Special Issue "The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition"

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A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Samir Samman

Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nutritional science; vitamins; minerals; zinc; biomarkers; chronic disease
Guest Editor
Prof. Ian Darnton-Hill AO

The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders, Sydney Medical School, K25-Medical Foundation Building K25, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: public health nutrition; global health and nutrition policy; double burden of malnutrition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Health is inextricably linked to nutrition. An unbalanced diet, whether deficient in one or more nutrients or excessive intakes of macronutrients, contribute to many physical and mental disorders. Whether people are healthy or not, is determined by their lifestyles, genetic predisposition and the environment, especially their nutrition. Diet-related factors that affect the health of individuals include access to an adequate and safe food supply, consuming a balanced diet, keeping active, and drinking alcohol in moderation, and others more subtle in their effects. How we deal with stress also affects health. This special issue of Healthcare examines “the close relationship: health and nutrition” and aims to bring together recent findings in this field. Previously unpublished articles that describe research in diverse populations are invited and welcome.

Prof. Samir Samman
Prof. Ian Darnton-Hill AO
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


Keywords

  • micronutrients
  • macronutrients
  • dietary patterns
  • food security
  • food safety

Published Papers (23 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Fatty Liver and Fatty Heart—Where do They Stand in the AMIS Syndrome?
Healthcare 2015, 3(3), 666-682; doi:10.3390/healthcare3030666
Received: 16 March 2015 / Revised: 14 July 2015 / Accepted: 31 July 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
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Abstract
Meal-induced insulin sensitization (MIS) refers to the augmented glucose uptake response to insulin following a meal. Absence of MIS (AMIS) causes significant decrease in post-meal glucose disposal leading to postprandial hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hyperlipidemia, adiposity, increased free radical stress, and a cluster of progressive
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Meal-induced insulin sensitization (MIS) refers to the augmented glucose uptake response to insulin following a meal. Absence of MIS (AMIS) causes significant decrease in post-meal glucose disposal leading to postprandial hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hyperlipidemia, adiposity, increased free radical stress, and a cluster of progressive metabolic, vascular, and cardiac dysfunctions referred to as the AMIS syndrome. We tested the hypothesis that fat accumulation in the liver and heart is part of the AMIS syndrome. Questions examined in the study: (1) Is prediabetic fat accumulation in the heart and liver a component of the AMIS syndrome? (2) Is fatty liver a cause or consequence of peripheral insulin resistance? (3) Is early cardiac dysfunction in the AMIS syndrome attributable to fat accumulation in the heart? and (4) Can the synergistic antioxidant cocktail SAMEC (S-adenosylmethionine, vitamin E, and vitamin C), known to benefit MIS, affect cardiac and hepatic triglyceride levels? Four animal models of AMIS were used in aged male Sprague-Dawley rats (52 weeks ± sucrose ± SAMEC), compared with young controls (nine weeks). Fat accumulation in the heart was not significant and therefore cannot account for the early cardiac dysfunction. Hepatic triglycerides increased only in the most severe AMIS model but the small changes correlated with the much more rapidly developing peripheral adiposity. Systemic adiposity represents an early stage, whereas accumulation of cardiac and hepatic triglycerides represents a late stage of the prediabetic AMIS syndrome. Fat accumulation in the liver is a consequence, not a cause, of AMIS. SAMEC protected against the sucrose effects on whole body adiposity and hepatic lipid accumulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of a Restricted and Unrestricted Vegan Diet Plan with a Restricted Omnivorous Diet Plan on Health-Specific Measures
Healthcare 2015, 3(3), 544-555; doi:10.3390/healthcare3030544
Received: 31 December 2014 / Revised: 30 June 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 14 July 2015
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Abstract
Background: We have previously noted beneficial health outcomes when individuals follow a dietary restriction plan in accordance with the Daniel Fast (DF). This is true whether individuals eliminate all animal products or include small amounts of meat and dairy in their plan. The
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Background: We have previously noted beneficial health outcomes when individuals follow a dietary restriction plan in accordance with the Daniel Fast (DF). This is true whether individuals eliminate all animal products or include small amounts of meat and dairy in their plan. The present study sought to compare anthropometric and biochemical measures of health in individuals following a traditional DF (i.e., restricted vegan) or modified DF (i.e., restricted omnivorous; inclusive of ad libitum meat and skim milk consumption), with those following an unrestricted vegan diet plan. Methods: 35 subjects (six men; 29 women; 33 ± 2 years; range: 18–67 years) completed a 21-day diet plan. Subjects reported to the lab for pre- (day 1) and post-intervention testing (day 22) in a 10 h fasted state. Blood samples were collected and assayed for complete blood count, metabolic panel, lipid panel, insulin, HOMA-IR, C-reactive protein, and oxidative stress biomarkers (malondialdehyde, advanced oxidation protein products, and nitrate/nitrite). Heart rate and blood pressure were measured and body composition was determined via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Subjects’ self-reported compliance, mental and physical health, and satiety in