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Nutrients, Volume 11, Issue 12 (December 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Association between Dietary Intake and Autistic Traits in Japanese Working Adults: Findings from the Eating Habit and Well-Being Study
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3010; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123010 (registering DOI) - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
“Autistic traits” include a wide range of severity levels. They are often subclinical, and widely distributed in the general population. It is possible that food selectivity due to hyper- or hypo-reactivity to smell or texture, an autistic feature, may result in inadequate nutrient [...] Read more.
“Autistic traits” include a wide range of severity levels. They are often subclinical, and widely distributed in the general population. It is possible that food selectivity due to hyper- or hypo-reactivity to smell or texture, an autistic feature, may result in inadequate nutrient intakes even among non-clinical adults with autistic traits. However, dietary intake of adults with autistic traits has not been elucidated. This study aimed to investigate an association between dietary intake and autistic traits. We cross-sectionally analyzed data of 1440 men and 613 women extracted from the Eating Habit and Well-Being study. Autistic traits were assessed using the Japanese version of the Subthreshold Autism Trait Questionnaire (SATQ), and dietary intake was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Iron and vitamin B12 intakes were marginally and inversely associated with the SATQ score in men. The SATQ score in women was positively associated with carbohydrate intake, but had an inverse association with protein, mineral, vitamin, and dietary fiber intakes. Low intakes of seaweed, fish and shellfish, and vegetables were observed in participants with severe autistic traits. Associations of autistic traits with food selectivity and low nutrient intakes should be further investigated to promote a new dietary strategy in the general population. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Maternal Decisions on Portion Size and Portion Control Strategies for Snacks in Preschool Children
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3009; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123009 (registering DOI) - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
Caregivers are responsible for the type and amount of food young children are served. However, it remains unclear what considerations caregivers make when serving snacks to children. The aim of the study was to explore mothers’ decisions and portion control strategies during snack [...] Read more.
Caregivers are responsible for the type and amount of food young children are served. However, it remains unclear what considerations caregivers make when serving snacks to children. The aim of the study was to explore mothers’ decisions and portion control strategies during snack preparation in the home environment. Forty mothers of children aged 24–48 months participated in the study. Mothers prepared five snack foods for themselves and their child whilst verbalizing their actions and thoughts. Mothers were then asked about their portion size decisions in a semi-structured interview. Transcripts were imported into NVivo and analyzed thematically. Three key themes were identified: (1) portion size considerations, (2) portion control methods, and (3) awareness and use of portion size recommendations. Transient, food-related situational influences influenced mothers and disrupted planning and portion control. Food packaging and dishware size were used as visual cues for portion control; however, these vary widely in their size, thus emphasizing mothers’ uncertainty regarding appropriate portion sizes. Mothers called for portion size information to be accessible, child-centered, and simple. These findings reveal multiple considerations when deciding on the correct snack portion sizes for children. These decisions are complex and vary across situations and time, and according to the types of snacks offered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Portion Size Effect and Strategies for Portion Control)
Open AccessArticle
Sex- and Age-Related Differences in the Contribution of Ultrasound-Measured Visceral and Subcutaneous Abdominal Fat to Fatty Liver Index in Overweight and Obese Caucasian Adults
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3008; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123008 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
Differences in body fat distribution may be a reason for the sex-, age-, and ethnicity-related differences in the prevalence of fatty liver disease (FL). This study aimed to evaluate the sex- and age-related differences in the contribution of visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous (SAT) [...] Read more.
Differences in body fat distribution may be a reason for the sex-, age-, and ethnicity-related differences in the prevalence of fatty liver disease (FL). This study aimed to evaluate the sex- and age-related differences in the contribution of visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous (SAT) abdominal fat, measured by ultrasound, to fatty liver index (FLI) in a large sample of overweight and obese Caucasian adults, and to identify the VAT and SAT cut-off values predictive of high FL risk. A cross-sectional study on 8103 subjects was conducted. Anthropometrical measurements were taken and biochemical parameters measured. VAT and SAT were measured by ultrasonography. FLI was higher in men and increased with increasing age, VAT, and SAT. The sex*VAT, age*VAT, sex*SAT, and age*SAT interactions negatively contributed to FLI, indicating a lower VAT and SAT contribution to FLI in men and in the elderly for every 1 cm of increment. Because of this, sex- and age-specific cut-off values for VAT and SAT were estimated. In conclusion, abdominal adipose tissue depots are associated with FLI, but their contribution is sex- and age-dependent. Sex- and age-specific cut-off values of ultrasound-measured VAT and SAT are suggested, but they need to be validated in external populations. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Exclusive Breastfeeding Rates and Associated Factors in 13 “Economic Community of West African States” (ECOWAS) Countries
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3007; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123007 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) has important protective effects on child survival and also increases the growth and development of infants. This paper examined EBF rates and associated factors in 13 “Economic Community of West African States” (ECOWAS) countries. A weighted sample of 19,735 infants [...] Read more.
Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) has important protective effects on child survival and also increases the growth and development of infants. This paper examined EBF rates and associated factors in 13 “Economic Community of West African States” (ECOWAS) countries. A weighted sample of 19,735 infants from the recent Demographic and Health Survey dataset in ECOWAS countries for the period of 2010–2018 was used. Survey logistic regression analyses that adjusted for clustering and sampling weights were used to determine the factors associated with EBF. In ECOWAS countries, EBF rates for infants 6 months or younger ranged from 13.0% in Côte d’Ivoire to 58.0% in Togo. EBF decreased significantly by 33% as the infant age (in months) increased. Multivariate analyses revealed that mothers with at least primary education, older mothers (35–49 years), and those who lived in rural areas were significantly more likely to engage in EBF. Mothers who made four or more antenatal visits (ANC) were significantly more likely to exclusively breastfeed their babies compared to those who had no ANC visits. Our study shows that EBF rates are still suboptimal in most ECOWAS countries. EBF policy interventions in ECOWAS countries should target mothers with no schooling and those who do not attend ANC. Higher rates of EBF are likely to decrease the burden of infant morbidity and mortality in ECOWAS countries due to non-exposure to contaminated water or other liquids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breastfeeding: Short and Long-Term Benefits to Baby and Mother)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Low-Protein Diet and Inulin on Microbiota and Clinical Parameters in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3006; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123006 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
Introduction: The gut microbiota has coevolved with humans for a mutually beneficial coexistence and plays an important role in health and disease. A dysbiotic gut microbiome may contribute to progression to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and CKD-related complications such as cardiovascular disease. Microbiota [...] Read more.
