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Editorial

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceEditorial
Psychological Factors in Dental Patient Care: Odontophobia
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 678; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100678 - 08 Oct 2019
Cited by 22
Abstract
Dentistry and oral health are at the heart of the systemic health of humans. Often this branch of medicine is underestimated either due to socioeconomic reasons or due to fear. In fact, in dentistry, there is often a widespread condition of odontophobia among [...] Read more.
Dentistry and oral health are at the heart of the systemic health of humans. Often this branch of medicine is underestimated either due to socioeconomic reasons or due to fear. In fact, in dentistry, there is often a widespread condition of odontophobia among patients. A clinician’s knowledge of this condition, and an accompanying understanding of how to successfully manage it, is surely one of the first steps to gaining a patient’s trust and maintaining his or her patronage. Being able to manage a dental phobic patient in the best way is the key to successful therapy. Psychological techniques often have to work alongside dentistry in managing these patients. A future perspective concerns precisely the implementation of non-invasive practices such as hypnosis in the management of the latter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Health: Economic and Psychological–Behavioral Implications)

Research

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
“I’ve Only Just Heard About It”: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Knowledge and Educational Needs of Clinical Psychologists in Indonesia
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070333 - 03 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Background and objectives: The inadequate knowledge of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among health professionals may put their clients at risk because clients would then find information about CAM from unreliable sources. Clinical psychologists (CPs), as health professionals, also have the opportunity to [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The inadequate knowledge of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among health professionals may put their clients at risk because clients would then find information about CAM from unreliable sources. Clinical psychologists (CPs), as health professionals, also have the opportunity to provide psychoeducation on the latest scientific CAM research for their clients. The current study aimed to explore knowledge and educational needs regarding CAM among CPs in Indonesia because previous studies on exploring CAM knowledge and educational needs regarding CAM were primarily conducted in Western countries. Materials and Methods: Data were collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews with 43 CPs in public health centers (PHCs) in Indonesia. Most interviews were conducted at the PHCs where the participants worked and lasted for 55 minutes on average. The interview recordings were transcribed and were analyzed using deductive thematic analysis. Results: Five main themes emerged within participants’ responses regarding CAM knowledge and educational needs. First (CAM understanding), participants’ responses ranged from those with little or no prior knowledge of CAM treatments and uses, to those with much greater familiarity. Second (source of knowledge), participants’ access ranged widely in terms of references, from popular to scientific literature. Third (why is it important?), participants identified CAM as an essential part of Indonesian culture and considered it therefore crucial to have this cultural knowledge. Fourth (the challenges and what is needed?), the challenges for improving participants’ knowledge came from personal and institutional levels. Fifth (what and how to learn?), participants advised that only CAM treatments that fit in brief psychotherapy sessions should be introduced in professional training. Conclusions: This qualitative study discovered that CAM was neither well-known nor understood widely. Participants advised that professional associations and health institutions should work together in enhancing knowledge of CAM and incorporating CAM education into psychology education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complementary and Integrative Medicine)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Resistance Trends and Epidemiology of Citrobacter-Enterobacter-Serratia in Urinary Tract Infections of Inpatients and Outpatients (RECESUTI): A 10-Year Survey
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55060285 - 18 Jun 2019
Cited by 24
Abstract
Background and objectives: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the third most common infections in humans, representing a significant factor of morbidity, both among outpatients and inpatients. The pathogenic role of Citrobacter, Enterobacter, and Serratia species (CES bacteria) has been described in [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the third most common infections in humans, representing a significant factor of morbidity, both among outpatients and inpatients. The pathogenic role of Citrobacter, Enterobacter, and Serratia species (CES bacteria) has been described in UTIs. CES bacteria present a therapeutic challenge due to the various intrinsic and acquired resistance mechanisms they possess. Materials and Methods: The aim of this study was to assess and compare the resistance trends and epidemiology of CES pathogens in UTIs (RECESUTI) in inpatients and outpatients during a 10-year study period. To evaluate the resistance trends of isolated strains, several antibiotics were chosen as indicator drugs based on local utilization data. 578 CES isolates were obtained from inpatients and 554 from outpatients, representing 2.57 ± 0.41% of all positive urine samples for outpatients and 3.02 ± 0.40% for inpatients. E. cloacae was the most prevalent species. Results: The ratio of resistant strains to most of the indicator drugs was higher in the inpatient group and lower in the second half of the study period. ESBL-producing isolates were detected in 0–9.75% from outpatient and 0–29.09% from inpatient samples. Conclusions: Resistance developments of CES bacteria, coupled with their intrinsic non-susceptibility to several antibiotics, severely limits the number of therapeutic alternatives, especially for outpatients. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Effects of Quercetin-Loaded Nanoparticles on MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cells