relation to the dietary modification were recorded. Results: No interaction effects were noted for our outcome measures (p > 0.05). However, subjects in the traditional DF group reported an approximate 10% increase in perceived mental and physical health, with a 25% reduction in malondialdehyde and a 33% reduction in blood insulin. Systolic BP was reduced approximately 7 mmHg in subjects assigned to the traditional DF, with an approximate 5 mmHg reduction in subjects assigned to the modified DF and the unrestricted vegan plan. A small (2 mmHg) reduction in diastolic BP was noted for subjects in both DF groups; a slight increase in diastolic BP was noted for subjects assigned to the unrestricted vegan group. An approximate 20% reduction was noted in total and LDL cholesterol for subjects in the traditional DF group, with an approximate 10% decrease for subjects in the modified DF group. No decrease in total or LDL cholesterol was noted for subjects in the unrestricted vegan group. Conclusion: These data indicate that both a traditional or modified DF may improve blood pressure and blood lipids in a clinically meaningful manner if these results are sustained over the long term. A traditional DF also results in a significant reduction in blood insulin and oxidative stress. An unrestricted vegan diet may improve systolic blood pressure, but in the absence of measures to strictly monitor adherence, it does not favorably impact other markers of health measured in the present study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle An Interactive Session on Nutritional Pathologies for Health Professional Students
Healthcare 2015, 3(3), 519-528; doi:10.3390/healthcare3030519
Received: 11 March 2015 / Revised: 2 May 2015 / Accepted: 29 June 2015 / Published: 7 July 2015
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Abstract
Various studies have emphasized the need to improve the nutrition training of health professionals, which will help them to provide optimal patient care. Nutrition-based interactive sessions may serve as an efficient approach to instigate an interest in nutrition among the students. Here we
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Various studies have emphasized the need to improve the nutrition training of health professionals, which will help them to provide optimal patient care. Nutrition-based interactive sessions may serve as an efficient approach to instigate an interest in nutrition among the students. Here we report the reception and effectiveness of a nutrition-pathology based interactive activity that we designed and implemented in the gastroenterology course given to the second year students at our medical school. The activity involved team work, individual accountability and peer-teaching. Nutrition pathology case stems (Kwashiorkor, vitamin B-12 deficiency, zinc deficiency and zinc-induced copper deficiency) were posted on the course website for the students to read before the session. At the start of the session, all the groups (each made up of four members) took a pre-quiz. Each student was then given an information sheet describing one case. Each group discussed the four cases with students acting as the “teacher” for the case assigned to them. A post-quiz was administered to the groups to assess acquisition of knowledge as well as in-depth thinking about the nutrition aspects discussed. The efficacy of the session measured by pre (39% questions correctly answered in total) and post-quizzes (96% questions correctly answered in total) and the overwhelmingly positive student feedback indicated that the session was highly effective. Ninety-five percent of students thought that the session demonstrated the clinical relevance of nutrition, while 98% students found the peer teaching to be engaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle Becoming Food Aware in Hospital: A Narrative Review to Advance the Culture of Nutrition Care in Hospitals
Healthcare 2015, 3(2), 393-407; doi:10.3390/healthcare3020393
Received: 10 March 2015 / Revised: 16 May 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 1 June 2015
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Abstract
The Nutrition Care in Canadian Hospitals (2010–2013) study identified the prevalence of malnutrition on admission to medical and surgical wards as 45%. Nutrition practices in the eighteen hospitals, including diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of malnourished patients, were ad hoc. This lack of
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The Nutrition Care in Canadian Hospitals (2010–2013) study identified the prevalence of malnutrition on admission to medical and surgical wards as 45%. Nutrition practices in the eighteen hospitals, including diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of malnourished patients, were ad hoc. This lack of a systematic approach has demonstrated the need for the development of improved processes and knowledge translation of practices aimed to advance the culture of nutrition care in hospitals. A narrative review was conducted to identify literature that focused on improved care processes and strategies to promote the nutrition care culture. The key finding was that a multi-level approach is needed to address this complex issue. The organization, staff, patients and their families need to be part of the solution to hospital malnutrition. A variety of strategies to promote the change in nutrition culture have been proposed in the literature, and these are summarized as examples for others to consider. Examples of strategies at the organizational level include developing policies to support change, use of a screening tool, protecting mealtimes, investing in food and additional personnel (healthcare aides, practical nurses and/or diet technicians) to assist patients at mealtimes. Training for hospital staff raises awareness of the issue, but also helps them to identify their role and how it can be modified to improve nutrition care. Patients and families need to be aware of the importance of food to their recovery and how they can advocate for their needs while in hospital, as well as post-hospitalization. It is anticipated that a multi-level approach that promotes being “food aware” for all involved will help hospitals to achieve patient-centred care with respect to nutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle Designing and Developing a Mobile Smartphone Application for Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Followed-Up at Diabetes Outpatient Clinics in Norway
