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Nutrients, Volume 12, Issue 6 (June 2020) – 359 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Low vegetable intake is associated with higher incidence of noncommunicable diseases. This [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Crocin is Protective in Pancreatic Cancer while Reducing Radiation-Induced Hepatic Oxidative Damage
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1901; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061901 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 671
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer is one of the fatal causes of global cancer-related deaths. Although surgery and chemotherapy are standard treatment options, post-treatment outcomes often end in a poor prognosis. In the present study, we investigated anti-pancreatic cancer and amelioration of radiation-induced oxidative damage by [...] Read more.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the fatal causes of global cancer-related deaths. Although surgery and chemotherapy are standard treatment options, post-treatment outcomes often end in a poor prognosis. In the present study, we investigated anti-pancreatic cancer and amelioration of radiation-induced oxidative damage by crocin. Crocin is a carotenoid isolated from the dietary herb saffron, a prospect for novel leads as an anti-cancer agent. Crocin significantly reduced cell viability of BXPC3 and Capan-2 by triggering caspase signaling via the downregulation of Bcl-2. It modulated the expression of cell cycle signaling proteins P53, P21, P27, CDK2, c-MYC, Cyt-c and P38. Concomitantly, crocin treatment-induced apoptosis by inducing the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytosol. Microarray analysis of the expression signature of genes induced by crocin showed a substantial number of genes involved in cell signaling pathways and checkpoints (723) are significantly affected by crocin. In mice bearing pancreatic tumors, crocin significantly reduced tumor burden without a change in body weight. Additionally, it showed significant protection against radiation-induced hepatic oxidative damage, reduced the levels of hepatic toxicity and preserved liver morphology. These findings indicate that crocin has a potential role in the treatment, prevention and management of pancreatic cancer. Full article
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Associations between Chronotype, Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and Sexual Opinion among University Students
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1900; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061900 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 564
Abstract
A person’s chronotype determines different habits, among which are eating and physical activity. Furthermore, at the university stage, social and organisational factors have a direct effect on students’ daily attitudes and habits. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is linked to better sleep quality [...] Read more.
A person’s chronotype determines different habits, among which are eating and physical activity. Furthermore, at the university stage, social and organisational factors have a direct effect on students’ daily attitudes and habits. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is linked to better sleep quality and less social jet lag, but association with chronotype or sexual opinion remains unclear. The aim of this study was to assess the associations between chronotype, adherence to the Mediterranean Diet, and sexual opinion. A multicentre observational study enrolled 457 students, from the University of Castilla-La Mancha and the University of Cordoba. Sociodemographic data and adherence to the Mediterranean diet, chronotype, physical activity, and sexual opinion were collected with validated questionnaires. The study period was from December 2017 to January 2018. Our results reported that students with an evening chronotype (E-type), with evening preferences, had a lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet and showed a higher tendency towards erotophilia. E-type students reported a significantly lower intake of fruits, vegetables, pulses, cereals, and olive oil, and higher breakfast skipping. Therefore, among the measures to promote healthy habits (obesity prevention, sexual education, socialisation, etc.), chronotype and an analysis of the impact of the schedules established by the universities must be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Habits and Health among College and University Students)
Open AccessReview
The Role of Exercise in the Interplay between Myokines, Hepatokines, Osteokines, Adipokines, and Modulation of Inflammation for Energy Substrate Redistribution and Fat Mass Loss: A Review
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1899; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061899 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 991
Abstract
Exercise is an effective strategy for preventing and treating obesity and its related cardiometabolic disorders, resulting in significant loss of body fat mass, white adipose tissue browning, redistribution of energy substrates, optimization of global energy expenditure, enhancement of hypothalamic circuits that control appetite-satiety [...] Read more.
Exercise is an effective strategy for preventing and treating obesity and its related cardiometabolic disorders, resulting in significant loss of body fat mass, white adipose tissue browning, redistribution of energy substrates, optimization of global energy expenditure, enhancement of hypothalamic circuits that control appetite-satiety and energy expenditure, and decreased systemic inflammation and insulin resistance. Novel exercise-inducible soluble factors, including myokines, hepatokines, and osteokines, and immune cytokines and adipokines are hypothesized to play an important role in the body’s response to exercise. To our knowledge, no review has provided a comprehensive integrative overview of these novel molecular players and the mechanisms involved in the redistribution of metabolic fuel during and after exercise, the loss of weight and fat mass, and reduced inflammation. In this review, we explain the potential role of these exercise-inducible factors, namely myokines, such as irisin, IL-6, IL-15, METRNL, BAIBA, and myostatin, and hepatokines, in particular selenoprotein P, fetuin A, FGF21, ANGPTL4, and follistatin. We also describe the function of osteokines, specifically osteocalcin, and of adipokines such as leptin, adiponectin, and resistin. We also emphasize an integrative overview of the pleiotropic mechanisms, the metabolic pathways, and the inter-organ crosstalk involved in energy expenditure, fat mass loss, reduced inflammation, and healthy weight induced by exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Physical Activity for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Selenoneine Ameliorates Hepatocellular Injury and Hepatic Steatosis in a Mouse Model of NAFLD
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1898; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061898 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Selenoneine is a novel organic selenium compound markedly found in the blood, muscles, and other tissues of fish. This study aimed to determine whether selenoneine attenuates hepatocellular injury and hepatic steatosis in a mouse model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Mice lacking [...] Read more.
Selenoneine is a novel organic selenium compound markedly found in the blood, muscles, and other tissues of fish. This study aimed to determine whether selenoneine attenuates hepatocellular injury and hepatic steatosis in a mouse model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Mice lacking farnesoid X receptor (FXR) were used as a model for fatty liver disease, because they exhibited hepatomegaly, hepatic steatosis, and hepatic inflammation. Fxr-null mice were fed a 0.3 mg Se/kg selenoneine-containing diet for four months. Significant decreases in the levels of hepatomegaly, hepatic damage-associated diagnostic markers, hepatic triglycerides, and total bile acids were found in Fxr-null mice fed with a selenoneine-rich diet. Hepatic and blood clot total selenium concentrations were 1.7 and 1.9 times higher in the selenoneine group than in the control group. A marked accumulation of selenoneine was found in the liver and blood clot of the selenoneine group. The expression levels of oxidative stress-related genes (heme oxygenase 1 (Hmox1), glutathione S-transferase alpha 1 (Gsta1), and Gsta2), fatty acid synthetic genes (stearoyl CoA desaturase 1(Scd1) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (Acc1)), and selenoprotein (glutathione peroxidase 1 (Gpx1) and selenoprotein P (Selenop)) were significantly decreased in the selenoneine group. These results suggest that selenoneine attenuates hepatic steatosis and hepatocellular injury in an NAFLD mouse model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Food Addiction among Female Patients Seeking Treatment for an Eating Disorder: Prevalence and Associated Factors
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1897; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061897 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 454
Abstract
The concept of “food addiction” (FA) has aroused much focus because of evidence for similarities between overeating and substance use disorders (SUDs). However, few studies have explored this concept among the broad spectrum of eating disorders (ED), especially in anorexia nervosa (AN). This [...] Read more.
