevalent in the children and adults in this rural Chinese population. The early identification of elevated Hcy will offer a window of opportunity for the primary prevention of CVD and metabolic syndrome.
Nutrients2014, 6(12), 5888-5899; doi:10.3390/nu6125888 - published 17 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A possibility to assess body composition during pregnancy is often important. Estimating body density (DB) and use the two-component model (2CM) to calculate total body fat (TBF) represents an option. However, this approach has been insufficiently evaluated during pregnancy. We evaluated the 2CM, and estimated fat-free mass (FFM) density and variability in 17 healthy women before pregnancy, in gestational weeks 14 and 32, and 2 weeks postpartum based on DB (underwater weighing), total body water (deuterium dilution) and body weight, assessed on these four occasions. TBF, calculated using the 2CM and published FFM density (TBF2CM), was compared to reference estimates obtained using the three-component model (TBF3CM). TBF2CM minus TBF3CM (mean ± 2SD) was −1.63 ± 5.67 (p = 0.031), −1.39 ± 7.75 (p = 0.16), −0.38 ± 4.44 (p = 0.49) and −1.39 ± 5.22 (p = 0.043) % before pregnancy, in gestational weeks 14 and 32 and 2 weeks postpartum, respectively. The effect of pregnancy on the variability of FFM density was larger in gestational week 14 than in gestational week 32. The 2CM, based on DB and published FFM density, assessed body composition as accurately in gestational week 32 as in non-pregnant adults. Corresponding values in gestational week 14 were slightly less accurate than those obtained before pregnancy.
Nutrients2014, 6(12), 5871-5887; doi:10.3390/nu6125871 - published 16 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Osteoporosis is a highly prevalent skeletal disorder in the elderly that causes serious bone fractures. Peak bone mass achieved at adolescence has been shown to predict bone mass and osteoporosis related risk fracture later in life. Resveratrol, a natural polyphenol compound, may have the potential to promote bone formation and reduce bone resorption. However, it is unclear whether it can aid bone growth and bone mass accumulation during rapid growth and modulate bone metabolism during ageing. Using rat models, the current study investigated the potential effects of resveratrol supplementation during the rapid postnatal growth period and in late adulthood (early ageing) on bone microarchitecture and metabolism. In the growth trial, 4-week-old male hooded Wistar rats on a normal chow diet were given resveratrol (2.5 mg/kg/day) or vehicle control for 5 weeks. In the ageing trial, 6-month-old male hooded Wistar rats were treated with resveratrol (20 mg/kg/day) or vehicle for 3 months. Treatment effects in the tibia were examined by μ-computer tomography (μ-CT) analysis, bone histomorphometric measurements and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) gene expression analysis. Resveratrol treatment did not affect trabecular bone volume and bone remodeling indices in the youth animal model. Resveratrol supplementation in the early ageing rats tended to decrease trabecular bone volume, Sirt1 gene expression and increased expression of adipogenesis-related genes in bone, all of which were statistically insignificant. However, it decreased osteocalcin expression (p = 0.03). Furthermore, serum levels of bone resorption marker C-terminal telopeptides type I collagen (CTX-1) were significantly elevated in the resveratrol supplementation group (p = 0.02) with no changes observed in serum levels of bone formation marker alkaline phosphatase (ALP). These results in rat models suggest that resveratrol supplementation does not significantly affect bone volume during the rapid growth phase but may potentially have negative effects on male skeleton during early ageing.
Nutrients2014, 6(12), 5853-5870; doi:10.3390/nu6125853 - published 12 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the osteoprotective effect of aqueous Rhizoma Dioscoreae extract (RDE) on the alveolar bone of rats with ovariectomy-induced bone loss. Methods: Female Wistar rats were subjected to either ovariectomy or a sham operation (SHAM). The ovariectomized (OVX) rats were treated with vehicle (OVX) or RDE by oral gavage or with 17β-estradiol (E2) subcutaneously. After treatments, the bone mineral density (BMD), the three-dimensional bone architecture of the alveolar bone and the plasma biomarkers of bone turnover were analyzed to assess bone metabolism, and the histomorphometry of the alveolar bone was observed. Microarrays were used to evaluate gene expression profiles in alveolar bone from RDE-treated and OVX rats. The differential expression of genes was further analyzed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). The key findings were verified using real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR). Results: Our results showed that RDE inhibited alveolar bone loss in OVX rats. Compared to the OVX rats, the RDE-treated rats showed upregulated expression levels of 207 genes and downregulated expression levels of 176 genes in the alveolar bone. The IPA showed that several genes had the potential to code for proteins that were involved in the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway (Wnt7a, Fzd2, Tcf3, Spp1, Frzb, Sfrp2 and Sfrp4) and the p38 MAPK signaling pathway (Il1rn and Mapk14). Conclusion: These experiments revealed that RDE could inhibit ovariectomy-induced alveolar bone loss in rats. The mechanism of this anti-osteopenic effect in alveolar bone may be involved in the reduced abnormal bone remodeling, which is associated with the modulation of the Wnt/β-catenin and the p38 MAPK signaling pathways via gene regulation.
Nutrients2014, 6(12), 5839-5852; doi:10.3390/nu6125839 - published 12 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Background: Epidemiological studies have shown the prevention of cardiovascular diseases through the regular consumption of vegetables. Eruca sativa Mill., commonly known as rocket, is a leafy vegetable that has anti-inflammatory activity. However, its antiplatelet and antithrombotic activities have not been described. Methods: Eruca sativa Mill. aqueous extract (0.1 to 1 mg/mL), was evaluated on human platelets: (i) P-selectin expression by flow cytometry; (ii) platelet aggregation induced by ADP, collagen and arachidonic acid; (iii) IL-1β, TGF-β1, CCL5 and thromboxane B2 release; and (iv) activation of NF-κB and PKA by western blot. Furthermore, (v) antithrombotic activity (200 mg/kg) and (vi) bleeding time in murine models were evaluated. Results: Eruca sativa Mill. aqueous extract (0.1 to 1 mg/mL) inhibited P-selectin expression and platelet aggregation induced by ADP. The release of platelet inflammatory mediators (IL-1β, TGF-β1, CCL5 and thromboxane B2) induced by ADP was inhibited by Eruca sativa Mill. aqueous extract. Furthermore, Eruca sativa Mill. aqueous extract inhibited NF-κB activation. Finally, in murine models, Eruca sativa Mill. aqueous extract showed significant antithrombotic activity and a slight effect on bleeding time. Conclusion: Eruca sativa Mill. presents antiplatelet and antithrombotic activity.
Nutrients2014, 6(12), 5819-5838; doi:10.3390/nu6125819 - published 12 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Astaxanthin (ASTA) is a pinkish-orange carotenoid commonly found in marine organisms, especially salmon. ASTA is a powerful antioxidant and suggested to provide benefits for human health, including the inhibition of LDL oxidation, UV-photoprotection, and prophylaxis of bacterial stomach ulcers. Exercise is associated to overproduction of free radicals in muscles and plasma, with pivotal participation of iron ions and glutathione (GSH). Thus, ASTA was studied here as an auxiliary supplement to improve antioxidant defenses in soleus muscles and plasma against oxidative damage induced by exhaustive exercise. Long-term 1 mg ASTA/kg body weight (BW) supplementation in Wistar rats (for 45 days) significantly delayed time to exhaustion by 29% in a swimming test. ASTA supplementation increased scavenging/iron-chelating capacities (TEAC/FRAP) and limited exercise-induced iron overload and its related pro-oxidant effects in plasma of exercising animals. On the other hand, ASTA induced significant mitochondrial Mn-dependent superoxide dismutase and cytosolic glutathione peroxidase antioxidant responses in soleus muscles that, in turn, increased GSH content during exercise, limited oxidative stress, and delayed exhaustion. We also provided significant discussion about a putative “mitochondrial-targeted” action of ASTA based on previous publications and on the positive results found in the highly mitochondrial populated (oxidative-type) soleus muscles here.