Healthcare 2015, 3(2), 310-323; doi:10.3390/healthcare3020310
Received: 11 February 2015 / Revised: 8 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 May 2015 / Published: 21 May 2015
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Abstract
The prevalence of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is increasing worldwide. Controlling blood sugar levels is fundamental to the management of GDM. Current practice in Norway includes patients registering blood sugar levels in a booklet and receiving verbal and/or written health information. A smartphone
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The prevalence of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is increasing worldwide. Controlling blood sugar levels is fundamental to the management of GDM. Current practice in Norway includes patients registering blood sugar levels in a booklet and receiving verbal and/or written health information. A smartphone application may provide patients individually targeted and easily available advice to control blood sugar levels. The aim of this paper is to document the process of designing and developing a smartphone application (the Pregnant+ app) that automatically transfers blood sugar levels from the glucometer and has information about healthy eating and physical activity. This formative research included expert-group discussions among health professionals, researchers and experts in data privacy and security. User-involvement studies were conducted to discuss prototypes of the app. Results indicated that the content of the application should be easy to understand given the varying degree of patients’ literacy and in line with the information they receive at clinics. The final version of the app incorporated behavior change techniques such as self-monitoring and cues to action. Results from the first round of interactions show the importance of involving expert groups and patients when developing a mobile health-care device. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle Dietary Advice and Collaborative Working: Do Pharmacists and Allied Health Professionals Other Than Dietitians Have a Role?
Healthcare 2015, 3(1), 64-77; doi:10.3390/healthcare3010064
Received: 24 December 2014 / Accepted: 3 February 2015 / Published: 12 February 2015
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Abstract
Long term health conditions either wholly or partly diet-related continue to increase. Although pharmacists and allied health professionals (AHPs) have a role in the management of patients with long term conditions, there is limited research exploring whether pharmacists and AHPs other than dietitians
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Long term health conditions either wholly or partly diet-related continue to increase. Although pharmacists and allied health professionals (AHPs) have a role in the management of patients with long term conditions, there is limited research exploring whether pharmacists and AHPs other than dietitians have a role in the delivery of dietary advice. This research aimed to explore their views regarding the provision of dietary advice to patients. The research involved a qualitative methodology utilising five uni-professional focus groups with a total of 23 participants. All groups considered the provision of dietary advice in the context of their own professional roles, discussed issues relating to referral to the dietitian for specialist advice and most discussed the need for written information. Interprofessional and collaborative working is needed to maximise the role in the delivery of dietary advice, access to evidence based nutritional information and utlisation of referral pathways across pharmacists and AHPs to ensure the timely provision of nutritional advice to patients. There is a potential role for dietitians to take the lead and further research should focus on this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle A Prospective Cluster-Randomized Trial of Telehealth Coaching to Promote Bone Health and Nutrition in Deployed Soldiers
Healthcare 2014, 2(4), 505-515; doi:10.3390/healthcare2040505
Received: 12 August 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
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Abstract
Findings from previous studies suggest that inadequate consumption of calcium and vitamin D and a decrease in exercise while deployed can be detrimental to bone health. This study enrolled 234 soldiers randomized to receive one-time nutrition and exercise education pre-deployment (n = 149),
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Findings from previous studies suggest that inadequate consumption of calcium and vitamin D and a decrease in exercise while deployed can be detrimental to bone health. This study enrolled 234 soldiers randomized to receive one-time nutrition and exercise education pre-deployment (n = 149), or telehealth coaching (n = 85), throughout the deployment cycle. Results suggest that online educational efforts may enhance sports activity, bone turnover, and vitamin D status. Improving vitamin D status and remaining active while deployed appears to sustain healthy bone density in young soldiers. Early and aggressive educational outreach to young adults may prevent chronic musculoskeletal conditions and disabling osteoporosis later in life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle Dietary Intake Is Related to Multifactor Cardiovascular Risk Score in Obese Boys
Healthcare 2014, 2(3), 282-298; doi:10.3390/healthcare2030282
Received: 5 February 2014 / Revised: 21 June 2014 / Accepted: 3 July 2014 / Published: 23 July 2014
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Abstract
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) originates in childhood and early identification of risk factors provides an early intervention opportunity. The aim was to identify children at higher risk using a CVD risk score, developed from factors known to cluster in childhood. Risk was scored as
