Nutrients2016, 8(2), 87; doi:10.3390/nu8020087 (registering DOI) - published 11 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In female mammals, mechanisms have been developed, throughout evolution, to integrate environmental, nutritional and hormonal cues in order to guarantee reproduction in favorable energetic conditions and to inhibit it in case of food scarcity. This metabolic strategy could be an advantage in nutritionally poor environments, but nowadays is affecting women’s health. The unlimited availability of nutrients, in association with reduced energy expenditure, leads to alterations in many metabolic pathways and to impairments in the finely tuned inter-relation between energy metabolism and reproduction, thereby affecting female fertility. Many energetic states could influence female reproductive health being under- and over-weight, obesity and strenuous physical activity are all conditions that alter the profiles of specific hormones, such as insulin and adipokines, thus impairing women fertility. Furthermore, specific classes of nutrients might affect female fertility by acting on particular signaling pathways. Dietary fatty acids, carbohydrates, proteins and food-associated components (such as endocrine disruptors) have per se physiological activities and their unbalanced intake, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, might impair metabolic homeostasis and fertility in premenopausal women. Even though we are far from identifying a “fertility diet”, lifestyle and dietary interventions might represent a promising and invaluable strategy to manage infertility in premenopausal women.
Nutrients2016, 8(2), 86; doi:10.3390/nu8020086 - published 9 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A number of recent trials have demonstrated positive effects of dietary supplementation with the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on measures of cognitive function in healthy young and older adults. One potential mechanism by which EPA, and DHA in particular, may exert these effects is via modulation of cerebral hemodynamics. In order to investigate the effects of DHA alone or provided as one component of a multinutrient supplement (also including Gingko biloba, phosphatidylserine and vitamins B9 and B12) on measures of cerebral hemodynamics and cognitive function, 86 healthy older adults aged 50–70 years who reported subjective memory deficits were recruited to take part in a six month daily dietary supplementation trial. Relative changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin and deoxygenated hemoglobin were assessed using Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) during the performance of cognitive tasks prior to and following the intervention period. Performance on the cognitive tasks was also assessed. No effect of either active treatment was found for any of the NIRS measures or on the cognitive performance tasks, although the study was limited by a number of factors. Further work should continue to evaluate more holistic approaches to cognitive aging.
Nutrients2016, 8(2), 85; doi:10.3390/nu8020085 - published 9 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Confined space, limited exercise equipment, rotating shift work and reduced sleep may affect cardiometabolic health in submariners. To test this hypothesis, 53 male U.S. Submariners (20–39 years) were studied before and after a 3-month routine submarine patrol. Measures included anthropometrics, dietary and physical activity, biomarkers of cardiometabolic health, energy and appetite regulation, and inflammation. Before deployment, 62% of submariners had a body fat % (BF%) ≥ 25% (obesity), and of this group, 30% met the criteria for metabolic syndrome. In obese volunteers, insulin, the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), leptin, the leptin/adiponectin ratio, and pro-inflammatory chemokines growth-related oncogene and macrophage-derived chemokine were significantly higher compared to non-obese submariners. Following the patrol, a significant mean reduction in body mass (5%) and fat-mass (11%) occurred in the obese group as a result of reduced energy intake (~2000 kJ) during the patrol; and, independent of group, modest improvements in serum lipids and a mean reduction in interferon γ-induced protein 10 and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 were observed. Since 43% of the submariners remained obese, and 18% continued to meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome following the patrol, the magnitude of weight loss was insufficient to completely abolish metabolic dysfunction. Submergence up to 3-months, however, does not appear to be the cause of obesity, which is similar to that of the general population.
Nutrients2016, 8(2), 84; doi:10.3390/nu8020084 - published 8 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is characterized by the onset of symptoms after eating gluten-containing food. We aimed to single out NCGS subjects among subjects with functional gastrointestinal symptoms. Patients were enrolled in a multicenter double-blind placebo-controlled trial with crossover. Symptoms and quality of life were evaluated by means of 10-cm VAS and SF36. Iron parameters, transaminases and C reactive protein (CRP) were evaluated. After a three-week-long gluten-free diet (GFD), responsive patients were randomly assigned to gluten intake (5.6 g/day) or placebo for seven days, followed by crossover. The primary endpoint was the worsening of symptoms (VAS increase ≥3 cm) during gluten ingestion compared to placebo. One hundred and forty patients were enrolled and 134 (17 males, mean age 39.1 ± 11.7 years, BMI 22.4 ± 3.8) completed the first period. A total of 101 subjects (10 males, mean age 39.3 ± 11.0 years, BMI 22.3 ± 4.0) reported a symptomatic improvement (VAS score 2.3 ± 1.2 vs. 6.5 ± 2.2 before and after GFD, p = 0.001). 98 patients underwent the gluten challenge and 28 (all females, mean age 38.9 ± 12.7 years, BMI 22.0 ± 2.9) reported a symptomatic relapse and deterioration of quality of life. No parameters were found to be statistically associated with positivity to the challenge. However, 14 patients responded to the placebo ingestion. Taking into account this finding, about 14% of patients responding to gluten withdrawal showed a symptomatic relapse during the gluten challenge. This group is suspected to have NCGS.
Nutrients2016, 8(2), 80; doi:10.3390/nu8020080 - published 6 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Selenium (Se) is a micronutrient that maintains biological functions through the action of Se containing proteins known as selenoproteins. Due to the known antioxidant effects of Se, supplements containing Se have been on the rise. While Se supplementation may be beneficial for Se deficient populations, few are at risk for Se deficiency due to the transportation of food from Se-rich regions and the rise of Se-enriched foods. Alarmingly, Se supplementation may have adverse effects in people who already receive an adequate Se supply. Specifically, an increased risk of type 2 diabetes has been reported in individuals with high baseline Se levels. However, this effect was restricted to males, suggesting the relationship between Se and glucose homeostasis may be sexually dimorphic. This review will discuss the current understanding of the interaction between Se and glucose homeostasis, including any sex differences that have been described.
Nutrients2016, 8(2), 82; doi:10.3390/nu8020082 - published 6 February 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Dietary intake and higher serum concentrations of lycopene have been associated with lower incidence of prostate cancer and other chronic diseases. Identifying determinants of serum lycopene concentrations may thus have important public health implications. Prior studies have suggested that serum lycopene concentrations are under partial genetic control. The goal of this research was to identify genetic predictors of serum lycopene concentrations using the genome-wide association study (GWAS) approach among a sample of 441 Old Order Amish adults that consumed a controlled diet. Linear regression models were utilized to evaluate associations between genetic variants and serum concentrations of lycopene. Variant rs7680948 on chromosome 4, located in the intron region of the SETD7 gene, was significantly associated with serum lycopene concentrations (p = 3.41 × 10−9). Our findings also provided nominal support for the association previously noted between SCARB1 and serum lycopene concentrations, although with a different SNP (rs11057841) in the region. This study identified a novel locus associated with serum lycopene concentrations and our results raise a number of intriguing possibilities regarding the nature of the relationship between SETD7 and lycopene, both of which have been independently associated with prostate cancer. Further investigation into this relationship might help provide greater mechanistic understanding of these associations.