Nutrients2014, 6(3), 1038-1062; doi:10.3390/nu6031038 - published online 10 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Eastern Mediterranean region is characterized by one of the highest burdens of paediatric obesity worldwide. This study aims at examining dietary, lifestyle, and socio-economic correlates of overweight, obesity, and abdominal adiposity amongst children and adolescents in Lebanon, a country of the Eastern Mediterranean basin. A nationally representative cross-sectional survey was conducted on 6–19-year-old subjects (n = 868). Socio-demographic, lifestyle, dietary, and anthropometric data (weight, height, waist circumference) were collected. Overweight and obesity were defined based on BMI z-scores. Elevated waist circumference (WC) and elevated waist to height ratio (WHtR) were used as indices of abdominal obesity. Of the study sample, 34.8% were overweight, 13.2% were obese, 14.0% had elevated WC, and 21.3% had elevated WHtR. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that male gender, maternal employment, residence in the capital Beirut, sedentarity, and higher consumption of fast food and sugar sweetened beverages were associated with increased risk of obesity, overweight, and abdominal adiposity, while regular breakfast consumption, higher intakes of milk/dairies and added fats/oils were amongst the factors associated with decreased risk. The study’s findings call for culture-specific intervention strategies for the promotion of physical activity, healthy lifestyle, and dietary practices amongst Lebanese children and adolescents.
Nutrients2014, 6(3), 1029-1037; doi:10.3390/nu6031029 - published online 10 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: FokI and BsmI polymorphisms of vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene are regarded as reliable markers of disturbed vitamin D signaling pathway. Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is a strong cardiovascular risk marker in end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. Since BsmI polymorphism has been associated with LVH in ESRD patients, we addressed this study in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) not yet on dialysis. One hundred and forty five patients with CKD stage 3 were genotyped for FokI and BsmI VDR polymorphisms, in order to assess the relationships between these VDR polymorphisms, some markers of mineral bone disorders, and LVH measured by echocardiography. Patients bearing either the Ff heterozygous or FF homozygous genotype had significantly higher PTH values than those bearing the ff genotype. The relationships between VDR genotypes and LVH revealed a highly significant association of the BsmI Bb heterozygous genotype with LVH. In patients with CKD stage 3 BsmI B allele was independently related to LVH. Since LVH is a frequent finding in dialysis population due to several mechanisms, the presence of the same relationship in patients with CKD strengthens the hypothesis that alterations of vitamin D signaling are implicated in LVH development in patients with renal diseases.
Nutrients2014, 6(3), 1016-1028; doi:10.3390/nu6031016 - published online 7 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The effect of Pediococcus acidilactici M76 (lactic acid bacteria) isolated from makgeolli on mice fed a high fat diet was investigated to clarify the lipid lowering function. C57BL/6J male mice were randomly divided into a normal diet (ND) group, high fat diet (HD) group, HD plus Pediococcus acidilactici DSM 20284 reference strain (PR) group, and HD plus Pediococcus acidilactici M76 strain (PA) groups. The lyophilized PA and PR strain were dissolved in distilled water at a final concentration of 1.25 × 109 cfu/mL and was given orally to animals at a dose of 4 mL/kg body weight for 12 weeks. The PA group had a lower final body weight, adipose tissue weight, and lipid profile than those in the HD group. Additionally, level of ACC, FAS and PPAR-γ, a key lipid synthesis enzyme, was markedly suppressed in the PA compared to those in the HD group. These data suggest that P. acidilactici M76 may exert a lipid-lowering effect in high fat diet- induced obese mice.
Nutrients2014, 6(3), 1003-1015; doi:10.3390/nu6031003 - published online 7 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: As previously reported, high temperature- and high pressure-treated red ginseng (HRG) contain higher contents of phenolic compounds and protect C2C12 muscle cells and 3T3-L1 adipocytes against oxidative stress. This study investigated the effect of HRG on oxidative stress using a mouse model. Our results show that the levels of glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase and glutamic pyruvic transaminase, hepatic malondialdehyde in the HRG group were significantly lower than those of the exercise groups supplemented with commercial red ginseng (CRG) or not supplemented. The muscular glycogen level, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and lactate dehydrogenase activities of the HGR group were higher than that of the CGR group. Furthermore, the HRG treatment group displayed upregulated mRNA expression of Cu/Zn-SOD and muscle regulatory factor 4. These results indicate that HRG may protect oxidative stress induced by exercise as well as improve exercise performance capacity.
Nutrients2014, 6(3), 985-1002; doi:10.3390/nu6030985 - published online 4 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Food availability and associated sensory cues such as olfaction are known to trigger a range of hormonal and behavioural responses. When food availability is predictable these physiological and behavioural responses can become entrained to set times and occur in anticipation of food rather than being dependent on the food-related cues. Here we summarise the range of physiological and behavioural responses to food when the time of its availability is unpredictable, and consider the potential to manipulate feeding patterns for benefit in metabolic and mental health.
Nutrients2014, 6(3), 974-984; doi:10.3390/nu6030974 - published online 3 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cross-sectional studies have reported positive relationships between serum lutein concentrations and higher physical activity levels. The purpose of the study was to determine whether increasing plasma lutein levels increases physical activity. Forty-four older adults (BMI, 25.3 ± 2.6 kg/m2; age, 68.8 ± 6.4 year) not meeting Australian physical activity guidelines (150 min/week of moderate to vigorous activity) were randomized to consume capsules containing 21 mg of lutein or placebo with 250 mL of full-cream milk per day for 4 weeks and encouraged to increase physical activity. Physical activity was assessed by self-report, pedometry and accelerometry (daily activity counts and sedentary time). Exercise self-efficacy was assessed by questionnaire. Thirty-nine participants competed the study (Lutein = 19, Placebo = 20). Lutein increased plasma lutein concentrations compared with placebo (p < 0.001). Absolute and percentage changes in plasma lutein were inversely associated with absolute (r = −0.36, p = 0.03) and percentage changes (r = −0.39, p = 0.02) in sedentary time. Percentage change in plasma lutein was positively associated with the percentage change in average daily activity counts (r = 0.36, p = 0.03). Exercise self-efficacy did not change (p = 0.16). Lutein increased plasma lutein, which was associated with increased physical activity and reduced sedentary time in older adults. Larger trials should evaluate whether Lutein can provide health benefits over the longer term.