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) originates in childhood and early identification of risk factors provides an early intervention opportunity. The aim was to identify children at higher risk using a CVD risk score, developed from factors known to cluster in childhood. Risk was scored as very high (≥97.5th centile), high (≥95th), moderate (≥90th) or threshold (<90th) using normal pediatric reference ranges for 10 common biomedical risk factors. These were summed in a multifactor CVD risk score and applied to a sample of 285 observations from 136 overweight Australian children (41% male, aged 7–12 years). Strength of associations between CVD risk score and individual biomedical and dietary variables were assessed using univariate logistic regression. High waist circumference (Odds Ratio: 5.48 [95% CI: 2.60–11.55]), body mass index (OR: 3.22 [1.98–5.26]), serum insulin (OR: 3.37 [2.56–4.42]) and triglycerides (OR: 3.02 [2.22–4.12]) were all significantly related to CVD risk score. High intakes of total fat (OR: 4.44 [1.19–16.60]), sugar (OR: 2.82 [1.54–5.15]) and carbohydrate (OR 1.75 [1.11–2.77]) were significantly related to CVD risk score in boys only. This multifactor CVD risk score could be a useful tool for researchers to identify elevated risk in children. Further research is warranted to examine sex-specific dietary factors related to CVD risk in children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle PNI Biomarkers and Health Outcomes in College Women
Healthcare 2014, 2(2), 207-219; doi:10.3390/healthcare2020207
Received: 12 February 2014 / Revised: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 28 April 2014
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Abstract
Sleep disturbance has been found to trigger a stress response with a subsequent activation of the psychoneuroimmunological (PNI) pathway associated with adverse health outcomes. This study aimed to assess the association among selected PNI biomarkers, sleep disturbances, and adverse health outcomes (depressive symptoms,
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Sleep disturbance has been found to trigger a stress response with a subsequent activation of the psychoneuroimmunological (PNI) pathway associated with adverse health outcomes. This study aimed to assess the association among selected PNI biomarkers, sleep disturbances, and adverse health outcomes (depressive symptoms, physical symptoms). A stratified, quota sample (14 poor sleepers and 15 good sleepers) was drawn from a pool of healthy college women from a larger scale of study. The participants reported their sleep, stress, depressive, and physical symptoms. Wrist actigraphy was used to collect objective sleep data, and the Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay was used to assess PNI biomarkers. Poor sleep quality, higher stress perception, elevated serum serotonin, and lower serum interleukin-10 explained 75.3% of the variances for the depressive symptoms. Poor sleep quality along with delayed peak activity rhythms accounted 31.4% of the physical symptoms. High serotonin and tumor necrosis factor-α were the significant predictors for poor sleep efficiency, and serotonin was the single significant predictor for poor daytime functioning. Stress and sleep disturbances negatively impact the health of college women and should be as part of regular check-ups on campus. PNI effects on health outcomes should be further explored. Educational materials in the areas of sleep hygiene, health impacts from sleep disturbances, and strategies to maintain synchronized circadian rhythms should be mandatorily included in the college curriculum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)

Review

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Open AccessReview Aging, Nutritional Status and Health
Healthcare 2015, 3(3), 648-658; doi:10.3390/healthcare3030648
Received: 30 March 2015 / Revised: 7 July 2015 / Accepted: 23 July 2015 / Published: 30 July 2015
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Abstract
The older population is increasing worldwide and in many countries older people will outnumber younger people in the near future. This projected growth in the older population has the potential to place significant burdens on healthcare and support services. Meeting the diet and
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The older population is increasing worldwide and in many countries older people will outnumber younger people in the near future. This projected growth in the older population has the potential to place significant burdens on healthcare and support services. Meeting the diet and nutrition needs of older people is therefore crucial for the maintenance of health, functional independence and quality of life. While many older adults remain healthy and eat well those in poorer health may experience difficulties in meeting their nutritional needs. Malnutrition, encompassing both under and over nutrition increases health risks in the older population. More recently the increase in obesity, and in turn the incidence of chronic disease in older adults, now justifies weight management interventions in obese older adults. This growing population group is becoming increasingly diverse in their nutritional requirements. Micro-nutrient status may fluctuate and shortfalls in vitamin D, iron and a number of other nutrients are relatively common and can impact on well-being and quality of life. Aging presents a number of challenges for the maintenance of good nutritional health in older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessReview The Link between Dietary Protein Intake, Skeletal Muscle Function and Health in Older Adults
Healthcare 2015, 3(3), 529-543; doi:10.3390/healthcare3030529
Received: 13 March 2015 / Revised: 24 June 2015 / Accepted: 29 June 2015 / Published: 9 July 2015
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Abstract
Skeletal muscle mass and function are progressively lost with age, a condition referred to as sarcopenia. By the age of 60, many older adults begin to be affected by muscle loss. There is a link between decreased muscle mass and strength and adverse
