Nutrients2014, 6(4), 1701-1710; doi:10.3390/nu6041701 (doi registration under processing) - published online 23 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Brain neurons form synapses throughout the life span. This process is initiated by neuronal depolarization, however the numbers of synapses thus formed depend on brain levels of three key nutrients—uridine, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, and choline. Given together, these nutrients accelerate formation of synaptic membrane, the major component of synapses. In infants, when synaptogenesis is maximal, relatively large amounts of all three nutrients are provided in bioavailable forms (e.g., uridine in the UMP of mothers’ milk and infant formulas). However, in adults the uridine in foods, mostly present at RNA, is not bioavailable, and no food has ever been compelling demonstrated to elevate plasma uridine levels. Moreover, the quantities of DHA and choline in regular foods can be insufficient for raising their blood levels enough to promote optimal synaptogenesis. In Alzheimer’s disease (AD) the need for extra quantities of the three nutrients is enhanced, both because their basal plasma levels may be subnormal (reflecting impaired hepatic synthesis), and because especially high brain levels are needed for correcting the disease-related deficiencies in synaptic membrane and synapses.
Nutrients2014, 6(4), 1691-1700; doi:10.3390/nu6041691 - published online 22 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Exclusive breastfeeding is known to have nutritional and health benefits. This study investigated factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding among infants aged five months or less in Timor-Leste. The latest data from the national Demographic and Health Survey 2009–2010 were analyzed by binary logistic regression. Of the 975 infants included in the study, overall 49% (95% confidence interval 45.4% to 52.7%) were exclusively breastfed. The exclusive breastfeeding prevalence declined with increasing infant age, from 68.0% at less than one month to 24.9% at five months. Increasing infant age, mothers with a paid occupation, who perceived their newborn as non-average size, and residence in the capital city Dili, were associated with a lower likelihood of exclusive breastfeeding. On the other hand, women who could decide health-related matters tended to breastfeed exclusively, which was not the case for others whose decisions were made by someone else. The results suggested the need of breastfeeding promotion programs to improve the exclusive breastfeeding rate. Antenatal counseling, peer support network, and home visits by health workers could be feasible options to promote exclusive breastfeeding given that the majority of births occur at home.
Nutrients2014, 6(4), 1678-1690; doi:10.3390/nu6041678 - published online 21 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Caffeine is presented in many commercial products and has been proven to induce ergogenic effects in exercise, mainly related to redox status homeostasis, inflammation and oxidative stress-related adaptation mechanisms. However, most studies have mainly focused on muscle adaptations, and the role of caffeine in different tissues during exercise training has not been fully described. The aim of this study was therefore, to analyze the effects of chronic caffeine intake and exercise training on liver mitochondria functioning and plasma inflammation markers. Rats were divided into control, control/caffeine, exercise, and exercise/caffeine groups. Exercise groups underwent four weeks of swimming training and caffeine groups were supplemented with 6 mg/kg/day. Liver mitochondrial swelling and complex I activity, and plasma myeloperoxidase (MPO) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities were measured. An anti-inflammatory effect of exercise was evidenced by reduced plasma MPO activity. Additionally, caffeine intake alone and combined with exercise decreased the plasma AChE and MPO activities. The per se anti-inflammatory effect of caffeine intake should be highlighted considering its widespread use as an ergogenic aid. Therefore, caffeine seems to interfere on exercise-induced adaptations and could also be used in different exercise-related health treatments.
Nutrients2014, 6(4), 1662-1677; doi:10.3390/nu6041662 - published online 21 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Psychological disorders in people with extreme weight (low weight or obesity) should be taken into consideration by health professionals in order to practice an effective treatment to these patients. This study evaluates the association between body mass index (BMI) and psychological distress in 563 inhabitants of Málaga (South of Spain). Participants were classified in four categories of BMI: Underweight (BMI <18.5 Kg/m2), Normal weight (BMI 18.5–24.99 Kg/m2), Overweight (BMI 25.0–29.99 Kg/m2) and Obesity (BMI >30 Kg/m2). Psychological distress was measured with the Spanish version of the Derogatis’ Symptoms Checklist Revised (SCL-90-R). We observed a symmetric U-shaped relationship between weight status and psychological distress in all SCL-90-R dimensions (p for quadratic trend <0.001) for both men and women. Participants with extreme weight showed the worst psychological status, and participants with normal weight exhibited the best. We found no statistically significant differences between underweight and obese participants in 9 of the 10 SCL-90-R dimensions analyzed among men, and in 8 of the 10 dimensions among women. Underweight and obese participants showed no gender differences in psychological distress levels. Psychological treatment of Mediterranean people with extreme weight, should consider underweight and obese patients at the same level of psychological distress.
Nutrients2014, 6(4), 1649-1661; doi:10.3390/nu6041649 - published online 21 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Little attention has been given to the association of plasma homocysteine (Hcy) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in children. We have evaluated the risk of MetS with plasma Hcy in a cohort of 6 to 8 year old rural Nepalese children, born to mothers who had participated in an antenatal micronutrient supplementation trial. We assessed Hcy in plasma from a random selection of n = 1000 children and determined the relationship of elevated Hcy (>12.0 μmol/L) to MetS (defined as the presence of any three of the following: abdominal adiposity (waist circumference ≥ 85th percentile of the study population), high plasma glucose (≥85th percentile), high systolic or diastolic blood pressure (≥90th percentile of reference population), triglyceride ≥ 1.7 mmol/L and high density lipoprotein < 0.9 mmol/L.) and its components. There was an increased risk of low high-density lipoproteins (HDL), [odds ratios (OR) = 1.77, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 1.08–2.88; p = 0.020], high blood pressure [OR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.10–2.46; p = 0.015] and high body mass index (BMI) [OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.33–2.96; p = 0.001] with elevated Hcy. We observed an increased risk of MetS (OR = 1.75, 95% CI = 1.06–2.90; p = 0.029) with elevated Hcy in age and gender-adjusted logistic regression models. High plasma Hcy is associated with increased risk of MetS and may have implications for chronic disease later in life.
Nutrients2014, 6(4), 1635-1648; doi:10.3390/nu6041635 - published online 21 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The objective of this study was to assess the effects of whole grain Tibetan hull-less barley on metabolic related syndrome induced by high-fat-sucrose diets in rats. The diets were designed to reflect the dietary patterns of Chinese individuals (>30% energy fat) with refined wheat flour (HFS-W) or Tibetan hull-less barley (HFS-THB) as the main carbohydrate sources. Rats fed HFS-W had increased body weight, abdominal fat deposition, liver weight, liver fat deposition, triglyceride (TG), fasting blood glucose (FBG), serum fasting insulin (FINS), and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) scores, and decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels compared to rats fed a basal diet (BD). However, rats fed HFS-THB had reduced body weight gain, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance. These findings indicate that whole Tibetan hull-less barley is a functional food that can reduce the prevalence of metabolic related syndrome induced by high-fat-sucrose diets.