Medicina 2019, 55(4), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55040114 - 22 Apr 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
Background and objectives: Previous studies have shown anti-tumor activity of quercetin (QT). However, the low bioavailability of QT has restricted its use. This study aimed to assess the toxic effect of QT encapsulated in solid lipid nanoparticles (QT-SLNs) on the growth of [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Previous studies have shown anti-tumor activity of quercetin (QT). However, the low bioavailability of QT has restricted its use. This study aimed to assess the toxic effect of QT encapsulated in solid lipid nanoparticles (QT-SLNs) on the growth of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Materials and Methods: MCF-7 and MCF-10A (non-tumorigenic cell line) cell lines treated with 25 µmol/mL of QT or QT-SLNs for 48 h. Cell viability, colony formation, oxidative stress, and apoptosis were evaluated to determine the toxic effects of the QT-SLNs. Results: The QT-SLNs with appropriate characteristics (particle size of 85.5 nm, a zeta potential of −22.5 and encapsulation efficiency of 97.6%) were prepared. The QT-SLNs showed sustained QT release until 48 h. Cytotoxicity assessments indicated that QT-SLNs inhibited MCF-7 cells growth with a low IC50 (50% inhibitory concentration) value, compared to the free QT. QT-SLNs induced a significant decrease in the viability and proliferation of MCF-7 cells, compared to the free QT. QT-SLN significantly increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) level and MDA contents and significantly decreased antioxidant enzyme activity in the MCF-7 cells. Following QT-SLNs treatment, the expression of the Bcl-2 protein significantly decreased, whereas Bx expression showed a significant increase in comparison with free QT-treated cells. Furthermore, The QT-SLNs significantly increased apoptotic and necrotic indexes in MCF-7 cells. Viability, proliferation, oxidative stress and apoptosis of MCF-10A cells were not affected by QT or QT-SLNs. Conclusions: According to the results of this study, SLN significantly enhanced the toxic effect of QT against human breast cancer cells. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Evaluating Antibiotic Prophylaxis in Dental Implants and Extraction Procedures
Medicina 2018, 54(6), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina54060095 - 01 Dec 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Background and objectives: The use of antibiotic prophylaxis in extraction and implant dentistry is still controversial, with varying opinions regarding their necessity. The overuse of antibiotics has led to widespread antimicrobial resistance and the emergence of multi drug resistant strains of bacteria. The [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The use of antibiotic prophylaxis in extraction and implant dentistry is still controversial, with varying opinions regarding their necessity. The overuse of antibiotics has led to widespread antimicrobial resistance and the emergence of multi drug resistant strains of bacteria. The main aim of this work was to determine whether there is a genuine need for antibiotic prophylaxis in two common dental procedures; dental implants and tooth extractions. Methods: Electronic searches were conducted across databases such as Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials, the UK National Health Service, Centre for reviews, Science Direct, PubMed and the British Dental Journal to identify clinical trials of either dental implants or tooth extractions, whereby the independent variable was systemic prophylactic antibiotics used as part of treatment in order to prevent postoperative complications such as implant failure or infection. Primary outcomes of interest were implant failure, and postoperative infections which include systemic bacteraemia and localised infections. The secondary outcome of interest was adverse events due to antibiotics. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool was used to assess the risk of bias, extract outcomes of interest and to identify studies for inclusion in the meta-analysis. Results: Seven randomised clinical trials (RCTs) were included in the final review comprising n = 1368 patients requiring either tooth extraction(s) or dental implant(s). No statistically significant evidence was found to support the routine use of prophylactic antibiotics in reducing the risk of implant failure (p = 0.09, RR 0.43; 95% CI 0.16–1.14) or post-operative complications (p = 0.47, RR: 0.74; 95% CI 0.34–1.65) under normal conditions. Approximately 33 patients undergoing dental implant surgery need to receive antibiotics in order to prevent one implant failure from occurring. Conclusions: There is little conclusive evidence to suggest the routine use of antibiotic prophylaxis for third molar extractive surgery in healthy young adults. There was no statistical evidence for adverse events experienced for antibiotics vs. placebo. Based on our analysis, even if financially feasible, clinicians must carefully consider the appropriate use of antibiotics in dental implants and extraction procedures due to the risk of allergic reactions and the development of microbial drug resistance. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Nutrition for Female Soccer Players—Recommendations
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010028 - 10 Jan 2020
Abstract
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. As its number of players is increasing, the number of female players is also on the rise. However, there are limited data about how the diets of female soccer players should be [...] Read more.
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. As its number of players is increasing, the number of female players is also on the rise. However, there are limited data about how the diets of female soccer players should be designed. Thus, the aim of our work is to deliver concise nutritional recommendations for women practicing this sport. Based on a literature review, we emphasize that individual adjustment of the energy value of the diet is the key factor for the physical performance of female soccer players. Appropriate macronutrient intake makes it possible to achieve the proper energy value of the diet (5–10 g/kg body mass/day carbohydrates; 1.2–1.7 g/kg body mass/day proteins; <30% fats from energy). The micronutrients should be consumed in amounts corresponding to individual values recommended in national standards. Soccer players should pay special attention to the proper consumption of such micronutrients, as well as vitamins such as iron, calcium, and vitamin D. The right amount of fluid intake, consistent with the player’s needs, is crucial in maximizing exercise performance. The diet of a female practicing soccer is usually characterized with low energy values, which increases the risk of various health consequences related to low energy availability. Monitoring the diets of female soccer players is, therefore, necessary. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Influence of Burnout on Patient Safety: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55090553 - 30 Aug 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Several factors can compromise patient safety, such as ineffective teamwork, failed organizational processes, and the physical and psychological overload of health professionals. Studies about associations between burn out and patient safety have shown different outcomes. Objective: To analyze the relationship [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Several factors can compromise patient safety, such as ineffective teamwork, failed organizational processes, and the physical and psychological overload of health professionals. Studies about associations between burn out and patient safety have shown different outcomes. Objective: To analyze the relationship between burnout and patient safety. Materials and Methods: A systematic review with a meta-analysis performed using PubMed and Web of Science databases during January 2018. Two searches were conducted with the following descriptors: (i) patient safety AND burnout professional safety AND organizational culture, and (ii) patient safety AND burnout professional safety AND safety management. Results: Twenty-one studies were analyzed, most of them demonstrating an association between the existence of burnout and the worsening of patient safety. High levels of burnout is more common among physicians and nurses, and it is associated with external factors such as: high workload, long journeys, and ineffective interpersonal relationships. Good patient safety practices are influenced by organized workflows that generate autonomy for health professionals. Through meta-analysis, we found a relationship between the development of burnout and patient safety actions with a probability of superiority of 66.4%. Conclusion: There is a relationship between high levels of burnout and worsening patient safety. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
From Pre-Diabetes to Diabetes: Diagnosis, Treatments and Translational Research
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55090546 - 29 Aug 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
Diabetes, a silent killer, is one of the most widely prevalent conditions of the present time. According to the 2017 International Diabetes Federation (IDF) statistics, the global prevalence of diabetes among the age group of 20–79 years is 8.8%. In addition, 1 in [...] Read more.