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Skeletal muscle mass and function are progressively lost with age, a condition referred to as sarcopenia. By the age of 60, many older adults begin to be affected by muscle loss. There is a link between decreased muscle mass and strength and adverse health outcomes such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Data suggest that increasing dietary protein intake at meals may counterbalance muscle loss in older individuals due to the increased availability of amino acids, which stimulate muscle protein synthesis by activating the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTORC1). Increased muscle protein synthesis can lead to increased muscle mass, strength and function over time. This review aims to address the current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein and whether or not this value meets the needs for older adults based upon current scientific evidence. The current RDA for protein is 0.8 g/kg body weight/day. However, literature suggests that consuming protein in amounts greater than the RDA can improve muscle mass, strength and function in older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessReview Clinical Potential of Hyperbaric Pressure-Treated Whey Protein
Healthcare 2015, 3(2), 452-465; doi:10.3390/healthcare3020452
Received: 18 March 2015 / Revised: 11 June 2015 / Accepted: 12 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
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Abstract
Whey protein (WP) from cow’s milk is a rich source of essential and branched chain amino acids. Whey protein isolates (WPI) has been demonstrated to support muscle accretion, antioxidant activity, and immune modulation. However, whey is not readily digestible due to its tight
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Whey protein (WP) from cow’s milk is a rich source of essential and branched chain amino acids. Whey protein isolates (WPI) has been demonstrated to support muscle accretion, antioxidant activity, and immune modulation. However, whey is not readily digestible due to its tight conformational structure. Treatment of WPI with hyperbaric pressure results in protein unfolding. This enhances protein digestion, and results in an altered spectrum of released peptides, and greater release of essential and branched chain amino acids. Pressurized whey protein isolates (pWPI), through a series of cell culture, animal models and clinical studies, have been demonstrated to enhance muscle accretion, reduce inflammation, improve immunity, and decrease fatigue. It is also conceivable that pWPI would be more accessible to digestive enzymes, which would allow for a more rapid proteolysis of the proteins and an increased or altered release of small bioactive peptides. The altered profile of peptides released from WP digestion could thus play a role in the modulation of the immune response and tissue glutathione (GSH) concentrations. The research to date presents potentially interesting applications for the development of new functional foods based on hyperbaric treatment of WPI to produce products with more potent nutritional and nutraceutical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessReview Does Whole Grain Consumption Alter Gut Microbiota and Satiety?
Healthcare 2015, 3(2), 364-392; doi:10.3390/healthcare3020364
Received: 16 March 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
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Abstract
This review summarizes recent studies examining whole grain consumption and its effect on gut microbiota and satiety in healthy humans. Studies comparing whole grains to their refined grain counterparts were considered, as were studies comparing different grain types. Possible mechanisms linking microbial metabolism
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This review summarizes recent studies examining whole grain consumption and its effect on gut microbiota and satiety in healthy humans. Studies comparing whole grains to their refined grain counterparts were considered, as were studies comparing different grain types. Possible mechanisms linking microbial metabolism and satiety are described. Clinical trials show that whole grain wheat, maize, and barley alter the human gut microbiota, but these findings are based on a few studies that do not include satiety components, so no functional claims between microbiota and satiety can be made. Ten satiety trials were evaluated and provide evidence that whole oats, barley, and rye can increase satiety, whereas the evidence for whole wheat and maize is not compelling. There are many gaps in the literature; no one clinical trial has examined the effects of whole grains on satiety and gut microbiota together. Once understanding the impact of whole grains on satiety and microbiota is more developed, then particular grains might be used for better appetite control. With this information at hand, healthcare professionals could make individual dietary recommendations that promote satiety and contribute to weight control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessReview The Role of Vitamin D in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Healthcare 2015, 3(2), 338-350; doi:10.3390/healthcare3020338
Received: 10 March 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 27 May 2015
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Abstract
Vitamin D is known to be vital in maintaining bone health, mineralisation and for fracture prevention. It has also been implicated in a number of autoimmune diseases and has therefore been studied for its potential role in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This review