Introduction: The gut microbiota has coevolved with humans for a mutually beneficial coexistence and plays an important role in health and disease. A dysbiotic gut microbiome may contribute to progression to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and CKD-related complications such as cardiovascular disease. Microbiota modulation through the administration of prebiotics may represent an important therapeutic target. Aim: We sought to evaluate the effects of a low-protein diet (LPD) (0.6 g/kg/day) with or without the intake of the prebiotic inulin (19 g/day) on microbiota and clinical parameters in CKD patients. Materials and Methods: We performed a longitudinal, prospective, controlled, and interventional study on 16 patients: 9 patients treated with LPD (0.6 g/kg/day) and inulin (19 g/day) and 7 patients (control group) treated only with LPD (0.6 g/kg/day). Clinical evaluations were performed and fecal samples were collected for a subsequent evaluation of the intestinal microbiota in all patients. These tests were carried out before the initiation of LPD, with or without inulin, at baseline (T0) and at 6 months (T2). The microbiota of 16 healthy control (HC) subjects was also analyzed in order to identify potential dysbiosis between patients and healthy subjects. Results: Gut microbiota of CKD patients was different from that of healthy controls. The LPD was able to significantly increase the frequencies of Akkermansiaceae and Bacteroidaceae and decrease the frequencies of Christensenellaceae, Clostridiaceae, Lactobacillaceae, and Pasteurellaceae. Only Bifidobacteriaceae were increased when the LPD was accompanied by oral inulin intake. We showed a significant reduction of serum uric acid (SUA) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in patients treated with LPD and inulin (p = 0.018 and p = 0.003, respectively), an improvement in SF-36 (physical role functioning and general health perceptions; p = 0.03 and p = 0.01, respectively), and a significant increase of serum bicarbonate both in patients treated with LPD (p = 0.026) or with LPD and inulin (p = 0.01). Moreover, in patients treated with LPD and inulin, we observed a significant reduction in circulating tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (p = 0.041) and plasma nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase (NOX2) (p = 0.027) levels. We did not find a significant difference in the circulating levels of Interleukin (IL)-1β (p = 0.529) and IL-6 (p = 0.828) in the two groups. Conclusions: LPD, associated or not with inulin, modified gut microbiota and modulated inflammatory and metabolic parameters in patients with CKD. Our results suggest that interventions attempting to modulate the gut microbiome may represent novel strategies to improve clinical outcomes in CKD patients and may provide useful therapeutic effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
High Oleic Acid Peanut Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Supplementation Attenuate Metabolic Syndrome in Rats by Modulating the Gut Microbiota
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3005; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123005 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Unhealthy dietary patterns are important risk factors for metabolic syndrome (MS), which is associated with gut microbiota disorder. High oleic acid peanut oil (HOPO) and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), considered as healthy dietary oil, are rich in oleic acid and bioactive phytochemicals, [...] Read more.
Unhealthy dietary patterns are important risk factors for metabolic syndrome (MS), which is associated with gut microbiota disorder. High oleic acid peanut oil (HOPO) and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), considered as healthy dietary oil, are rich in oleic acid and bioactive phytochemicals, yet efficacy of MS prevention and mechanisms linking to gut microbiota remain obscure. Herein, we investigated HOPO and EVOO supplementation in attenuating diet-induced MS, and the potential mechanisms focusing on modulation of gut microbiota. Physiological, histological and biochemical parameters and gut microbiota profiles were compared among four groups fed respectively with the following diets for 12 weeks: normal chow diet with ordinary drinking water, high-fat diet with fructose drinking water, HOPO diet with fructose drinking water, and EVOO diet with fructose drinking water. HOPO or EVOO supplementation exhibit significant lower body weight gain, homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and reduced liver steatosis. HOPO significantly reduced cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level, while EVOO reduced these levels without significant difference. HOPO and EVOO prevented gut disorder and significantly increased β-diversity and abundance of Bifidobacterium. Moreover, HOPO significantly decreased abundance of Lachnospiraceae and Blautia. These findings suggest that both HOPO and EVOO can attenuate diet-induced MS, associated with modulating gut microbiota. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) Extract Supplementation on Weight Gain, Adiposity and Intestinal Function in Ovariectomized Mice
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3004; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123004 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Estrogen decline during menopause is associated with altered metabolism, weight gain and increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases. The gut microbiota also plays a role in the development of cardiometabolic dysfunction and is also subject to changes associated with age-related hormone changes. Phytoestrogens are [...] Read more.