The concept of “food addiction” (FA) has aroused much focus because of evidence for similarities between overeating and substance use disorders (SUDs). However, few studies have explored this concept among the broad spectrum of eating disorders (ED), especially in anorexia nervosa (AN). This study aimed to assess FA prevalence in ED female patients and to determine its associated factors. We recruited a total of 195 adult women with EDs from an ED treatment center. The prevalence of FA diagnosis (Yale Food Addiction Scale) in the whole ED sample was 83.6%; AN restrictive type (AN-R), 61.5%; AN binge-eating/purging type (AN-BP), 87.9%; bulimia nervosa (BN), 97.6%; and binge-eating disorder (BED), 93.3%. The most frequently met criteria of FA were “clinically significant impairment or distress in relation to food”, “craving” and “persistent desire or repeated unsuccessful attempts to cut down”. An FA diagnosis was independently associated with three variables: presence of recurrent episodes of binge eating, ED severity, and lower interoceptive awareness. In showing an overlap between ED and FA, this study allows for considering EDs, and AN-R in particular, from an “addictive point of view”, and thus for designing therapeutic management that draws from those proposed for addictive disorders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of 3-Month Astaxanthin Supplementation on Cardiac Function in Heart Failure Patients with Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction-A Pilot Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1896; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061896 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Astaxanthin has strong antioxidant properties. We conducted a prospective pilot study on heart failure (HF) patients with left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction to investigate improvements in cardiac function and exercise tolerance in relation to suppression of oxidative stress by 3-month astaxanthin supplementation. Oxidative [...] Read more.
Astaxanthin has strong antioxidant properties. We conducted a prospective pilot study on heart failure (HF) patients with left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction to investigate improvements in cardiac function and exercise tolerance in relation to suppression of oxidative stress by 3-month astaxanthin supplementation. Oxidative stress markers—serum Diacron reactive oxygen metabolite (dROM), biological antioxidant potential (BAP), and urinary 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) concentrations, LV ejection fraction (LVEF), and 6-min walk distance (6MWD) were assessed before and after 3-month astaxanthin supplementation. Finally, the data of 16 HF patients were analyzed. Following 3-month astaxanthin supplementation, dROM level decreased from 385.6 ± 82.6 U.CARR to 346.5 ± 56.9 U.CARR (p = 0.041) despite no changes in BAP and urinary 8-OHdG levels. LVEF increased from 34.1 ± 8.6% to 38.0 ± 10.0% (p = 0.031) and 6MWD increased from 393.4 ± 95.9 m to 432.8 ± 93.3 m (p = 0.023). Significant relationships were observed between percent changes in dROM level and those in LVEF. In this study, following 3-month astaxanthin supplementation, suppressed oxidative stress and improved cardiac contractility and exercise tolerance were observed in HF patients with LV systolic dysfunction. Correlation between suppression of oxidative stress and improvement of cardiac contractility suggests that suppression of oxidative stress by astaxanthin supplementation had therapeutic potential to improve cardiac functioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Antioxidants for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Living with Gluten and Other Food Intolerances: Self-Reported Diagnoses and Management
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1892; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061892 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 445
Abstract
People suffering from a food intolerance (FI) tend to initiate restrictive diets such as a gluten-free diet (GFD), to alleviate their symptoms. To learn about how people live with these problems in daily life (independent of their medical diagnoses), 1203 participants answered a [...] Read more.
People suffering from a food intolerance (FI) tend to initiate restrictive diets such as a gluten-free diet (GFD), to alleviate their symptoms. To learn about how people live with these problems in daily life (independent of their medical diagnoses), 1203 participants answered a previously validated questionnaire and were divided into: G1 (those self-reporting symptoms after gluten consumption) and G2 (those informing no discomfort after gluten consumption). Self-reported clinical characteristics, diagnoses and diets followed were registered. Twenty nine percent referred some FI (8.5% in G1). In G1, self-reported diagnoses were more frequent (p < 0.0001), including a high proportion of eating and mood disorders. Diagnoses were reported to be given by a physician, but GFD was indicated by professional and nonprofessional persons. In G2, despite declaring no symptoms after gluten consumption, 11.1% followed a GFD. The most frequent answer in both groups was that GFD was followed “to care for my health”, suggesting that some celiac patients do not acknowledge it as treatment. Conclusion: close to one third of the population report suffering from some FI. Those perceiving themselves as gluten intolerant report more diseases (p < 0.0001). A GFD is followed by ~11% of those declaring no symptoms after gluten ingestion. This diet is perceived as a healthy eating option. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gluten-Related Disorders: Time to Move from Gut to Brain)
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Open AccessArticle
Serum Phospholipid Fatty Acids Levels, Anthropometric Variables and Adiposity in Spanish Premenopausal Women
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1895; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061895 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 466
Abstract
This study investigates the still uncertain association between serum phospholipid fatty acids (PL-FA), and anthropometric and adiposity variables. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 1443 Spanish premenopausal women. Participants answered an epidemiological and a food frequency questionnaire. Anthropometric variables were measured using a [...] Read more.
This study investigates the still uncertain association between serum phospholipid fatty acids (PL-FA), and anthropometric and adiposity variables. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 1443 Spanish premenopausal women. Participants answered an epidemiological and a food frequency questionnaire. Anthropometric variables were measured using a bioimpedance scale. Serum PL-FAs levels were determined by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The association between body mass index (BMI), weight gain, body fat percentage, visceral fat index, and waist circumference with serum PL-FAs and desaturation indices was evaluated using multivariable linear regression models. BMI was positively associated with the relative concentration of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) (β = 0.94, q-val = 0.001), and with palmitoleic, dihomo-γ-linolenic (DGLA), arachidonic (AA) and α-linolenic acids, and was inversely associated with oleic, gondoic, trans-vaccenic, linoleic and γ-linolenic acids. Total fat percentage was positively associated with DGLA and AA, and inversely with linoleic and γ-linolenic acids. Low relative concentrations of some SFAs and high levels of n-6 PUFAs were associated with greater waist circumference. While the oleic/stearic and AA/DGLA acid ratios were inversely associated with BMI, DGLA/linoleic acid ratio was positively related to almost all variables. In addition to BMI, total fat percentage and waist circumference were also associated with certain individual fatty acids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutritional Epidemiology)
Open AccessArticle
Selenium and Copper as Biomarkers for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Systemic Sclerosis
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1894; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061894 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 458
Abstract
Circulating selenoprotein P (SELENOP) constitutes an established biomarker of Se status. SELENOP concentrations are reduced in inflammation and severe disease. Recently, elevated SELENOP levels have been suggested as diagnostic marker and therapeutic target in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). We decided to re-evaluate this [...] Read more.
Circulating selenoprotein P (SELENOP) constitutes an established biomarker of Se status. SELENOP concentrations are reduced in inflammation and severe disease. Recently, elevated SELENOP levels have been suggested as diagnostic marker and therapeutic target in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). We decided to re-evaluate this hypothesis. A group of healthy controls (n = 30) was compared with patients suffering from systemic sclerosis (SSc, n = 66), one third with SSc-related PAH. Serum was analysed for trace elements and protein biomarkers, namely SELENOP, glutathione peroxidase 3 (GPx3) and ceruloplasmin (CP). Compared to controls, patients with SSc-related PAH displayed reduced serum Se (91 ± 2 vs. 68 ± 2 µg/L) and SELENOP concentrations (3.7 ± 0.8 vs. 2.7 ± 0.9 mg/L), along with lower GPx3 activity (278 ± 40 vs. 231 ± 54 U/L). All three biomarkers of Se status were particularly low in patients with skin involvement. Serum Cu was not different between the groups, but patients with SSc-related PAH showed elevated ratios of Cu/Se and CP/SELENOP as compared to controls. Our data indicate that patients with SSc-related PAH are characterized by reduced Se status in combination with elevated CP, in line with other inflammatory diseases. Further analyses are needed to verify the diagnostic value of these TE-related biomarkers in PAH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Special Low Protein Foods in the UK: An Examination of Their Macronutrient Composition in Comparison to Regular Foods
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061893 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Special low protein foods (SLPFs) are essential in a low phenylalanine diet for treating phenylketonuria (PKU). With little known about their nutritional composition, all SLPFs on UK prescription were studied (n = 146) and compared to equivalent protein-containing foods (n = [...] Read more.
Special low protein foods (SLPFs) are essential in a low phenylalanine diet for treating phenylketonuria (PKU). With little known about their nutritional composition, all SLPFs on UK prescription were studied (n = 146) and compared to equivalent protein-containing foods (n = 190). SLPF nutritional analysis was obtained from suppliers/manufacturers. Comparable information about regular protein-containing foods was obtained from online UK supermarkets. Similar foods were grouped together, with mean nutritional values calculated for each subgroup (n = 40) and percentage differences determined between SLPFs and regular food subgroups. All SLPF subgroups contained 43–100% less protein than regular foods. Sixty-three percent (n = 25/40) of SLPF subgroups contained less total fat with palm oil (25%, n = 36/146) and hydrogenated vegetable oil (23%, n = 33/146) key fat sources. Sixty-eight percent (n = 27/40) of SLPF subgroups contained more carbohydrate, with 72% (n = 105/146) containing added sugar. Key SLPF starch sources were maize/corn (72%; n = 105/146). Seventy-seven percent (n = 113/146) of SLPFs versus 18% (n = 34/190) of regular foods contained added fibre, predominantly hydrocolloids. Nine percent of SLPFs contained phenylalanine > 25 mg/100 g and sources of phenylalanine/protein in their ingredient lists. Stricter nutritional composition regulations for SLPFs are required, identifying maximum upper limits for macronutrients and phenylalanine, and fat and carbohydrate sources that are associated with healthy outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet Therapy and Nutritional Management of Phenylketonuria)
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Open AccessReview
Effectiveness of Interventions to Promote Healthy Eating Habits in Children and Adolescents at Risk of Poverty: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1891; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061891 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 452
Abstract
The objective of this review was to provide an up-to-date review of trials that include behavioral intervention on the eating habits of children and adolescents at risk of poverty, applying meta-analysis to estimate the size of the intervention effect. A systematic literature search [...] Read more.
The objective of this review was to provide an up-to-date review of trials that include behavioral intervention on the eating habits of children and adolescents at risk of poverty, applying meta-analysis to estimate the size of the intervention effect. A systematic literature search was performed in the following databases: MEDLINE via Pubmed and via EBSCOhost, LILACS and IBECS via VHL. The MeSH terms were used: “social class”, “poverty”, “diet”, “health promotion” (PROSPERO ID: 183900). A total of 14 articles were finally included in this systematic review. The primary results of the included studies were meta-analyzed with the RevMan 5.3 program, assuming a random effects model. Analysis of the overall effect showed combined standardized mean differences (SMD) of 0.16 (CI 95%: [0.03, 0.30], I2 = 76%). The p-value for the Z statistic was 0.02, which reflects accuracy in the effect estimation. When establishing subgroups based on the intervention tracking time points, studies that provided longer-term follow-up data showed a combined SMD of 0.15 (CI 95%: [−0.02, 0.32], I2 = 81%]). Small effects of behavioral interventions were found to promote healthy eating habits, but better effects were shown in cases where the invention was followed up in the long term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet Quality and Human Health)
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Open AccessReview
Effects of Dietary Protein on Body Composition in Exercising Individuals
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1890; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061890 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 1658
Abstract
Protein is an important component of a healthy diet and appears to be integral to enhancing training adaptations in exercising individuals. The purpose of this narrative review is to provide an evidence-based assessment of the current literature examining increases in dietary protein intake [...] Read more.