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Vitamin D is known to be vital in maintaining bone health, mineralisation and for fracture prevention. It has also been implicated in a number of autoimmune diseases and has therefore been studied for its potential role in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This review looks at the current literature on the role of vitamin D and its potential role as an immunomodulator, disease modifier and bone health in IBD patients. There is substantial supporting evidence of an important role from epidemiological, genetic and immunological studies, but there is also conflicting evidence and nothing proving to be definitive from clinical studies. There are also a number of confounders with IBD patients, as their lifestyles and medications may affect vitamin D levels. Murine studies have added vast amounts to our knowledge of vitamin D and its antimicrobial role, as well as its effect on immune cell proliferation other inflammatory molecules, such as Tumour Necrosis Factor-α (TNFα). It is clear that larger trials investigating the effects of oral supplementation of vitamin D in IBD patients are necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessReview Supplementation of Coenzyme Q10 among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Healthcare 2015, 3(2), 296-309; doi:10.3390/healthcare3020296
Received: 3 March 2015 / Revised: 20 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 May 2015 / Published: 21 May 2015
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Abstract
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality with ever increasing prevalence in the United States and worldwide. There is growing body of evidence suggesting that mitochondrial dysfunction secondary to oxidative stress plays a critical role in the
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Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality with ever increasing prevalence in the United States and worldwide. There is growing body of evidence suggesting that mitochondrial dysfunction secondary to oxidative stress plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of T2DM. Coenzyme Q10 is an important micronutrient acting on the electron transport chain of the mitochondria with two major functions: (1) synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP); and (2) a potent antioxidant. Deficiency in coenzyme Q10 is often seen in patients with T2DM. Whether restoration of coenzyme Q10 will help alleviate oxidative stress, preserve mitochondrial function, and thus improve glycemic control in T2DM is unclear. This article reviews the relationships among oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and T2DM and examines the evidence for potential use of coenzyme Q10 as a supplement for the treatment of T2DM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessReview NADPH Oxidase Activity in Cerebral Arterioles Is a Key Mediator of Cerebral Small Vessel Disease—Implications for Prevention
Healthcare 2015, 3(2), 233-251; doi:10.3390/healthcare3020233
Received: 1 December 2014 / Revised: 21 March 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 15 April 2015
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Abstract
Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), a common feature of brain aging, is characterized by lacunar infarcts, microbleeds, leukoaraiosis, and a leaky blood-brain barrier. Functionally, it is associated with cognitive decline, dementia, depression, gait abnormalities, and increased risk for stroke. Cerebral arterioles in this
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Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), a common feature of brain aging, is characterized by lacunar infarcts, microbleeds, leukoaraiosis, and a leaky blood-brain barrier. Functionally, it is associated with cognitive decline, dementia, depression, gait abnormalities, and increased risk for stroke. Cerebral arterioles in this syndrome tend to hypertrophy and lose their capacity for adaptive vasodilation. Rodent studies strongly suggest that activation of Nox2-dependent NADPH oxidase activity is a crucial driver of these structural and functional derangements of cerebral arterioles, in part owing to impairment of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) activity. This oxidative stress may also contribute to the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier seen in SVD. Hypertension, aging, metabolic syndrome, smoking, hyperglycemia, and elevated homocysteine may promote activation of NADPH oxidase in cerebral arterioles. Inhibition of NADPH oxidase with phycocyanobilin from spirulina, as well as high-dose statin therapy, may have potential for prevention and control of SVD, and high-potassium diets merit study in this regard. Measures which support effective eNOS activity in other ways—exercise training, supplemental citrulline, certain dietary flavonoids (as in cocoa and green tea), and capsaicin, may also improve the function of cerebral arterioles. Asian epidemiology suggests that increased protein intakes may decrease risk for SVD; conceivably, arginine and/or cysteine—which boosts tissue glutathione synthesis, and can be administered as N-acetylcysteine—mediate this benefit. Ameliorating the risk factors for SVD—including hypertension, metabolic syndrome, hyperglycemia, smoking, and elevated homocysteine—also may help to prevent and control this syndrome, although few clinical trials have addressed this issue to date. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessReview Vitamin D as an Immunomodulator: Risks with Deficiencies and Benefits of Supplementation
Healthcare 2015, 3(2), 219-232; doi:10.3390/healthcare3020219
Received: 15 March 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
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Abstract
Vitamin D refers to a class of fat-soluble secosteroids often associated with their role in absorption and metabolism of minerals such as calcium and phosphate. In recent years, our understanding of vitamin D has expanded to include its role in modulating the immune
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Vitamin D refers to a class of fat-soluble secosteroids often associated with their role in absorption and metabolism of minerals such as calcium and phosphate. In recent years, our understanding of vitamin D has expanded to include its role in modulating the immune system. Of particular focus are the effects of vitamin D deficiency and supplementation on patients suffering from disorders due to dysregulation of the immune system. In patients with multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease, deficiencies in vitamin D have been associated with an increased risk of disease activity. In this review, we will look at the current state of research in regards to the relationship between vitamin D and immune-dysregulation. We will focus on both the risks associated with vitamin D deficiency as well as the benefits of vitamin D supplementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessReview Exploiting Nutritional Value of Staple Foods in the World’s Semi-Arid Areas: Risks, Benefits, Challenges and Opportunities of Sorghum