Estrogen decline during menopause is associated with altered metabolism, weight gain and increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases. The gut microbiota also plays a role in the development of cardiometabolic dysfunction and is also subject to changes associated with age-related hormone changes. Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogen mimics that have gained popularity as dietary supplements for the treatment or prevention of menopause-related symptoms. These compounds have the potential to both modulate and be metabolized by the gut microbiota. Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) contain potent phytoestrogen precursors, which rely on microbial biotransformation in the gut to estrogenic forms. We supplemented ovariectomized (OVX) or sham-operated (SHAM) C57BL/6 mice, with oral estradiol (E2), a flavonoid-rich extract from hops, or a placebo carrier oil, to observe effects on adiposity, inflammation, and gut bacteria composition. Hops extract (HE) and E2 protected against increased visceral adiposity and liver triglyceride accumulation in OVX animals. Surprisingly, we found no evidence of OVX having a significant impact on the overall gut bacterial community structure. We did find differences in the abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila, which was lower with HE treatment in the SHAM group relative to OVX E2 treatment and to placebo in the SHAM group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Compounds Impact on Human Gut Microbiome and Gut Health)
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Open AccessReview
A Narrative Review on the Potential of Red Beetroot as an Adjuvant Strategy to Counter Fatigue in Children with Cancer
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3003; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123003 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a debilitating adverse effect among children with cancer and a significant barrier to physical activity (PA) participation. PA interventions are effective at reducing fatigue and improving both quality of life (QOL) and functional outcomes in children with cancer. However, [...] Read more.
Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a debilitating adverse effect among children with cancer and a significant barrier to physical activity (PA) participation. PA interventions are effective at reducing fatigue and improving both quality of life (QOL) and functional outcomes in children with cancer. However, 50–70% of children with cancer do not meet PA guidelines. Thus, adjuvant methods are needed to increase PA participation. Given the growing interest in the use of beetroot juice to reduce exercise-induced fatigue, our narrative review evaluated the potential use of beetroot to improve PA participation to counter CRF and improve QOL. Our review of 249 articles showed a lack of published clinical trials of beetroot in children and adults with cancer. Trials of beetroot use had been conducted in a noncancer population (n = 198), and anticancer studies were primarily in the preclinical phase (n = 40). Although results are promising, with beetroot juice shown to counter exercise-induced fatigue in a variety of athletic and patient populations, its use to counter CRF in children with cancer is inconclusive. Pilot and feasibility studies are needed to examine the potential benefits of beetroot to counter CRF, increase PA participation, and improve QOL in children with cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Important Aspects of Nutrition in Children with Cancer)
Open AccessReview
The Importance of the Microbiome in Critically Ill Patients: Role of Nutrition
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3002; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123002 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Critically ill patients have an alteration in the microbiome in which it becomes a disease-promoting pathobiome. It is characterized by lower bacterial diversity, loss of commensal phyla, like Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, and a domination of pathogens belonging to the Proteobacteria phylum. Although these [...] Read more.
Critically ill patients have an alteration in the microbiome in which it becomes a disease-promoting pathobiome. It is characterized by lower bacterial diversity, loss of commensal phyla, like Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, and a domination of pathogens belonging to the Proteobacteria phylum. Although these alterations are multicausal, many of the treatments administered to these patients, like antibiotics, play a significant role. Critically ill patients also have a hyperpermeable gut barrier and dysregulation of the inflammatory response that favor the development of the pathobiome, translocation of pathogens, and facilitate the emergence of sepsis. In order to restore the homeostasis of the microbiome, several nutritional strategies have been evaluated with the aim to improve the management of critically ill patients. Importantly, enteral nutrition has proven to be more efficient in promoting the homeostasis of the gut microbiome compared to parenteral nutrition. Several nutritional therapies, including prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation, are currently being used, showing variable results, possibly due to the unevenness of clinical trial conditions and the fact that the beneficial effects of probiotics are specific to particular species or even strains. Thus, it is of great importance to better understand the mechanisms by which nutrition and supplement therapies can heal the microbiome in critically ill patients in order to finally implement them in clinical practice with optimal safety and efficacy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Plasma Phospholipid Fatty Acids, FADS1 and Risk of 15 Cardiovascular Diseases: A Mendelian Randomisation Study
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3001; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123001 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Whether circulating fatty acids (FAs) play a causal role in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains unclear. We conducted a Mendelian randomisation study to explore the associations between plasma phospholipid FA levels and 15 CVDs. Summary-level data from the CARDIoGRAMplusC4D, MEGASTROKE, and [...] Read more.
Whether circulating fatty acids (FAs) play a causal role in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains unclear. We conducted a Mendelian randomisation study to explore the associations between plasma phospholipid FA levels and 15 CVDs. Summary-level data from the CARDIoGRAMplusC4D, MEGASTROKE, and Atrial Fibrillation consortia and UK Biobank were used. Sixteen single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with ten plasma FAs were used as instrumental variables. SNPs in or close to the FADS1 gene were associated with most FAs. We performed a secondary analysis of the association between a functional variant (rs174547) in FADS1, which encodes ?5-desaturase (a key enzyme in the endogenous FA synthesis), and CVD. Genetic predisposition to higher plasma α-linolenic, linoleic, and oleic acid levels was associated with lower odds of large-artery stroke and venous thromboembolism, whereas higher arachidonic and stearic acid levels were associated with higher odds of these two CVDs. The associations were driven by SNPs in or close to FADS1. In the secondary analysis, the minor allele of rs174547 in FADS1 was associated with significantly lower odds of any ischemic stroke, large-artery stroke, and venous thromboembolism and showed suggestive evidence of inverse association with coronary artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm and aortic valve stenosis. Genetically higher plasma α-linolenic, linoleic, and oleic acid levels are inversely associated with large-artery stroke and venous thromboembolism, whereas arachidonic and stearic acid levels are positively associated with these CVDs. The associations were driven by FADS1, which was also associated with other CVDs. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Human Postprandial Nutrient Metabolism and Low-Grade Inflammation: A Narrative Review
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3000; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123000 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
The importance of the postprandial state has been acknowledged, since hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia are linked with several chronic systemic low-grade inflammation conditions. Humans spend more than 16 h per day in the postprandial state and the postprandial state is acknowledged as a complex [...] Read more.