Protein is an important component of a healthy diet and appears to be integral to enhancing training adaptations in exercising individuals. The purpose of this narrative review is to provide an evidence-based assessment of the current literature examining increases in dietary protein intake above the recommended dietary allowance (RDA: 0.8 g/kg/d) in conjunction with chronic exercise on body composition (i.e., muscle, fat and bone). We also highlight acute and chronic pre-sleep protein studies as well as the influence of exercise timing on body composition. Overall, a high-protein diet appears to increase muscle accretion and fat loss and may have beneficial effects on bone when combined with exercise. Pre-sleep protein is a viable strategy to help achieve total daily protein goals. Importantly, there appears to be no deleterious effects from a high-protein diet on muscle, fat or bone in exercising individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Human Health, Performance and Recovery)
Open AccessArticle
Rice Bran Phenolic Extracts Modulate Insulin Secretion and Gene Expression Associated with β-Cell Function
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1889; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061889 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 451
Abstract
Oxidative stress is known to modulate insulin secretion and initiate gene alterations resulting in impairment of β-cell function and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Rice bran (RB) phenolic extracts contain bioactive properties that may target metabolic pathways associated with the pathogenesis of T2DM. [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress is known to modulate insulin secretion and initiate gene alterations resulting in impairment of β-cell function and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Rice bran (RB) phenolic extracts contain bioactive properties that may target metabolic pathways associated with the pathogenesis of T2DM. This study aimed to examine the effect of stabilized RB phenolic extracts on the expression of genes associated with β-cell function such as glucose transporter 2 (Glut2), pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (Pdx1), sirtuin 1 (Sirt1), mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam), and insulin 1 (Ins1) in addition to evaluating its impact on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. It was observed that treatment with different concentrations of RB phenolic extracts (25-250 µg/mL) significantly increased the expression of Glut2, Pdx1, Sirt1, Tfam, and Ins1 genes and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion under both normal and high glucose conditions. RB phenolic extracts favourably modulated the expression of genes involved in β-cell dysfunction and insulin secretion via several mechanisms such as synergistic action of polyphenols targeting signalling molecules, decreasing free radical damage by its antioxidant activity, and stimulation of effectors or survival factors of insulin secretion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Polyphenols and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Modulation of the Systemic Immune Response in Suckling Rats by Breast Milk TGF-β2, EGF and FGF21 Supplementation
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1888; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061888 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 355
Abstract
Breast milk is a rich fluid containing bioactive compounds such as specific growth factors (GF) that contribute to maturation of the immune system in early life. The aim of this study was to determine whether transforming growth factor-β2 (TGF-β2), epidermal growth factor (EGF) [...] Read more.
Breast milk is a rich fluid containing bioactive compounds such as specific growth factors (GF) that contribute to maturation of the immune system in early life. The aim of this study was to determine whether transforming growth factor-β2 (TGF-β2), epidermal growth factor (EGF) and fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), compounds present in breast milk, could promote systemic immune maturation. For this purpose, newborn Wistar rats were daily supplemented with these GF by oral gavage during the suckling period (21 days of life). At day 14 and 21 of life, plasma for immunoglobulin (Ig) quantification was obtained and spleen lymphocytes were isolated, immunophenotyped and cultured to evaluate their ability to proliferate and release cytokines. The main result was obtained at day 14, when supplementation with EGF increased B cell proportion to reach levels observed at day 21. At the end of the suckling period, all GF increased the plasma levels of IgG1 and IgG2a isotypes, FGF21 balanced the Th1/Th2 cytokine response and both EGF and FGF21 modified splenic lymphocyte composition. These results suggested that the studied milk bioactive factors, mainly EGF and FGF21, may have modulatory roles in the systemic immune responses in early life, although their physiological roles remain to be established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immune Function and Nutrient Supplementation)
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Open AccessArticle
Aspartame and Phe-Containing Degradation Products in Soft Drinks across Europe
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1887; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061887 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Phenylketonuria and tyrosinemia type 1 are treated with dietary phenylalanine (Phe) restriction. Aspartame is a Phe-containing synthetic sweetener used in many products, including many ‘regular’ soft drinks. Its amount is (often) not declared; therefore, patients are advised not to consume aspartame-containing foods. This [...] Read more.
Phenylketonuria and tyrosinemia type 1 are treated with dietary phenylalanine (Phe) restriction. Aspartame is a Phe-containing synthetic sweetener used in many products, including many ‘regular’ soft drinks. Its amount is (often) not declared; therefore, patients are advised not to consume aspartame-containing foods. This study aimed to determine the variation in aspartame concentrations and its Phe-containing degradation products in aspartame-containing soft drinks. For this, an LC–MS/MS method was developed for the analysis of aspartame, Phe, aspartylphenylalanine, and diketopiperazine in soft drinks. In total, 111 regularly used soft drinks from 10 European countries were analyzed. The method proved linear and had an inter-assay precision (CV%) below 5% for aspartame and higher CVs% of 4.4–49.6% for the degradation products, as many concentrations were at the limit of quantification. Aspartame and total Phe concentrations in the aspartame-containing soft drinks varied from 103 to 1790 µmol/L (30–527 mg/L) and from 119 to 2013 µmol/L (20–332 mg/L), respectively, and were highly variable among similar soft drinks bought in different countries. Since Phe concentrations between drinks and countries highly vary, we strongly advocate the declaration of the amount of aspartame on soft drink labels, as some drinks may be suitable for consumption by patients with Phe-restricted diets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
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Open AccessReview
Iron and Physical Activity: Bioavailability Enhancers, Properties of Black Pepper (Bioperine®) and Potential Applications
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1886; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061886 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 587
Abstract
Black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) has been employed in medicine (epilepsy, headaches, and diabetes), where its effects are mainly attributed to a nitrogen alkaloid called piperidine (1-(1-[1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl]-1-oxo-2,4 pentenyl) piperidine). Piperine co-administered with vitamins and minerals has improved its absorption. Therefore, this study [...] Read more.
