Nutrients2015, 7(4), 3000-3010; doi:10.3390/nu7043000 - published 20 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections and zinc deficiency are often found in low- and middle-income countries and are both known to affect child growth. However, studies combining data on zinc and STH are lacking. In two studies in schoolchildren in Cuba and Cambodia, we collected data on height, STH infection and zinc concentration in either plasma (Cambodia) or hair (Cuba). We analyzed whether STH and/or zinc were associated with height for age z-scores and whether STH and zinc were associated. In Cuba, STH prevalence was 8.4%; these were mainly Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura infections. In Cambodia, STH prevalence was 16.8%, mostly caused by hookworm. In Cuban children, STH infection had a strong association with height for age (aB-0.438, p = 0.001), while hair zinc was significantly associated with height for age only in STH uninfected children. In Cambodian children, plasma zinc was associated with height for age (aB-0.033, p = 0.029), but STH infection was not. Only in Cambodia, STH infection showed an association with zinc concentration (aB-0.233, p = 0.051). Factors influencing child growth differ between populations and may depend on prevalences of STH species and zinc deficiency. Further research is needed to elucidate these relationships and their underlying mechanisms.
Nutrients2015, 7(4), 2983-2999; doi:10.3390/nu7042983 - published 20 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Iron and zinc are found in similar foods and absorption of both may be affected by food compounds, thus biochemical iron and zinc status may be related. This cross-sectional study aimed to: (1) describe dietary intakes and biochemical status of iron and zinc; (2) investigate associations between dietary iron and zinc intakes; and (3) investigate associations between biochemical iron and zinc status in a sample of premenopausal women aged 18–50 years who were recruited in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. Usual dietary intakes were assessed using a 154-item food frequency questionnaire (n = 379). Iron status was assessed using serum ferritin and hemoglobin, zinc status using serum zinc (standardized to 08:00 collection), and presence of infection/inflammation using C-reactive protein (n = 326). Associations were explored using multiple regression and logistic regression. Mean (SD) iron and zinc intakes were 10.5 (3.5) mg/day and 9.3 (3.8) mg/day, respectively. Median (interquartile range) serum ferritin was 22 (12–38) μg/L and mean serum zinc concentrations (SD) were 12.6 (1.7) μmol/L in fasting samples and 11.8 (2.0) μmol/L in nonfasting samples. For each 1 mg/day increase in dietary iron intake, zinc intake increased by 0.4 mg/day. Each 1 μmol/L increase in serum zinc corresponded to a 6% increase in serum ferritin, however women with low serum zinc concentration (AM fasting < 10.7 μmol/L; AM nonfasting < 10.1 μmol/L) were not at increased risk of depleted iron stores (serum ferritin <15 μg/L; p = 0.340). Positive associations were observed between dietary iron and zinc intakes, and between iron and zinc status, however interpreting serum ferritin concentrations was not a useful proxy for estimating the likelihood of low serum zinc concentrations and women with depleted iron stores were not at increased risk of impaired zinc status in this cohort.
Nutrients2015, 7(4), 2961-2982; doi:10.3390/nu7042961 - published 17 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate cross-sectional associations between dietary patterns and academic performance among 14-year-old adolescents. Study participants were from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. A food frequency questionnaire was administered when the adolescents were 14 years old, and from the dietary data, a ‘Healthy’ and a ‘Western’ dietary pattern were identified by factor analysis. The Western Australian Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (WALNA) results from grade nine (age 14) were linked to the Raine Study data by The Western Australian Data Linkage Branch. Associations between the dietary patterns and the WALNA (mathematics, reading and writing scores) were assessed using multivariate linear regression models adjusting for family and socioeconomic characteristics. Complete data on dietary patterns, academic performance and covariateswere available for individuals across the different analyses as follows: n = 779 for mathematics, n = 741 for reading and n = 470 for writing. Following adjustment, significant negative associations between the ‘Western’ dietary pattern and test scores for mathematics (β = −13.14; 95% CI: −24.57; −1.76); p = 0.024) and reading (β = −19.16; 95% CI: −29.85; −8.47; p ≤ 0.001) were observed. A similar trend was found with respect to writing (β = −17.28; 95% CI: −35.74; 1.18; p = 0.066). ANOVA showed significant trends in estimated means of academic scores across quartiles for both the Western and Healthy patterns. Higher scores for the ‘Western’ dietary pattern are associated with poorer academic performance in adolescence.