The importance of the postprandial state has been acknowledged, since hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia are linked with several chronic systemic low-grade inflammation conditions. Humans spend more than 16 h per day in the postprandial state and the postprandial state is acknowledged as a complex interplay between nutrients, hormones and diet-derived metabolites. The purpose of this review is to provide insight into the physiology of the postprandial inflammatory response, the role of different nutrients, the pro-inflammatory effects of metabolic endotoxemia and the anti-inflammatory effects of bile acids. Moreover, we discuss nutritional strategies that may be linked to the described pathways to modulate the inflammatory component of the postprandial response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthritis and Nutrition: Can Food Be Medicine?)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Association of Iron Status and Intake During Pregnancy with Neuropsychological Outcomes in Children Aged 7 Years: The Prospective Birth Cohort Infancia y Medio Ambiente (INMA) Study
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2999; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122999 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Early iron status plays an important role in prenatal neurodevelopment. Iron deficiency and high iron status have been related to alterations in child cognitive development; however, there are no data about iron intake during pregnancy with other environmental factors in relation to long [...] Read more.
Early iron status plays an important role in prenatal neurodevelopment. Iron deficiency and high iron status have been related to alterations in child cognitive development; however, there are no data about iron intake during pregnancy with other environmental factors in relation to long term cognitive functioning of children. The aim of this study is to assess the relationship between maternal iron status and iron intake during pregnancy and child neuropsychological outcomes at 7 years of age. We used data from the INMA Cohort population-based study. Iron status during pregnancy was assessed according to serum ferritin levels, and iron intake was assessed with food frequency questionnaires. Working memory, attention, and executive function were assessed in children at 7 years old with the N-Back task, Attention Network Task, and the Trail Making Test, respectively. The results show that, after controlling for potential confounders, normal maternal serum ferritin levels (from 12 mg/L to 60 mg/L) and iron intake (from 14.5 mg/day to 30.0 mg/day), respectively, were related to better scores in working memory and executive functioning in offspring. Since these functions have been associated with better academic performance and adaptation to the environment, maintaining a good state of maternal iron from the beginning of pregnancy could be a valuable strategy for the community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from NUTRIMAD 2018)
Open AccessArticle
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus 2038 and Streptococcus thermophilus 1131 Induce the Expression of the REG3 Family in the Small Intestine of Mice via the Stimulation of Dendritic Cells and Type 3 Innate Lymphoid Cells
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2998; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122998 - 07 Dec 2019
Abstract
Accumulating evidence clarifies that intestinal barrier function, for example, by the mucus layer, antimicrobial peptides, immune systems, and epithelial tight junctions, plays crucial roles in maintaining our health. We reported previously that yogurt fermented with Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus 2038 and Streptococcus thermophilus [...] Read more.
Accumulating evidence clarifies that intestinal barrier function, for example, by the mucus layer, antimicrobial peptides, immune systems, and epithelial tight junctions, plays crucial roles in maintaining our health. We reported previously that yogurt fermented with Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus 2038 and Streptococcus thermophilus 1131 induced the gene expression of the regenerating family member 3 (REG3) family, which encodes antimicrobial peptides in the small intestine, although it was unclear how the yogurt activated the intestinal cells related to it. Here, we evaluated the cytokine production from the intestinal immune cells stimulated by these strains in vitro and in vivo to elucidate the mechanism for the induction of the REG3 family by the yogurt. The results showed that stimulation by both strains induced interleukin (IL)-23 production from bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs) and IL-22 production from small intestinal lamina propria (LP) cells. In addition, oral administration of these strains to mice increased IL-23p19+ LPDCs and IL-22+ type 3 innate lymphoid cells and induced the expression of Reg3g in small intestinal tissue. Moreover, we showed that the activities for the induction of IL-23 by DCs were strain dependent on L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus and that S. thermophilus 1131, which is the predominant species in the yogurt, exhibited relatively higher activity compared to the other strains of S. thermophilus. Our findings suggested that these yogurt starter strains, L. bulgaricus 2038 and S. thermophilus 1131, have the potential to maintain and improve intestinal barrier function by stimulating immune cells in the LP. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Vitamin C Inhibits Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Metastasis by Affecting the Expression of YAP1 and Synaptopodin 2
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2997; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122997 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to decrease triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) metastasis. However, the molecular mechanism whereby vitamin C inhibits metastasis remains elusive. It has been postulated that vitamin C reduces the levels of HIF-1α, the master regulator of metastasis, by promoting [...] Read more.
Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to decrease triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) metastasis. However, the molecular mechanism whereby vitamin C inhibits metastasis remains elusive. It has been postulated that vitamin C reduces the levels of HIF-1α, the master regulator of metastasis, by promoting its hydroxylation and degradation. Here, we show that vitamin C at 100 µM, a concentration achievable in the plasma in vivo by oral administration, blocks TNBC cell migration and invasion in vitro. The protein level of HIF-1α remains largely unchanged in cultured TNBC cells and xenografts, partially due to its upregulated transcription by vitamin C, suggesting that HIF-1α unlikely mediates the action of vitamin C on metastasis. Vitamin C treatment upregulates the expression of synaptopodin 2 and downregulates the expression of the transcription coactivator YAP1, both genes in the Hippo pathway. The changes in SYNPO2 and YAP1 expression were subsequently validated at mRNA and protein levels in cultured TNBC cells and xenografts. Further experiments showed that vitamin C treatment inhibits F-actin assembly and lamellipodia formation, which correlates with the changes in SYNPO2 and YAP1 expression. Overall, these results suggest that vitamin C inhibits TNBC metastasis by affecting the expression of SYNPO2 and YAP1. Vitamin C may thus have a potential role in the prevention and treatment of TNBC metastasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C: From Bench to Bedside)
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Intake and Sources of Potassium in a Cross-Sectional Study of Australian Adults
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2996; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122996 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
A diet rich in potassium is important to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This study assessed potassium intake; food sources of potassium (including NOVA level of processing, purchase origin of these foods); and sodium-to-potassium ratio (Na:K) in a cross-section of Australian adults. [...] Read more.