Black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) has been employed in medicine (epilepsy, headaches, and diabetes), where its effects are mainly attributed to a nitrogen alkaloid called piperidine (1-(1-[1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl]-1-oxo-2,4 pentenyl) piperidine). Piperine co-administered with vitamins and minerals has improved its absorption. Therefore, this study aimed to describe the impact of the joint administration of iron (Fe) plus black pepper in physically active healthy individuals. Fe is a micronutrient that aids athletic performance by influencing the physiological functions involved in endurance sports by improving the transport, storage, and utilization of oxygen. Consequently, athletes have risk factors for Fe depletion, Fe deficiency, and eventually, anemia, mainly from mechanical hemolysis, gastrointestinal disturbances, and loss of Fe through excessive sweating. Declines in Fe stores have been reported to negatively alter physical capacities such as aerobic capacity, strength, and skeletal muscle recovery in elite athletes. Thus, there is a need to maintain Fe storage, even if Fe intake meets the recommended daily allowance (RDA), and Fe supplementation may be justified in physically active individuals, in states of Fe deficiency, with or without anemia. Females, in particular, should monitor their Fe hematological profile. The recommended oral Fe supplements are ferrous or ferric salts, sulfate, fumarate, and gluconate. These preparations constitute the first line of treatment; however, the high doses administered have gastrointestinal side effects that reduce tolerance and adherence to treatment. Thus, a strategy to counteract these adverse effects is to improve the bioavailability of Fe. Therefore, piperine may benefit the absorption of Fe through its bioavailability enhancement properties. Three research studies of Fe associated with black pepper have reported improvements in parameters related to the metabolism of Fe, without adverse effects. Although more research is needed, this could represent an advance in oral Fe supplementation for physically active individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Iron for Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial on the Effect of Proteins with Different Tryptophan/Large Neutral Amino Acid Ratios on Sleep in Adolescents: The PROTMORPHEUS Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1885; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061885 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 507
Abstract
Disturbed sleep is common in adolescents. Ingested nutrients help regulate the internal clock and influence sleep quality. The purpose of this clinical trial is to assess the effect of protein tryptophan (Trp)/large neutral amino acids (LNAAs) ratio on sleep and circadian rhythm. Ingested [...] Read more.
Disturbed sleep is common in adolescents. Ingested nutrients help regulate the internal clock and influence sleep quality. The purpose of this clinical trial is to assess the effect of protein tryptophan (Trp)/large neutral amino acids (LNAAs) ratio on sleep and circadian rhythm. Ingested Trp is involved in the regulation of the sleep/wake cycle and improvement of sleep quality. Since Trp transport through the blood–brain barrier is competing with LNAAs, protein with higher Trp/LNAAs were expected to increase sleep efficiency. This randomized double-blind controlled trial will enroll two samples of male adolescents predisposed to sleep disturbances: elite rugby players (n = 24) and youths with obesity (n = 24). They will take part randomly in three sessions each held over a week. They will undergo a washout period, when dietary intake will be calibrated (three days), followed by an intervention period (three days), when their diet will be supplemented with three proteins with different Trp/LNAAs ratios. Physical, cognitive, dietary intake, appetite, and sleepiness evaluations will be made on the last day of each session. The primary outcome is sleep efficiency measured through in-home electroencephalogram recordings. Secondary outcomes include sleep staging, circadian phase, and sleep-, food intake-, metabolism-, and inflammation-related biochemical markers. A fuller understanding of the effect of protein Trp/LNAAs ratio on sleep could help in developing nutritional strategies addressing sleep disturbances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effect of Dietary Patterns and Sleep on Body Weight Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Profiles Combining Muscle Atrophy and Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio Are Associated with Prognosis of Patients with Stage IV Gastric Cancer
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1884; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061884 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 368
Abstract
We aimed to investigate the impact of muscle atrophy and the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), a sub-clinical biomarker of inflammation and nutrition, on the prognosis of patients with unresectable advanced gastric cancer. We retrospectively enrolled 109 patients with stage IV gastric cancer (median age [...] Read more.
We aimed to investigate the impact of muscle atrophy and the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), a sub-clinical biomarker of inflammation and nutrition, on the prognosis of patients with unresectable advanced gastric cancer. We retrospectively enrolled 109 patients with stage IV gastric cancer (median age 69 years; female/male 22%/78%; median observational period 261 days). Independent factors and profiles for overall survival (OS) were determined by Cox regression analysis and decision-tree analysis, respectively. OS was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method. The prevalence of muscle atrophy was 82.6% and the median NLR was 3.15. In Cox regression analysis, none of factors were identified as an independent factor for survival. The decision-tree analysis revealed that the most favorable prognostic profile was non-muscle atrophy (OS rate 36.8%). The most unfavorable prognostic profile was the combination of muscle atrophy and high NLR (OS rate 19.6%). The OS rate was significantly lower in patients with muscle atrophy and high NLR than in patients with non-muscle atrophy (1-year survival rate 28.5% vs. 54.7%; log-rank test p = 0.0014). In conclusion, “muscle atrophy and high NLR” was a prognostic profile for patients with stage IV gastric cancer. Thus, the assessment of muscle mass, subclinical inflammation, and malnutrition may be important for the management of patients with stage IV gastric cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Sensing Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Are Sugar-Reduced and Whole Grain Infant Cereals Sensorially Accepted at Weaning? A Randomized Controlled Cross-Over Trial
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1883; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061883 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 622
Abstract
The way infants are fed during the complementary period can have a significant impact on infants’ health and development. Infant cereals play an important role in complementary feeding in many countries. In spite of well documented benefits of a low sugar and high [...] Read more.
The way infants are fed during the complementary period can have a significant impact on infants’ health and development. Infant cereals play an important role in complementary feeding in many countries. In spite of well documented benefits of a low sugar and high whole grain diet, commercial infant cereals are often refined and contain a high amount of sugars. The aim of the present study was to compare the sensory acceptability, gastrointestinal tolerance and bowel habits of two commercially available infant cereals in Spain with varying sugar and whole grain contents in infants at weaning. Forty-six healthy infants (mean age = 5.2 ± 0.4 months) received one of the two infant cereals containing either 0% whole grain flour and a high sugar content produced by starch hydrolysis (24 g/100 g) (Cereal A) or 50% whole grain flour and a medium-sugar content produced by hydrolysis (12 g/100 g) (Cereal B) in a randomized, triple blind, cross-over controlled trial. Both types of infant cereals were consumed for seven weeks. The cross-over was carried out after seven weeks. Sensory acceptability, anthropometry, gastrointestinal tolerance and adverse events were measured, and results evaluated using a linear regression model. No significant differences were observed between groups in any of the main variables analyzed. Importantly, the long-term health implications of our findings represent a wake-up call for the food industry to reduce or even eliminate simple sugars in infant cereals and for regulatory bodies and professional organizations to recommend whole grain infant cereals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Diet and Lifestyles in the Pediatric Population)
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Open AccessEditorial
The Potential Effects of Human Milk on Morbidity in Very-Low-Birth-Weight Preterm Infants
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1882; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061882 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 420
Abstract
Improvements in quality of care have led to a significant reduction in mortality and morbidity in preterm infants, especially very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants [...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Factors that Influence the Perceived Healthiness of Food—Review
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1881; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061881 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 558
Abstract
The interest of consumers is the consumption of healthy food, whereas the interest of food manufacturers is that consumers recognize the produced “healthier” food items on the shelves, so they can satisfy their demands. This way, identifying the factors that influence the perceived [...] Read more.
The interest of consumers is the consumption of healthy food, whereas the interest of food manufacturers is that consumers recognize the produced “healthier” food items on the shelves, so they can satisfy their demands. This way, identifying the factors that influence the perceived healthiness of food products is a mutual interest. What causes consumers to consider one product more beneficial to health than another? In recent years, numerous studies have been published on the topic of the influence of several health-related factors on consumer perception. This analysis collected and categorized the research results related to this question. This review collects 59 articles with the help of the search engines Science Direct, Wiley Online Library, MDPI and Emerald Insight between 1 January 2014 and 31 March 2019. Our paper yielded six separate categories that influence consumers in their perception of the healthiness of food items: the communicated information—like FoP labels and health claims, the product category, the shape and colour of the product packaging, the ingredients of the product, the organic origin of the product, and the taste and other sensory features of the product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Labeling: Analysis, Understanding, and Perception)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Creatine Supplementation during Resistance Training Sessions in Physically Active Young Adults
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1880; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061880 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 1171
Abstract
The purpose was to examine the effects of creatine supplementation during resistance training sessions on skeletal muscle mass and exercise performance in physically active young adults. Twenty-two participants were randomized to supplement with creatine (CR: n = 13, 26 ± 4 yrs; 0.0055 [...] Read more.
The purpose was to examine the effects of creatine supplementation during resistance training sessions on skeletal muscle mass and exercise performance in physically active young adults. Twenty-two participants were randomized to supplement with creatine (CR: n = 13, 26 ± 4 yrs; 0.0055 g·kg−1 post training set) or placebo (PLA: n = 9, 26 ± 5 yrs; 0.0055 g·kg−1 post training set) during six weeks of resistance training (18 sets per training session; five days per week). Prior to and following training and supplementation, measurements were made for muscle thickness (elbow and knee flexors/extensors, ankle plantarflexors), power (vertical jump and medicine ball throw), strength (leg press and chest press one-repetition maximum (1-RM)) and muscular endurance (one set of repetitions to volitional fatigue using 50% baseline 1-RM for leg press and chest press). The creatine group experienced a significant increase (p < 0.05) in leg press, chest press and total body strength and leg press endurance with no significant changes in the PLA group. Both groups improved total body endurance over time (p < 0.05), with greater gains observed in the creatine group. In conclusion, creatine ingestion during resistance training sessions is a viable strategy for improving muscle strength and some indices of muscle endurance in physically active young adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Human Health, Performance and Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle
Patients Undergoing Myeloablative Chemotherapy and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Exhibit Depleted Vitamin C Status in Association with Febrile Neutropenia
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061879 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Patients undergoing myeloablative chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) experience profound neutropenia and vulnerability to infection. Previous research has indicated that patients with infections have depleted vitamin C status. In this study, we recruited 38 patients with hematopoietic cancer who were undergoing [...] Read more.
Patients undergoing myeloablative chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) experience profound neutropenia and vulnerability to infection. Previous research has indicated that patients with infections have depleted vitamin C status. In this study, we recruited 38 patients with hematopoietic cancer who were undergoing conditioning chemotherapy and HSCT. Blood samples were collected prior to transplantation, at one week, two weeks and four weeks following transplantation. Vitamin C status and biomarkers of inflammation (C-reactive protein) and oxidative stress (protein carbonyls and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) were assessed in association with febrile neutropenia. The vitamin C status of the study participants decreased from 44 ± 7 µmol/L to 29 ± 5 µmol/L by week one (p = 0.001) and 19 ± 6 µmol/L by week two (p < 0.001), by which time all of the participants had undergone a febrile episode. By week four, vitamin C status had increased to 37 ± 10 µmol/L (p = 0.1). Pre-transplantation, the cohort comprised 19% with hypovitaminosis C (i.e., <23 µmol/L) and 8% with deficiency (i.e., <11 µmol/L). At week one, those with hypovitaminosis C had increased to 38%, and at week two, 72% had hypovitaminosis C, and 34% had outright deficiency. C-reactive protein concentrations increased from 3.5 ± 1.8 mg/L to 20 ± 11 mg/L at week one (p = 0.002), and 119 ± 25 mg/L at week two (p < 0.001), corresponding to the development of febrile neutropenia in the patients. By week four, these values had dropped to 17 ± 8 mg/L (p < 0.001). There was a significant inverse correlation between C-reactive protein concentrations and vitamin C status (r = −0.424, p < 0.001). Lipid oxidation (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS)) increased significantly from 2.0 ± 0.3 µmol/L at baseline to 3.3 ± 0.6 µmol/L by week one (p < 0.001), and remained elevated at week two (p = 0.003), returning to baseline concentrations by week four (p = 0.3). Overall, the lowest mean vitamin C values (recorded at week two) corresponded with the highest mean C-reactive protein values and lowest mean neutrophil counts. Thus, depleted vitamin C status in the HSCT patients coincides with febrile neutropenia and elevated inflammation and oxidative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C: From Bench to Bedside)
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Open AccessArticle
Results of a Mass Media Campaign in South Africa to Promote a Sugary Drinks Tax
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1878; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061878 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Background: In South Africa, the increased consumption of sugary drinks has been associated with increased obesity rates. Mass media campaigns can play a crucial role in improving knowledge, shifting attitudes, and building support for government action on reducing sugary drink consumption. No study [...] Read more.
Background: In South Africa, the increased consumption of sugary drinks has been associated with increased obesity rates. Mass media campaigns can play a crucial role in improving knowledge, shifting attitudes, and building support for government action on reducing sugary drink consumption. No study to date has evaluated the effectiveness of mass media campaigns on the health harms of sugary drinks in South Africa. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a mass media campaign on knowledge and attitudes around sugary drinks and on public support for a proposed tax on sugary drinks in South Africa. Methods: The “Are You Drinking Yourself Sick?” campaign aired in South Africa from October 2016 to June 2017 to shift attitudes toward sugary drinks, build personal risk perceptions of the health harms of consuming sugary drinks, and build public support for a proposed tax on sugary drinks. Campaign impact was measured in representative cross-sectional household surveys of adults ages 18 to 56. The surveys were conducted just prior to the launch of the campaign (N = 1000), from October 7 to 10, 2016, and immediately following its conclusion (N = 1000), from July 12 to 21, 2017. Campaign impact was assessed by comparing changes from the pre-campaign to the post-campaign period on key outcome indicators. In addition, the effect of campaign awareness was analyzed in logistic regression analysis of the post-campaign data. Results: The campaign was recalled by 55% of survey respondents, and 78% of campaign-aware respondents said that the campaign’s main message was “drinking sugary drinks can make you sick.” There were significant changes from the pre- to the post-campaign period in knowledge that sugary drink consumption can lead to obesity and related health problems and that sugary drinks contribute toward the obesity problem in South Africa. Campaign awareness was also significantly associated with increases in knowledge about the harms of sugary drinks, and in particular, on government action, including the proposed tax on sugary drinks. Discussion: Media campaigns are an effective intervention for obesity prevention. In addition to improving knowledge and shifting attitudes, media campaigns can effectively build public support for strong government action and therefore must be a component of a comprehensive obesity prevention approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Total Dietary Antioxidant Intake Including Polyphenol Content: Is It Capable to Fight against Increased Oxidants within the Body of Ultra-Endurance Athletes?
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1877; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061877 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 475
Abstract
The role of dietary antioxidants on exhaustive exercise-induced oxidative stress has been well investigated. However, the contribution of total dietary antioxidant capacity on exogenous antioxidant defense and exercise performance has commonly been disregarded. The aims of the present investigation were to examine (i) [...] Read more.
The role of dietary antioxidants on exhaustive exercise-induced oxidative stress has been well investigated. However, the contribution of total dietary antioxidant capacity on exogenous antioxidant defense and exercise performance has commonly been disregarded. The aims of the present investigation were to examine (i) the effects of dietary total antioxidant intake on body antioxidant mechanisms, and (ii) an exhaustive exercise-induced oxidative damage in ultra-endurance athletes. The study included 24 ultra-marathon runners and long-distance triathletes (12 male and 12 female) who underwent an acute exhaustive exercise test (a cycle ergometer (45 min at 65% VO2max) immediately followed by a treadmill test (75% VO2max to exhaustion). Oxidative stress-related biomarkers (8-isoprostaglandin F2alpha (8-iso PGF2a), total oxidant status (TOS, total antioxidant status (TAS)) in plasma were collected before and after exercise. Oxidative stress index was calculated to assess the aspect of redox balance. Blood lactate concentrations and heart rate were measured at the 3rd and 6th min after exercise. Dietary antioxidant intake was calculated using the ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) assay. Dietary total antioxidant intake of the subjects was negatively correlated with pre-exercise TOS concentrations (rs = −0.641 in male, and rs = −0.741 in females) and post- vs. pre- (∆) 8-iso PGF2a levels (rs = −0.702 in male; p = 0.016, and rs = −0.682 in females; p = 0.024), and positively correlated with ∆ TAS concentrations (rs = 0.893 in males; p = 0.001, and rs = 0.769 in females; p = 0.002) and post- exercise lactate concentrations (rs = 0.795 for males; p = 0.006, and rs = 0.642 for females; p = 0.024). A positive meaningful (p = 0.013) interaction was observed between time at exhaustion and dietary antioxidant intake (rs = 0.692) in males, but not in females. In conclusion, the determination of total dietary antioxidant intake in ultra-endurance athletes may be crucial for gaining a better perspective on body antioxidant defense against exhaustive exercise-induced oxidative stress. However, the effects of dietary antioxidant on exercise performance and recovery rate needs further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Phenolic Compounds on Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Nutrient Intake of Career Firefighters Compared to Military Dietary Reference Intakes
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1876; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061876 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 379
Abstract
The primary goals of the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) are to plan and assess nutrient intakes to promote health, reduce chronic disease, and prevent toxicity. Firefighters have unique nutrient needs compared to the public due to their job demands. The military provides the [...] Read more.
The primary goals of the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) are to plan and assess nutrient intakes to promote health, reduce chronic disease, and prevent toxicity. Firefighters have unique nutrient needs compared to the public due to their job demands. The military provides the only published guidance for tactical athletes’ nutrient needs. The purpose of this study was to determine whether firefighters were meeting the Military Dietary Reference Intakes (MDRI). A cross-sectional study was conducted in a sample of career firefighters (n = 150, 37.4 ± 8.4 year-old males) employed in Southern California. Data were gathered during baseline assessments from a Federal Emergency Management Agency-funded Firefighter Wellness Initiative. Participants were asked to log their food and beverage consumption over a 72-h period. Descriptive statistics (means, standard deviations, 95% confidence intervals) were calculated for all participant characteristics and average three-day nutrient intakes. A 95% confidence interval compared their nutrient intake to MDRI to identify differences in nutrient intakes, significance accepted at p = 0.05. Compared to MDRI reference values, firefighters consumed an inadequate amount of total calories, linolenic and alpha-linolenic fatty acid, fiber, vitamins D, E, and K, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and carbohydrates. Vitamin D, magnesium, and potassium had the greatest shortcomings (95.3%, 94.0%, and 98.7%, respectively, under MRDA). Thus, firefighters are not meeting the established MDRI for several key nutrients required to promote health, improve performance, and reduce chronic disease. Dietitians and health care providers may use the results of this study to help design health promotion programs for this population. Future research should develop a customized reference intake for firefighters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Human Health, Performance and Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Criteria for a Positive Front-of-Package Food Labeling: The Israeli Case
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1875; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061875 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 617
Abstract
Efforts to shape the food environment are aimed at reducing diet-related co-morbidities. Front-of-package labeling (FOPL) may support the consumers to make an informed decision at the point of purchase and encourage industry to reformulate food products. The Israeli Ministry of Health (MOH) implemented [...] Read more.
