Nutrients2015, 7(2), 948-969; doi:10.3390/nu7020948 (registering DOI) - published 30 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with early introduction of formula and/or solid, semi-solid or soft foods to infants aged three to five months in seven Francophone West African countries. The sources of data for the analyses were the most recent Demographic and Health Survey datasets of the seven countries, namely Benin (BDHS, 2012), Burkina Faso (BFDHS, 2010), Cote d’Ivoire (CIDHS, 2011–2012), Guinea (GDHS, 2012), Mali (MDHS, 2012–2013), Niger (NDHS, 2012) and Senegal (SDHS, 2010). The study used multiple logistic regression methods to analyse the factors associated with early introduction of complementary feeding using individual-, household- and community-level determinants. The sample was composed of 4158 infants aged between three and five months with: 671 from Benin, 811 from Burkina Faso, 362 from Cote d’Ivoire, 398 from Guinea, 519 from Mali, 767 from Niger and 630 from Senegal. Multiple analyses indicated that in three of the seven countries (Benin, Guinea and Senegal), infants who suffered illnesses, such as diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection, were significantly more likely to be introduced to formula and/or solid, semi-solid or soft foods between the age of three and five months. Other significant factors included infants who: were born in second to fourth position (Benin), whose mothers did not attend any antenatal clinics (Burkina Faso and Niger), were male (Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal), lived in an urban areas (Senegal), or were delivered by traditional birth attendants (Guinea, Niger and Senegal). Programmes to discourage early introduction of formula and/or solid, semi-solid or soft foods in these countries should target the most vulnerable segments of the population in order to improve exclusive breastfeeding practices and reduce infant mortality.
Nutrients2015, 7(2), 922-947; doi:10.3390/nu7020922 (registering DOI) - published 30 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Unlike the genome, the epigenome can be modified and hence some epigenetic risk markers have the potential to be reversed. Such modifications take place by means of drugs, diet or environmental exposures. It is widely accepted that epigenetic modifications take place during early embryonic and primordial cell development, but it is also important that we gain an understanding of the potential for such changes later in life. These “later life” epigenetic modifications in response to dietary intervention are the focus of this paper. The epigenetic modifications investigated include DNA methylation, histone modifications and the influence of microRNAs. The epigenotype could be used not only to predict susceptibility to certain cancers but also to assess the effectiveness of dietary modifications to reduce such risk. The influence of diet or dietary components on epigenetic modifications and the impact on cancer initiation or progression has been assessed herein.
Nutrients2015, 7(2), 905-921; doi:10.3390/nu7020905 (registering DOI) - published 30 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Curcumin (CCM) is a well-known phytocompound and food component found in the spice turmeric and has multifunctional bioactivities. However, few studies have examined its effects on exercise performance and physical fatigue. We aimed to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of CCM supplementation on fatigue and ergogenic function following physical challenge in mice. Male ICR mice were divided into four groups to receive vehicle or CCM (180 μg/mL) by oral gavage at 0, 12.3, 24.6, or 61.5 mL/kg/day for four weeks. Exercise performance and anti-fatigue function were evaluated after physical challenge by forelimb grip strength, exhaustive swimming time, and levels of physical fatigue-associated biomarkers serum lactate, ammonia, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and glucose and tissue damage markers such as aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), and creatine kinase (CK). CCM supplementation dose-dependently increased grip strength and endurance performance and significantly decreased lactate, ammonia, BUN, AST, ALT, and CK levels after physical challenge. Muscular glycogen content, an important energy source for exercise, was significantly increased. CCM supplementation had few subchronic toxic effects. CCM supplementation may have a wide spectrum of bioactivities for promoting health, improving exercise performance and preventing fatigue.
Nutrients2015, 7(2), 887-904; doi:10.3390/nu7020887 - published 29 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Chicken extract, which is rich in anserine and carnosine, has been widely taken in Asian countries as a traditional remedy with various aims, including attenuation of psychological fatigue. The effects of consuming BRAND’S Essence of Chicken (EOC) or a placebo on 46 young adults’ responses to a standard psychological “stressor” were considered. Heart rate variability (HRV), cortisol responses, mood and cognition were measured at baseline and after ten days supplementation. EOC resulted in feeling less anxious, depressed and confused and more agreeable and clearheaded. A decrease in HRV was observed after EOC but only in females. Cognition and cortisol levels were not influenced by EOC. Findings suggest that EOC may be a promising supplement to improve mood in a healthy population.
Nutrients2015, 7(2), 865-886; doi:10.3390/nu7020865 - published 26 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Nutritional factors such as casein hydrolysates and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids have been proposed to exert beneficial metabolic effects. We aimed to investigate how a casein hydrolysate (eCH) and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids could affect human primary adipocyte function in vitro. Incubation conditions with the different nutritional factors were validated by assessing cell vitality with lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release and neutral red incorporation. Intracellular triglyceride content was assessed with Oil Red O staining. The effect of eCH, a non-peptidic amino acid mixture (AA), and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) on adiponectin and leptin secretion was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Intracellular adiponectin expression and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation were analyzed by Western blot, while monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) release was explored by ELISA. The eCH concentration dependently increased adiponectin secretion in human primary adipocytes through its intrinsic peptide bioactivity, since the non-peptidic mixture, AA, could not mimic eCH’s effects on adiponectin secretion. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and DHA combined with arachidonic acid (ARA) upregulated adiponectin secretion. However, only DHA and DHA/ARA exerted a potentanti-inflammatory effect reflected by prevention of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) induced NF-κB activation and MCP-1 secretion in human adipocytes. eCH and DHA alone or in combination with ARA, may hold the key for nutritional programming through their anti-inflammatory action to prevent diseases with low-grade chronic inflammation such as obesity or diabetes.
Nutrients2015, 7(2), 849-864; doi:10.3390/nu7020849 - published 26 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The present study aimed to examine the potential anticancer properties of fixed oil obtained from Maltese mushroom (Cynomorium coccineum L.), an edible, non-photosynthetic plant, used in traditional medicine of Mediterranean countries to treat various ailments and as an emergency food during the famine. We investigated the effect of the oil, obtained from dried stems by supercritical fractioned extraction with CO2, on B16F10 melanoma and colon cancer Caco-2 cell viability and lipid profile. The oil, rich in essential fatty acids (18:3n-3 and 18:2n-6), showed a significant growth inhibitory effect on melanoma and colon cancer cells. The incubation (24 h) with non-toxic oil concentrations (25 and 50 μg/mL) induced in both cancer cell lines a significant accumulation of the fatty acids 18:3n-3 and 18:2n-6 and an increase of the cellular levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) with anticancer activity. Moreover, the oil exhibited the ability to potentiate the growth inhibitory effect of the antitumor drug 5-fluorouracil in Caco-2 cells and to influence the melanin content in B16F10 cells. The results qualify C. coccineum as a resource of oil, with potential benefits in cancer prevention, for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications.