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Circulating Salicylic Acid and Metabolic Profile after 1-Year Nutritional–Behavioral Intervention in Children with Obesity

Department of Pediatrics, San Paolo Hospital, Department of Health Science, University of Milan, 20142 Milan, Italy
Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry and Mass Spectrometry, San Paolo Hospital, Department of Health Science, Universita’ degli Studi di Milano, 20142 Milano, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Alimentari e Microbiologiche (DiSTAM), International Center for the Assessment of Nutritional Status (ICANS), Universita‘ degli Studi di Milano, Via G. Colombo, 60, 20133 Milan, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1091;
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 11 May 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Bioactives and Human Health)
PDF [422 KB, uploaded 16 May 2019]


Objectives and Study: Salicylic acid (SA), a phenolic compound produced by plants, may play a beneficial role on health. A pilot study showed that children with obesity had lower serum SA than normal-weight children. The aim of this trial was to evaluate the effect of a 1-year nutritional–behavioral intervention on serum SA levels and to study a possible association between SA levels and metabolic profile changes in children with obesity. Methods: This was an interventional longitudinal observational uncontrolled cohort study. Forty-nine children with obesity, aged >6 years were evaluated. BMI (body mass index) z-scores were calculated. Fasting blood samples were analyzed for lipids, insulin, and glucose. The most significant metabolic variables were calculated. Serum SA was measured using a gas chromatography–mass spectrometry method. The 1-year intervention was based on the promotion of a balanced and normocaloric diet, in accordance with the national guidelines for treatment of childhood obesity. Additionally, behavioral education, based on the revised CALO-RE (Coventry, Aberdeen, and London-REfined) taxonomy, was performed. Results: At the end of intervention, children showed an increase in serum SA levels (mean (Standard Deviation, SD) 0.06 (0.02) vs. 0.09 (0.05) µmol/L; p < 0.001), a reduction of BMI z-score (3.14 (0.79) vs. 3.02 (0.82); p < 0.001), TyG index (4.52 (0.20) vs. 4.48 (0.23); p < 0.001), AIP (atherogenic index of plasma) (0.36 (0.21) vs. 0.27 (0.25); p < 0.001), and triglycerides/HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol (2.57 (1.28) vs. 2.18 (1.22); p < 0.001) ratio. No statistically significant change in HOMA-IR (homeostasis model assessment index) was observed (4.20 (3.29) vs. 4.03 (2.28)). An association between the longitudinal variation of serum SA and HOMA-IR was found (correlation coefficient: −0.338, p = 0.02). Conclusion: Nutritional–behavioral intervention may improve the circulating SA and the metabolic profile in children with obesity. Serum SA could influence mainly glucose metabolism. Further larger studies are needed to evaluate whether a nutritional intervention based on specific advice regarding the quantity and type of fruit and vegetables (FV) consumption could provide benefits in terms of metabolic syndrome. View Full-Text
Keywords: salicylic acid; fruit and vegetables; salicylate intake; childhood obesity salicylic acid; fruit and vegetables; salicylate intake; childhood obesity

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Vizzari, G.; Sommariva, M.C.; Dei Cas, M.; Bertoli, S.; Vizzuso, S.; Radaelli, G.; Battezzati, A.; Paroni, R.; Verduci, E. Circulating Salicylic Acid and Metabolic Profile after 1-Year Nutritional–Behavioral Intervention in Children with Obesity. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1091.

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