A diet rich in potassium is important to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This study assessed potassium intake; food sources of potassium (including NOVA level of processing, purchase origin of these foods); and sodium-to-potassium ratio (Na:K) in a cross-section of Australian adults. Data collection included 24-h urines (n = 338) and a 24-h diet recall (subsample n = 142). The mean (SD) age of participants was 41.2 (13.9) years and 56% were females. Mean potassium (95%CI) 24-h urinary excretion was 76.8 (73.0–80.5) mmol/day compared to 92.9 (86.6–99.1) by 24-h diet recall. Na:K was 1.9 (1.8–2.0) from the urine excretion and 1.4 (1.2–1.7) from diet recall. Foods contributing most to potassium were potatoes (8%), dairy milk (6%), dishes where cereal is the main ingredient (6%) and coffee/coffee substitutes (5%). Over half of potassium (56%) came from minimally processed foods, with 22% from processed and 22% from ultraprocessed foods. Almost two-thirds of potassium consumed was from foods purchased from food stores (58%), then food service sector (15%), and fresh food markets (13%). Overall, potassium levels were lower than recommended to reduce chronic disease risk. Multifaceted efforts are required for population-wide intervention—aimed at increasing fruit, vegetable, and other key sources of potassium intake; reducing consumption of processed foods; and working in supermarket/food service sector settings to improve the healthiness of foods available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Potassium and Human Health)
Open AccessReview
Neuroprotective Effects of Choline and Other Methyl Donors
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2995; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122995 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Recent evidence suggests that physical and mental health are influenced by an intricate interaction between genes and environment. Environmental factors have been shown to modulate neuronal gene expression and function by epigenetic mechanisms. Exposure to these factors including nutrients during sensitive periods of [...] Read more.
Recent evidence suggests that physical and mental health are influenced by an intricate interaction between genes and environment. Environmental factors have been shown to modulate neuronal gene expression and function by epigenetic mechanisms. Exposure to these factors including nutrients during sensitive periods of life could program brain development and have long-lasting effects on mental health. Studies have shown that early nutritional intervention that includes methyl-donors improves cognitive functions throughout life. Choline is a micronutrient and a methyl donor that is required for normal brain growth and development. It plays a pivotal role in maintaining structural and functional integrity of cellular membranes. It also regulates cholinergic signaling in the brain via the synthesis of acetylcholine. Via its metabolites, it participates in pathways that regulate methylation of genes related to memory and cognitive functions at different stages of development. Choline-related functions have been dysregulated in some neurodegenerative diseases suggesting choline role in influencing mental health across the lifespan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Cognitive Impairment, Dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease)
Open AccessReview
Biomarkers of Whole-Grain and Cereal-Fiber Intake in Human Studies: A Systematic Review of the Available Evidence and Perspectives
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2994; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122994 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
High whole-grain consumption is related to better health outcomes. The specific physiological effect of these compounds is still unrevealed, partly because the accurate estimation of the intake of whole grains from dietary assessments is difficult and prone to bias, due to the complexity [...] Read more.
High whole-grain consumption is related to better health outcomes. The specific physiological effect of these compounds is still unrevealed, partly because the accurate estimation of the intake of whole grains from dietary assessments is difficult and prone to bias, due to the complexity of the estimation of the intake by the consumer. A biomarker of whole-grain intake and type of whole-grain intake would be useful for quantifying the exposure to whole-grain intake. In this review, we aim to review the evidence on the potential biomarkers for whole-grain intake in the literature. We conducted a systematic search in Medline, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane database. In total, 39 papers met the inclusion criteria following the PRISMA guidelines and were included. The relative validity, responsiveness, and reproducibility of these markers were assessed for short-, medium-, and long-term exposure as important criteria for the potential use of these biomarkers from a clinical and research perspective. We found three major groups of biomarkers: (1) alkylresorcinol, as well as its homologs and metabolites, assessed in plasma, adipose tissue biopsies, erythrocyte membranes, and urine; (2) avenacosides, assessed in urine samples; and (3) benzoxazinoid-derived phenylacetamide sulfates, assessed in blood and urine samples. The reviewed biomarkers may be used for improved assessment of associations between whole-grain intake and health outcomes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Health Messages in Nudging Consumption of Whole Grain Pasta
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2993; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122993 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Health messages may be an important predictor in the selection of healthier food choices among young adults. The primary objective of our study is to test the impact of labeling whole grain pasta with a health message descriptor displayed at the point-of-purchase (POP) [...] Read more.
Health messages may be an important predictor in the selection of healthier food choices among young adults. The primary objective of our study is to test the impact of labeling whole grain pasta with a health message descriptor displayed at the point-of-purchase (POP) on consumer choice in a campus dining setting. The study was conducted in a large US college dining venue during lunch service; data were collected during a nine-week period, for a total of 18 days of observation. Each day, an information treatment (i.e., no-message condition; vitamin message; fiber message) was alternated assigned to whole grain penne. Over the study period, the selection of four pasta options (white penne, whole grain penne, spinach fettuccine, and tortellini) were recorded and compiled for analysis. Logistic regression and pairwise comparison analyses were performed to estimate the impact of health messages on diners’ decisions to choose whole grain penne among the four pasta types. Our results indicate that only the message about vitamin benefits had a significant effect on this choice, with a 7.4% higher probability of selecting this pasta than the no-message condition and 6.0% higher than the fiber message condition. These findings suggest that psychological health claims (e.g., reduction of fatigue) of whole grains seem more attractive than physiological health claims (e.g., maintaining a healthy weight) for university students. In line with the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, our results suggest that small changes made at the POP have the potential to contribute to significant improvements in diet (e.g., achieving recommended levels of dietary fiber). These findings have important implications for food service practitioners in delivering information with the greatest impact on healthy food choices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Choice and Health-Related Claims)
Open AccessArticle
The Association between Coffee Consumption Pattern and Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome in Korean Adults
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2992; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122992 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
The inconsistent results of epidemiologic studies suggest that the health effects of coffee vary depending on coffee consumption pattern, such as the type and amount of coffee intake. This study investigated the association between coffee consumption and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Korean adults. [...] Read more.