Efforts to shape the food environment are aimed at reducing diet-related co-morbidities. Front-of-package labeling (FOPL) may support the consumers to make an informed decision at the point of purchase and encourage industry to reformulate food products. The Israeli Ministry of Health (MOH) implemented a unique FOPL system, using two colors: A mandatory warning (red) label alongside a voluntary positive (green) label. An independent Scientific Committee, from academia, the healthcare system, and MOH was appointed to determine the core principles for the positive FOPL. The criteria were based on the Mediterranean diet principles, with adjustments to the Israeli dietary habits, focusing on the health advantages of the food and considering its processing level. The food products eligible for positive FOPL are foods in their natural form or with added spices or herbs, or those that underwent minimal processing, with no food additives. Based on population consumption data, 19.8% of food products were eligible for positive FOPL; of them, 54% were fruits and vegetables, 20% dairy, and 14% grains. An evaluation plan is needed to assess the degree of acceptance of the positive FOPL by the industry, retailers, and the public, and its impact on food consumption and on public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Policies and Diet)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in the Intestinal Microbiome during a Multispecies Probiotic Intervention in Compensated Cirrhosis
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1874; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061874 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 444
Abstract
Probiotics have been used in trials to therapeutically modulate the gut microbiome and have shown beneficial effects in cirrhosis. However, their effect on the microbiome of cirrhosis patients is not fully understood yet. Here, we tested the effects of a multispecies probiotic on [...] Read more.
Probiotics have been used in trials to therapeutically modulate the gut microbiome and have shown beneficial effects in cirrhosis. However, their effect on the microbiome of cirrhosis patients is not fully understood yet. Here, we tested the effects of a multispecies probiotic on microbiome composition in compensated cirrhosis. The gut microbiome composition of 58 patients with compensated cirrhosis from a randomized controlled trial who received a daily dose of multispecies probiotics or placebo for six months was analysed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Microbiome composition of patients who received probiotics was enriched with probiotic strains and the abundance of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Syntrophococcus sucromutans, Bacteroides vulgatus, Alistipes shahii and a Prevotella species was increased in the probiotic group compared to the placebo group. Patients who had microbiome changes in response to probiotic treatment also showed a significant increase in neopterin and a significant decrease in faecal zonulin levels after intervention, which was not observed in placebo-treated patients or patients with unchanged microbiome compositions. In conclusion, multispecies probiotics may enrich the microbiome of compensated cirrhotic patients with probiotic bacteria during a six-month intervention and beneficially change the residential microbiome and gut barrier function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Prebiotics and Probiotics in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Therapeutic Effect, Rheological Properties and α-Amylase Resistance of a New Mixed Starch and Xanthan Gum Thickener on Four Different Phenotypes of Patients with Oropharyngeal Dysphagia
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1873; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061873 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 372
Abstract
Thickened fluids are a therapeutic strategy for oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD). However, its therapeutic effect among different phenotypes of OD patients has not yet been compared. We aimed to assess the therapeutic effect and α-amylase resistance of a mixed gum/starch thickener [Fresubin Clear Thickener [...] Read more.
Thickened fluids are a therapeutic strategy for oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD). However, its therapeutic effect among different phenotypes of OD patients has not yet been compared. We aimed to assess the therapeutic effect and α-amylase resistance of a mixed gum/starch thickener [Fresubin Clear Thickener® (FCT)] on four phenotypes of OD patients: G1) 36 older; G2) 31 head/neck cancer (HNC); G3) 30 Parkinson’s disease; and G4) 31 chronic post-stroke. Therapeutic effect of FCT was assessed during videofluoroscopy using the Penetration-Aspiration Scale (PAS), for 5/20 mL boluses, at four levels of shear-viscosity (<50, 250, 1000 and 2000 mPa·s). The effect of α-amylase was assessed after 30 s of oral incubation. Patients had high prevalence of VFS signs of impaired efficacy (98.44%) and safety (70.31%) of swallow with a severe PAS score (4.44 ± 0.20). Most severe OD was in HNC (80.6% unsafe swallows). FCT showed a strong therapeutic effect on the safety of swallow at a range between 250–1000 mPa·s (74.19–96.67%, safe swallows in G1, G3, G4, and 58.06% in G2), without increasing pharyngeal residue. Viscosity was unaffected by α-amylase. Increasing shear-viscosity with FCT causes a strong viscosity-dependent therapeutic effect on the safety of swallow. This effect depends on the phenotype and is similar among older, Parkinson’s and post-stroke patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characteristic Analysis of Trigonelline Contained in Raphanus sativus Cv. Sakurajima Daikon and Results from the First Trial Examining Its Vasodilator Properties in Humans
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1872; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061872 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Vascular disease poses a major public health problem worldwide. Trigonelline isolated from Raphanus sativus cv. Sakurajima Daikon (Sakurajima radish) induces nitric oxide production from vascular endothelial cells and enhances vascular function. Here, we investigated the characteristics of trigonelline and its effects on endothelial [...] Read more.
Vascular disease poses a major public health problem worldwide. Trigonelline isolated from Raphanus sativus cv. Sakurajima Daikon (Sakurajima radish) induces nitric oxide production from vascular endothelial cells and enhances vascular function. Here, we investigated the characteristics of trigonelline and its effects on endothelial function after consumption of Sakurajima radish by humans. Our results show that Sakurajima radish contains approximately 60 times more trigonelline than other radishes and squashes. Additionally, no significant differences were observed between varieties of Sakurajima radish, suggesting that any type of Sakurajima radish can be ingested for trigonelline supplementation. The effects of cooking and processing Sakurajima radish were also evaluated, as were the effects of freezing, and changes in osmotic pressure and pH. A first-in-human trial using Sakurajima radish showed that ingestion of 170 g/day of Sakurajima radish for ten days increased blood trigonelline concentrations and significantly improved flow-mediated dilation, which is a measure of vascular endothelial function. Overall, our findings suggest that the trigonelline contained in Sakurajima radish may contribute to improved human vascular endothelial function. Hence, Sakurajima radish may enhance vascular endothelial function as a functional food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary (Poly)Phenols and Health)
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