Abstract: Atherosclerosis (AS) is a complicated progress, involving many types of cells. Although the exact mechanisms of progression of atherosclerosis are uncertain, the balance of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) proliferation and apoptosis appears to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis and progression of atherosclerosis, and much discussion has been undertaken to elucidate the detailed mechanisms, relevant gene expression and transduction pathways. Drug treatment has focused on ameliorating atherosclerosis. Some researchers have indicated that inhibiting VSMCs proliferation is involved in attenuating atherosclerosis. Luteolin is a kind of flavonoids naturally occurring in many plants and possesses beneficial effects on cardiovascular diseases. Luteolin can reduce VSMCs’ proliferation and migration and this reduction is stimulated by several factors. The aim of this review is to summarize the existing inhibitory effects and mechanisms of luteolin on proliferation and migration of VSMCs, and consider whether luteolin may be a potential candidate for preventing and treating atherosclerosis.
Abstract: The way in which Drosophila melanogaster acquires iron from the diet remains poorly understood despite iron absorption being of vital significance for larval growth. To describe the process of organismal iron absorption, consideration needs to be given to cellular iron import, storage, export and how intestinal epithelial cells sense and respond to iron availability. Here we review studies on the Divalent Metal Transporter-1 homolog Malvolio (iron import), the recent discovery that Multicopper Oxidase-1 has ferroxidase activity (iron export) and the role of ferritin in the process of iron acquisition (iron storage). We also describe what is known about iron regulation in insect cells. We then draw upon knowledge from mammalian iron homeostasis to identify candidate genes in flies. Questions arise from the lack of conservation in Drosophila for key mammalian players, such as ferroportin, hepcidin and all the components of the hemochromatosis-related pathway. Drosophila and other insects also lack erythropoiesis. Thus, systemic iron regulation is likely to be conveyed by different signaling pathways and tissue requirements. The significance of regulating intestinal iron uptake is inferred from reports linking Drosophila developmental, immune, heat-shock and behavioral responses to iron sequestration.
Abstract: Vitamin A is essential for growth and development. We investigated whether high consumption of energy-dense nutrient-poor foods in the diets of pre-school children is detrimental to diet quality with respect to vitamin A. Data were collected from 755 children at 18-months and 3½-years, from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, using 3-day unweighed dietary records completed by parents in 1994 and 1996, respectively. Energy, carotene and retinol intakes were calculated. The quality of the diet declined from 18-months to 3½-years with respect to vitamin A. Preformed retinol intakes decreased by −54 μg/day on average (p = 0.003). Carotene intakes were similar at each age although there was a 23% increase in energy intake by 3½-years. Longitudinally those in the highest quartile of intake at 18-months were twice as likely to remain in the highest quartile at 3½-years for retinol (OR 2.21 (95% CI 1.48–3.28)) and carotene (OR 1.66 (95% CI 1.11–2.50)) than to change quartiles. Nutrient-rich core foods provided decreasing amounts of carotene and preformed retinol over time (both p < 0.001). Vegetables and milk contributed the highest proportion of carotene at both ages, but milk’s contribution decreased over time. Milk and liver were the largest sources of retinol. Nutrient-poor foods provided an increased proportion of energy (p < 0.001) with low proportions of both nutrients; however fat spreads made an important contribution. It is recommended that pre-school children should take vitamin supplements; only 19% at 18-months did this, falling to 11% at 3½-years. Care should be taken to choose nutrient-rich foods and avoid energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods when feeding pre-school children.
Abstract: It is estimated that the prevalence of anaemia in patients scheduled for bariatric surgery is higher than in the general population and the prevalence of iron deficiencies (with or without anaemia) may be higher as well. After surgery, iron deficiencies and anaemia may occur in a higher percentage of patients, mainly as a consequence of nutrient deficiencies. In addition, perioperative anaemia has been related with increased postoperative morbidity and mortality and poorer quality of life after bariatric surgery. The treatment of perioperative anaemia and nutrient deficiencies has been shown to improve patients’ outcomes and quality of life. All patients should undergo an appropriate nutritional evaluation, including selective micronutrientmeasurements (e.g., iron), before any bariatric surgical procedure.In comparison with purely restrictive procedures, moreextensive perioperative nutritional evaluations arerequired for malabsorptive procedures due to their nutritional consequences. The aim of this study was to review the current knowledge of nutritional deficits in obese patients and those that commonly appear after bariatric surgery, specifically iron deficiencies and their consequences. As a result, some recommendations for screening and supplementation are presented.
Abstract: A gluten-free diet (GFD) is the treatment for celiac disease (CD), but due to its complexity, dietitian referral is uniformly recommended. We surveyed patients with CD to determine if dietitian use is associated with quality of life, symptom severity, or GFD adherence. The survey utilized three validated CD-specific instruments: the CD quality of life (CD-QOL), CD symptom index (CSI) and CD adherence test (CDAT). Four hundred and thirteen patients with biopsy-proven CD were eligible for inclusion. The majority (77%) were female and mean BMI was 24.1. Over three-quarters of patients (326, 79%) had seen a dietitian, however, 161 (39%) had seen a dietitian only once. Age, sex, and education level were not associated with dietitian use; nor was BMI (24.6 vs. 24.0, p = 0.45). On multivariate analysis, adjusting for age gender, education, duration of disease, and body mass index, dietitian use was not associated with CD-QOL, CSI, or CDAT scores. Our survey did not show an association between dietitian use and symptom severity, adherence, or quality of life. Delay in diagnosis was associated with poorer outcomes. This is a preliminary study with several limitations, and further prospective analysis is needed to evaluate the benefits and cost-effectiveness of dietitian-referral in the care of celiac disease patients.
Abstract: Throughout history, chocolate has been used to treat a wide variety of ailments, and in recent years, multiple studies have found that chocolate can have positive health effects, providing evidence to a centuries-long established use; this acknowledgement, however, did not have a straight course, having been involved in religious, medical and cultural controversies. Christian Europe, in fact, feared the exhilarating effects of new drinks, such as chocolate, coffee and tea. Therefore, these beverages would have been banished, had not doctors and scientists explained that they were good for the body. The scientific debate, which reached its peak in Florence in the 18th century, regarded the therapeutic effectiveness of the various chocolate components: it was necessary to know their properties first, in order to prepare the best cacao concoction for every patient. When Dietetics separated from Medicine, however, chocolate acquired the role of vehicle for easing the administration of bitter medicines, being associated to different health problems. The recent rediscovery of the beneficial use of cacao and chocolate focuses upon its value as supplemental nutrition. Building a bridge to the past may be helpful to detect the areas where the potential health benefits of chocolate are likely to be further explored.