The inconsistent results of epidemiologic studies suggest that the health effects of coffee vary depending on coffee consumption pattern, such as the type and amount of coffee intake. This study investigated the association between coffee consumption and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Korean adults. In total, coffee consumption patterns in 14,132 participants were assessed based on two-day, 24-h recall data. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the association between the type and daily servings of coffee and the prevalence of MetS. In women, the prevalence of MetS (odds ratio (OR) 0.82; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.70, 0.96), elevated triglycerides (0.85; 0.75, 0.97), and reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (HDL-C; 0.74; 0.66, 0.83) in 3-in-1 coffee consumers, as well as the prevalence of increased waist circumference (0.81; 0.68, 0.98) and reduced HDL-C (0.68; 0.59, 0.80) in black coffee consumers, were significantly lower compared to non-coffee consumers. Also, the inverse associations between total coffee intake, black coffee intake, and 3-in-1 coffee intake with MetS or components of MetS were more significant in individuals who consumed >1 versus ≤1 serving/day. In conclusion, coffee consumption (regardless of type) was associated with a reduced prevalence of MetS and its components in Korean women. Full article
Open AccessReview
Experimental Outcomes of the Mediterranean Diet: Lessons Learned from the Predimed Randomized Controlled Trial
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2991; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122991 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
The Mediterranean Diet (MD) is, culturally and historically, the nutritional pattern shared by people living in the olive-tree growing areas of the Mediterranean basin. It is of great importance for its potential preventive effect against cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). The PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea [...] Read more.
The Mediterranean Diet (MD) is, culturally and historically, the nutritional pattern shared by people living in the olive-tree growing areas of the Mediterranean basin. It is of great importance for its potential preventive effect against cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). The PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea (PREDIMED) study, a Spanish multicentre randomised controlled trial (RCT), was designed to assess the long-term effects of the MD, without any energy restriction, on the incidence of CVD in individuals at high cardiovascular (CV) risk. Since its inception, it gave a great contribution to the available literature on the issue. It is well known that, in the field of the health sciences, RCTs provide the best scientific evidence. Thus, the aim of the present review is to analyse the results of the RCTs performed within the frame of the PREDIMED study. Our findings showed that MD has beneficial effects in the primary prevention of CVDs, diabetes and in the management of metabolic syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from NUTRIMAD 2018)
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Open AccessReview
The Influence of Dietary Fatty Acids on Immune Responses
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2990; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122990 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Diet-derived fatty acids (FAs) are essential sources of energy and fundamental structural components of cells. They also play important roles in the modulation of immune responses in health and disease. Saturated and unsaturated FAs influence the effector and regulatory functions of innate and [...] Read more.
Diet-derived fatty acids (FAs) are essential sources of energy and fundamental structural components of cells. They also play important roles in the modulation of immune responses in health and disease. Saturated and unsaturated FAs influence the effector and regulatory functions of innate and adaptive immune cells by changing membrane composition and fluidity and by acting through specific receptors. Impaired balance of saturated/unsaturated FAs, as well as n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated FAs has significant consequences on immune system homeostasis, contributing to the development of many allergic, autoimmune, and metabolic diseases. In this paper, we discuss up-to-date knowledge and the clinical relevance of the influence of dietary FAs on the biology, homeostasis, and functions of epithelial cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, neutrophils, innate lymphoid cells, T cells and B cells. Additionally, we review the effects of dietary FAs on the pathogenesis of many diseases, including asthma, allergic rhinitis, food allergy, atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis as well as type 1 and 2 diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunomodulation and Nutrition)
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Open AccessReview
Mechanistic Understanding of Curcumin’s Therapeutic Effects in Lung Cancer
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2989; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122989 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Lung cancer is among the most common cancers with a high mortality rate worldwide. Despite the significant advances in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, lung cancer prognoses and survival rates remain poor due to late diagnosis, drug resistance, and adverse effects. Therefore, new intervention [...] Read more.
Lung cancer is among the most common cancers with a high mortality rate worldwide. Despite the significant advances in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, lung cancer prognoses and survival rates remain poor due to late diagnosis, drug resistance, and adverse effects. Therefore, new intervention therapies, such as the use of natural compounds with decreased toxicities, have been considered in lung cancer therapy. Curcumin, a natural occurring polyphenol derived from turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been studied extensively in recent years for its therapeutic effects. It has been shown that curcumin demonstrates anti-cancer effects in lung cancer through various mechanisms, including inhibition of cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis, induction of apoptosis, epigenetic alterations, and regulation of microRNA expression. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that these mechanisms are modulated by multiple molecular targets such as STAT3, EGFR, FOXO3a, TGF-β, eIF2α, COX-2, Bcl-2, PI3KAkt/mTOR, ROS, Fas/FasL, Cdc42, E-cadherin, MMPs, and adiponectin. In addition, limitations, strategies to overcome curcumin bioavailability, and potential side effects as well as clinical trials were also reviewed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Early Initiation of Breastfeeding among Mothers of Children Aged Less than 24 Months in Northwestern Romania
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2988; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122988 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Early initiation of breastfeeding (EIBF), defined as putting newborns to the breast within 1 h of birth, may have important benefits for both infant and mother. The aim of this study was to assess EIBF practices and its determinants in northwestern Romania. This [...] Read more.