Healthcare 2015, 3(2), 172-193; doi:10.3390/healthcare3020172
Received: 24 February 2015 / Revised: 17 March 2015 / Accepted: 22 March 2015 / Published: 30 March 2015
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Abstract
Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is a drought-resistant crop and an important food resource in terms of nutritional as well as social-economic values, especially in semi-arid environments. Cultivar selection and processing methods have been observed to impact on composition and functional and
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Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is a drought-resistant crop and an important food resource in terms of nutritional as well as social-economic values, especially in semi-arid environments. Cultivar selection and processing methods have been observed to impact on composition and functional and nutritional value of sorghum. Amino acid imbalance, cyanogenic glycosides, endogenous anti-nutrients, mycotoxins and toxic elements are among factors impairing its nutritional value. This paper reviews possible approaches (varieties selection, production practices, cooking processes) to improve the benefits-to-risks balance of sorghum meal, to mitigate the risk of deficiencies and/or imbalances and to improve effects on human nutrition. Opportunity for avoiding dietary diversification in high sorghum consumers is also discussed, e.g., tryptophan and niacin deficits potentially related to pellagra, or unavailability of proteins and divalent cations (e.g., Fe, Zn) due to the antinutrient activity of phytic acid and tannins. As potential candidate for production investments, the role of sorghum in preserving biological diversity is also considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessReview Challenges and Opportunities in Scaling-Up Nutrition in Healthcare
Healthcare 2015, 3(1), 3-19; doi:10.3390/healthcare3010003
Received: 30 October 2014 / Accepted: 31 December 2014 / Published: 9 January 2015
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Abstract
Healthcare continues to be in a state of flux; conventionally, this provides opportunities and challenges. The opportunities include technological breakthroughs, improved economies and increasing availability of healthcare. On the other hand, economic disparities are increasing and leading to differing accessibility to healthcare, including
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Healthcare continues to be in a state of flux; conventionally, this provides opportunities and challenges. The opportunities include technological breakthroughs, improved economies and increasing availability of healthcare. On the other hand, economic disparities are increasing and leading to differing accessibility to healthcare, including within affluent countries. Nutrition has received an increase in attention and resources in recent decades, a lot of it stimulated by the rise in obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension. An increase in ageing populations also has meant increased interest in nutrition-related chronic diseases. In many middle-income countries, there has been an increase in the double burden of malnutrition with undernourished children and overweight/obese parents and adolescents. In low-income countries, an increased evidence base has allowed scaling-up of interventions to address under-nutrition, both nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions. Immediate barriers (institutional, structural and biological) and longer-term barriers (staffing shortages where most needed and environmental impacts on health) are discussed. Significant barriers remain for the near universal access to healthcare, especially for those who are socio-economically disadvantaged, geographically isolated, living in war zones or where environmental damage has taken place. However, these barriers are increasingly being recognized, and efforts are being made to address them. The paper aims to take a broad view that identifies and then comments on the many social, political and scientific factors affecting the achievement of improved nutrition through healthcare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessReview Prevention of Diabetes after Gestational Diabetes: Better Translation of Nutrition and Lifestyle Messages Needed
Healthcare 2014, 2(4), 468-491; doi:10.3390/healthcare2040468
Received: 28 July 2014 / Revised: 14 October 2014 / Accepted: 10 November 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
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Abstract
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and Gestational Diabetes (GDM) are important and escalating problems worldwide. GDM increases the risk of complications in pregnancy and birth, as well as a 1 in 2 chance of developing T2DM later in life. The burden of GDM
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Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and Gestational Diabetes (GDM) are important and escalating problems worldwide. GDM increases the risk of complications in pregnancy and birth, as well as a 1 in 2 chance of developing T2DM later in life. The burden of GDM extends to offspring, who have an increased risk of obesity and diabetes—further perpetuating the cycle of diabetes within families. Clinical trial evidence demonstrates T2DM incidence reduced by up to 50% for women with GDM with nutrition and physical activity changes and the economic modeling suggests cost effectiveness. The key diet-related changes to reduce T2DM risk are reviewed, in addition to breastfeeding. The difficulties associated with the delivery of dietary and lifestyle behaviour change to women after GDM are discussed and focus on: complex healthcare system interactions needed for care delivery; women finding postpartum self-care challenging; and low levels of awareness being present across the board. In addition, studies currently underway to improve care provision in this important area will be examined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessReview The Relationship between Folic Acid and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Healthcare 2014, 2(4), 429-444; doi:10.3390/healthcare2040429