Nutrients2015, 7(4), 2947-2960; doi:10.3390/nu7042947 - published 16 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We previously reported that some patients used dietary supplements with their medication without consulting with physicians. Dietary supplements and medicines may interact with each other when used concomitantly, resulting in health problems. An Internet survey was conducted on 2109 people who concomitantly took dietary supplements and medicines in order to address dietary supplement usage in people who regularly take medicines in Japan. A total of 1508 patients (two admitted patients and 1506 ambulatory patients) and 601 non-patients, who were not consulting with physicians, participated in this study. Purpose for dietary supplement use was different among ages. Dietary supplements were used to treat diseases in 4.0% of non-patients and 11.9% of patients, while 10.8% of patients used dietary supplements to treat the same diseases as their medication. However, 70.3% of patients did not declare dietary supplement use to their physicians or pharmacists because they considered the concomitant use of dietary supplements and medicines to be safe. A total of 8.4% of all subjects realized the potential for adverse effects associated with dietary supplements. The incidence of adverse events was higher in patients who used dietary supplements to treat their disease. Communication between patients and physicians is important for avoiding the adverse effects associated with the concomitant use of dietary supplements and medicines.
Nutrients2015, 7(4), 2930-2946; doi:10.3390/nu7042930 - published 16 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Disruptions in gut microbiota composition and function are increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The functional output of the gut microbiota, including short-chain fatty acids and amino acids, are thought to be important modulators underlying the development of these disorders. Gut bacteria can alter the bioavailability of amino acids by utilization of several amino acids originating from both alimentary and endogenous proteins. In turn, gut bacteria also provide amino acids to the host. This could have significant implications in the context of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus, conditions associated with elevated systemic concentrations of certain amino acids, in particular the aromatic and branched-chain amino acids. Moreover, several amino acids released by gut bacteria can serve as precursors for the synthesis of short-chain fatty acids, which also play a role in the development of obesity. In this review, we aim to compile the available evidence on the contribution of microbial amino acids to host amino acid homeostasis, and to assess the role of the gut microbiota as a determinant of amino acid and short-chain fatty acid perturbations in human obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Nutrients2015, 7(4), 2897-2929; doi:10.3390/nu7042897 - published 15 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Micronutrients from the diet and gut microbiota are essential to human health and wellbeing. Arguably, among the most intriguing and enigmatic of these micronutrients is queuine, an elaborate 7-deazaguanine derivative made exclusively by eubacteria and salvaged by animal, plant and fungal species. In eubacteria and eukaryotes, queuine is found as the sugar nucleotide queuosine within the anticodon loop of transfer RNA isoacceptors for the amino acids tyrosine, asparagine, aspartic acid and histidine. The physiological requirement for the ancient queuine molecule and queuosine modified transfer RNA has been the subject of varied scientific interrogations for over four decades, establishing relationships to development, proliferation, metabolism, cancer, and tyrosine biosynthesis in eukaryotes and to invasion and proliferation in pathogenic bacteria, in addition to ribosomal frameshifting in viruses. These varied effects may be rationalized by an important, if ill-defined, contribution to protein translation or may manifest from other presently unidentified mechanisms. This article will examine the current understanding of queuine uptake, tRNA incorporation and salvage by eukaryotic organisms and consider some of the physiological consequence arising from deficiency in this elusive and lesser-recognized micronutrient.