Early initiation of breastfeeding (EIBF), defined as putting newborns to the breast within 1 h of birth, may have important benefits for both infant and mother. The aim of this study was to assess EIBF practices and its determinants in northwestern Romania. This cross-sectional study was conducted from March to June 2019, based on a sample of 1399 mothers of children aged less than 24 months. The sample was recruited from the community, from 29 cities and 41 communes distributed across the six counties of the northwestern region of Romania. Mothers responded by face-to-face interviews to a structured questionnaire. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors independently associated with EIBF. Only 24.3% of the mothers initiated breastfeeding within 1 h of birth. Delivering at a private hospital (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 5.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.87, 6.91), vaginal delivery (AOR: 4.39, 95% CI 3.29, 5.88), mother–newborn skin-to-skin contact for 1 h or more (AOR: 55.6, 95% CI 23.0, 134.2), and breastfeeding counseling during antenatal visits (AOR: 1.48, 95% CI 1.12, 1.97) were factors associated with increased likelihood of EIBF. Overall, the practice of EIBF was poor. Targeting modifiable factors associated with EIBF may be used to improve early initiation practice. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Differential Responses of Blood Essential Amino Acid Levels Following Ingestion of High-Quality Plant-Based Protein Blends Compared to Whey Protein—A Double-Blind Randomized, Cross-Over, Clinical Trial
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2987; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122987 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
This study assessed the bio-equivalence of high-quality, plant-based protein blends versus Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) in healthy, resistance-trained men. The primary endpoint was incremental area under the curve (iAUC) of blood essential Amino Acids (eAAs) 4 hours after consumption of each product. Maximum [...] Read more.
This study assessed the bio-equivalence of high-quality, plant-based protein blends versus Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) in healthy, resistance-trained men. The primary endpoint was incremental area under the curve (iAUC) of blood essential Amino Acids (eAAs) 4 hours after consumption of each product. Maximum concentration (Cmax) and time to maximum concentration (Tmax) of blood leucine were secondary outcomes. Subjects (n = 18) consumed three plant-based protein blends and WPI (control). An analysis of Variance model was used to assess for bio-equivalence of total sum of blood eAA concentrations. The total blood eAA iAUC ratios of the three blends were [90% CI]: #1: 0.66 [0.58–0.76]; #2: 0.71 [0.62–0.82]; #3: 0.60 [0.52–0.69], not completely within the pre-defined equivalence range [0.80–1.25], indicative of 30–40% lower iAUC versus WPI. Leucine Cmax of the three blends was not equivalent to WPI, #1: 0.70 [0.67–0.73]; #2: 0.72 [0.68–0.75]; #3: 0.65 [0.62–0.68], indicative of a 28–35% lower response. Leucine Tmax for two blends were similar to WPI (#1: 0.94 [0.73–1.18]; #2: 1.56 [1.28–1.92]; #3: 1.19 [0.95–1.48]). The plant-based protein blends were not bio-equivalent. However, blood leucine kinetic data across the blends approximately doubled from fasting concentrations, whereas blood Tmax data across two blends were similar to WPI. This suggests evidence of rapid hyperleucinemia, which correlates with a protein’s anabolic potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Nutritional Factors Modulating Alu Methylation in an Italian Sample from The Mark-Age Study Including Offspring of Healthy Nonagenarians
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2986; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122986 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Alu hypomethylation promotes genomic instability and is associated with aging and age-related diseases. Dietary factors affect global DNA methylation, leading to changes in genomic stability and gene expression with an impact on longevity and the risk of disease. This preliminary study aims to [...] Read more.
Alu hypomethylation promotes genomic instability and is associated with aging and age-related diseases. Dietary factors affect global DNA methylation, leading to changes in genomic stability and gene expression with an impact on longevity and the risk of disease. This preliminary study aims to investigate the relationship between nutritional factors, such as circulating trace elements, lipids and antioxidants, and Alu methylation in elderly subjects and offspring of healthy nonagenarians. Alu DNA methylation was analyzed in sixty RASIG (randomly recruited age-stratified individuals from the general population) and thirty-two GO (GeHA offspring) enrolled in Italy in the framework of the MARK-AGE project. Factor analysis revealed a different clustering between Alu CpG1 and the other CpG sites. RASIG over 65 years showed lower Alu CpG1 methylation than those of GO subjects in the same age class. Moreover, Alu CpG1 methylation was associated with fruit and whole-grain bread consumption, LDL2-Cholesterol and plasma copper. The preserved Alu methylation status in GO, suggests Alu epigenetic changes as a potential marker of aging. Our preliminary investigation shows that Alu methylation may be affected by food rich in fibers and antioxidants, or circulating LDL subfractions and plasma copper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Epigenetics)
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Open AccessReview
High Protein Diet and Metabolic Plasticity in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Myths and Truths
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2985; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122985 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by lipid accumulation within the liver affecting 1 in 4 people worldwide. As the new silent killer of the twenty-first century, NAFLD impacts on both the request and the availability of new liver donors. The liver [...] Read more.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by lipid accumulation within the liver affecting 1 in 4 people worldwide. As the new silent killer of the twenty-first century, NAFLD impacts on both the request and the availability of new liver donors. The liver is the first line of defense against endogenous and exogenous metabolites and toxins. It also retains the ability to switch between different metabolic pathways according to food type and availability. This ability becomes a disadvantage in obesogenic societies where most people choose a diet based on fats and carbohydrates while ignoring vitamins and fiber. The chronic exposure to fats and carbohydrates induces dramatic changes in the liver zonation and triggers the development of insulin resistance. Common believes on NAFLD and different diets are based either on epidemiological studies, or meta-analysis, which are not controlled evidences; in most of the cases, they are biased on test-subject type and their lifestyles. The highest success in reverting NAFLD can be attributed to diets based on high protein instead of carbohydrates. In this review, we discuss the impact of NAFLD on body metabolic plasticity. We also present a detailed analysis of the most recent studies that evaluate high-protein diets in NAFLD with a special focus on the liver and the skeletal muscle protein metabolisms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
SWATH Differential Abundance Proteomics and Cellular Assays Show In Vitro Anticancer Activity of Arachidonic Acid- and Docosahexaenoic Acid-Based Monoacylglycerols in HT-29 Colorectal Cancer Cells
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2984; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122984 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common and mortal types of cancer. There is increasing evidence that some polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) exercise specific inhibitory actions on cancer cells through different mechanisms, as a previous study on CRC cells demonstrated for [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common and mortal types of cancer. There is increasing evidence that some polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) exercise specific inhibitory actions on cancer cells through different mechanisms, as a previous study on CRC cells demonstrated for two very long-chain PUFA. These were docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n3) and arachidonic acid (ARA, 20:4n6) in the free fatty acid (FFA) form. In this work, similar design and technology have been used to investigate the actions of both DHA and ARA as monoacylglycerol (MAG) molecules, and results have been compared with those obtained using the corresponding FFA. Cell assays revealed that ARA- and DHA-MAG exercised dose- and time-dependent antiproliferative actions, with DHA-MAG acting on cancer cells more efficiently than ARA-MAG. Sequential window acquisition of all theoretical mass spectra (SWATH) – mass spectrometry massive quantitative proteomics, validated by parallel reaction monitoring and followed by pathway analysis, revealed that DHA-MAG had a massive effect in the proteasome complex, while the ARA-MAG main effect was related to DNA replication. Prostaglandin synthesis also resulted as inhibited by DHA-MAG. Results clearly demonstrated the ability of both ARA- and DHA-MAG to induce cell death in colon cancer cells, which suggests a direct relationship between chemical structure and antitumoral actions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Grape Seed Proanthocyanidins Induce Autophagy and Modulate Survivin in HepG2 Cells and Inhibit Xenograft Tumor Growth in Vivo
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2983; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122983 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Liver cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Although radiotherapy and chemotherapy are effective in general, they present various side effects, significantly limiting the curative effect. Increasing evidence has shown that the dietary intake of phytochemicals plays an essential role [...] Read more.