Received: 17 May 2014 / Revised: 18 September 2014 / Accepted: 13 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
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Abstract
There is considerable scientific evidence that many aspects of diet influence the occurrence of human disease. Many factors such as genetic, psychological, environmental and behavioral characteristics influence development of human disease, and there is a close relationship between nutrition and disease. Though typical
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There is considerable scientific evidence that many aspects of diet influence the occurrence of human disease. Many factors such as genetic, psychological, environmental and behavioral characteristics influence development of human disease, and there is a close relationship between nutrition and disease. Though typical Western diets are not overtly deficient in essential nutrients, nutriture of a few micro nutrients such as folic acid has been reported to be sub-optimal, particularly in women of childbearing age. The role of folic acid in the prevention of macrocytic anemia and neural tube defects is well established. However, the relationship between folic acid and risk of autism is still evolving. Furthermore, environmental as well as nutritional factors such as folic acid are now well acknowledged as interacting with the individual genetic background in development of several diseases. In this article, recent research regarding the relationship between folic acid and risk of autism is evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)

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Open AccessCase Report Qualitative and Quantitative Outcomes of a 1:1 Multidisciplinary Weight Management Clinic
Healthcare 2015, 3(2), 429-451; doi:10.3390/healthcare3020429
Received: 9 March 2015 / Revised: 15 May 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 10 June 2015
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Abstract
Background: Obesity management in Wales includes the provision of a 1:1 Multidisciplinary Weight Management Clinic (MDWMC). Strategic management of obesity in Wales is guided by The All Wales Obesity Pathway and recommends MDWMCs for people with obesity who have one or more
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Background: Obesity management in Wales includes the provision of a 1:1 Multidisciplinary Weight Management Clinic (MDWMC). Strategic management of obesity in Wales is guided by The All Wales Obesity Pathway and recommends MDWMCs for people with obesity who have one or more co-morbidities and who have tried several interventions without success, or who have complex emotional relationships with food. No known previous studies have included a qualitative evaluation of a MDWMC. Objectives: To conduct a service evaluation of a 1:1 Multi-disciplinary Weight Management Clinic to evaluate associated physiological benefits and qualitative data about the service. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 180 patients attending the MDWMC at Aneurin Bevan Hospital, Ebbw Vale, Wales. Results: The MDWMC supports weight loss with 95% of patients reporting loss. For those for whom baseline data was available 73% lost at least 5% of initial body weight. Eighty-eight percent of patients prefer individual appointments and over 90% of patients who see each team member find consultations useful. Sixty-nine percent of patients report improved health mainly due to a decrease in obesity-related symptoms, and of patients taking obesity-related medication 48% report a reduction in dose of medication for asthma, 42% report a reduction in dose of antidepressants, and 36% report a reduction in dose for medication for diabetes. Of employed patients, 30% report a reduction of days taken off work due to sickness. Ninety-six percent of patients would recommend the clinic to others. Conclusions: A 1:1 Multi-disciplinary Weight Management Clinic provides value in reducing obesity and symptoms of obesity-related diseases. It also is a treatment choice favoured by patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)
Open AccessEssay Obesity and Insulin Resistance Are the Central Issues in Prevention of and Care for Comorbidities
Healthcare 2015, 3(2), 408-416; doi:10.3390/healthcare3020408
Received: 26 March 2015 / Revised: 1 May 2015 / Accepted: 14 May 2015 / Published: 4 June 2015
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Abstract
For a long time the assumption has been that, although weight reduction was necessary and desirable, comorbidities were far more important and needed treatment even if weight loss was not a treatment goal, preferably with medication. This controversy leads to postponement of treatment,
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For a long time the assumption has been that, although weight reduction was necessary and desirable, comorbidities were far more important and needed treatment even if weight loss was not a treatment goal, preferably with medication. This controversy leads to postponement of treatment, and later on causes very intensive medical treatment, thus, raising the health care costs to unacceptable levels, leading to the medicalization of individuals, and a declining of the responsibility of patients for their health, leaving the question of when to regard their own weight as a problem that should be dealt with up to individuals. The central problem is insulin resistance, which leads to a cascade of health problems. This condition should be diagnosed in primary practice and obesity clinics to ensure a better, tailor-made treatment for patients. Treatment should start at the earliest stage possible, when comorbidities are still reversible and includes a personalized dietary advice and counseling, preferably by a dietitian, to tackle insulin resistance. An exercise program is part of the treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Close Relationship: Health and Nutrition)

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