Liver cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Although radiotherapy and chemotherapy are effective in general, they present various side effects, significantly limiting the curative effect. Increasing evidence has shown that the dietary intake of phytochemicals plays an essential role in the chemoprevention or chemotherapy of tumors. In this work, HepG2 cells and nude mice with HepG2-derived xenografts were treated with grape seed proanthocyanidins (GSPs). The results showed that GSPs induced autophagy, and inhibition of autophagy increased apoptosis in HepG2 cells. In addition, GSPs also reduced the expression of survivin. Moreover, survivin was involved in GSPs-induced apoptosis. GSPs at 100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg significantly inhibited the growth of HepG2 cells in nude mice without causing observable toxicity and autophagy, while inducing the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway-associated proteins, p-JNK, p-ERK and p-p38 MAPK and reducing the expression of survivin. These results suggested that GSPs might be promising phytochemicals against liver cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Micronutrients and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Bioactivity Evaluation of a Novel Formulated Curcumin
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2982; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122982 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
Curcumin has been used as a traditional medicine and/or functional food in several cultures because of its health benefits including anticancer properties. However, poor oral bioavailability of curcumin has limited its oral usage as a food supplement and medical food. Here we formulated [...] Read more.
Curcumin has been used as a traditional medicine and/or functional food in several cultures because of its health benefits including anticancer properties. However, poor oral bioavailability of curcumin has limited its oral usage as a food supplement and medical food. Here we formulated curcumin pellets using a solid dispersion technique. The pellets had the advantages of reduced particle size, improved water solubility, and particle porosity. This pellet form led to an improvement in curcumin’s oral bioavailability. Additionally, we used the C-Map and Library of Integrated Network-Based Cellular Signatures (LINCS) Unified Environment (CLUE) gene expression database to determine the potential biological functions of formulated curcumin. The results indicated that, similar to conventional curcumin, the formulated curcumin acted as an NF-κB pathway inhibitor. Moreover, ConsensusPathDB database analysis was used to predict possible targets and it revealed that both forms of curcumin exhibit similar biological functions, including apoptosis. Biochemical characterization revealed that both the forms indeed induced apoptosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines. We concluded that the formulated curcumin increases the oral bioavailability in animals, and, as expected, retains characteristics similar to conventional curcumin at the cellular level. Our screening platform using big data not only confirms that both the forms of curcumin have similar mechanisms but also predicts the novel mechanism of the formulated curcumin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceutical, Nutrition Supplements and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
A Moderated Mediation Model of Maternal Perinatal Stress, Anxiety, Infant Perceptions and Breastfeeding
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2981; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122981 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
This study examined a moderated mediation model of relations among maternal perinatal stress/anxiety, breastfeeding difficulties (mediator), misperceptions of infant crying (moderator), and maternal breastfeeding duration to understand risk factors for early breastfeeding termination. It was hypothesized that more breastfeeding difficulties would mediate the [...] Read more.
This study examined a moderated mediation model of relations among maternal perinatal stress/anxiety, breastfeeding difficulties (mediator), misperceptions of infant crying (moderator), and maternal breastfeeding duration to understand risk factors for early breastfeeding termination. It was hypothesized that more breastfeeding difficulties would mediate the relation between greater prenatal stress/anxiety and shorter breastfeeding duration, and that perceptions of response to infant crying as spoiling would moderate the relation between more breastfeeding difficulties and reduced breastfeeding duration. Additionally, it was hypothesized that participants who breastfed through 6 months would demonstrate less postnatal stress/anxiety and there would be a positive relation between fewer breastfeeding difficulties and less postnatal stress/anxiety through 6 months. Participants included 94 expectant mothers at 33–37 weeks gestation and 6 months (±2 weeks) postpartum. Greater prenatal anxiety was associated with shorter breastfeeding duration. Results presented are the first to document negative relations between prenatal (as opposed to postnatal) anxiety and breastfeeding duration (as opposed to frequency or other indicators) in a U.S. sample. Future studies should seek to replicate findings in a more diverse sample and compare findings from clinical and non-clinical samples. Studies may also wish to explore the effects of anxiety prevention/intervention on breastfeeding duration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breastfeeding: Short and Long-Term Benefits to Baby and Mother)
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