Diabetes, a silent killer, is one of the most widely prevalent conditions of the present time. According to the 2017 International Diabetes Federation (IDF) statistics, the global prevalence of diabetes among the age group of 20–79 years is 8.8%. In addition, 1 in every 2 persons is unaware of the condition. This unawareness and ignorance lead to further complications. Pre-diabetes is the preceding condition of diabetes, and in most of the cases, this ultimately leads to the development of diabetes. Diabetes can be classified into three types, namely type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and gestational diabetes. The diagnosis of both pre-diabetes and diabetes is based on glucose criteria; the common modalities used are fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). A glucometer is commonly used by diabetic patients to measure blood glucose levels with fast and rather accurate measurements. A few of the more advanced and minimally invasive modalities include the glucose-sensing patch, SwEatch, eyeglass biosensor, breath analysis, etc. Despite a considerable amount of data being collected and analyzed regarding diabetes, the actual molecular mechanism of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is still unknown. Both genetic and epigenetic factors are associated with T2DM. The complications of diabetes can predominantly be classified into two categories: microvascular and macrovascular. Retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy are grouped under microvascular complications, whereas stroke, cardiovascular disease, and peripheral artery disease (PAD) belong to macrovascular complications. Unfortunately, until now, no complete cure for diabetes has been found. However, the treatment of pre-diabetes has shown significant success in preventing the further progression of diabetes. To prevent pre-diabetes from developing into T2DM, lifestyle intervention has been found to be very promising. Various aspects of diabetes, including the aforementioned topics, have been reviewed in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Systematic Review
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55090525 - 23 Aug 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common psychiatric disorder resulting from a traumatic event, is manifested through hyperarousal, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and sleep disturbances. Despite several therapeutic approaches being available, both pharmacological and psychological, recently a growing interest has [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common psychiatric disorder resulting from a traumatic event, is manifested through hyperarousal, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and sleep disturbances. Despite several therapeutic approaches being available, both pharmacological and psychological, recently a growing interest has developed in using cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids stems from their consideration as more efficient and better tolerated alternatives for the treatment of this condition. The present paper aims to evaluate the clinical and therapeutic potentials of medical cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids in treating PTSD patients. Methods: A systematic electronic search was performed, including all papers published up to May 2019, using the following keywords (((cannabis[Title/Abstract]) OR (synthetic cannabinoids [Title/Abstract])) AND ((PTSD[Title/Abstract]) OR (Posttraumatic stress disorder[Title/Abstract]))) for the topics ‘Cannabis’, ‘Synthetic Cannabinoids’, ‘PTSD’, and MESH terms, on the PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science online databases. For data gathering purposes, PRISMA guidelines were followed. Results were organized into two groups, considering cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids as different therapeutic approaches for PTSD. Results: Present data show that cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids, both acting on the endocannabinoids system, may have a potential therapeutic use for improving PTSD symptoms, e.g., reducing anxiety, modulating memory-related processes, and improving sleep. Conclusions: Even though the current literature suggests that cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids may have a role in the treatment of PTSD, there is currently limited evidence regarding their safety and efficacy. Therefore, additional research is needed in order to better understand the effectiveness and therapeutic usage of these drug classes and monitor their safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Irisin as a Multifunctional Protein: Implications for Health and Certain Diseases
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55080485 - 15 Aug 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Sedentary life style is considered to be an independent risk factor for many disorders, including development of type 2 diabetes, obesity, immune dysfunction, asthma, and neurological or coronary heart disease. Irisin is released from myocytes during physical activity, and acts as a link [...] Read more.
Sedentary life style is considered to be an independent risk factor for many disorders, including development of type 2 diabetes, obesity, immune dysfunction, asthma, and neurological or coronary heart disease. Irisin is released from myocytes during physical activity, and acts as a link between muscles and other tissues and organs. This myokine is produced as a result of proteolytic cleavage of FNDC5 protein present in the membrane of myocytes. Secretion of irisin is regulated by N-linked oligosaccharides attached to the protein molecule. The two N-glycan molecules, which constitute a significant part of the irisin glycoprotein, regulate the browning of adipocytes, which is the most important function of irisin. A receptor specific for irisin has still not been discovered. In some tissues irisin probably acts via integrins, which are widely expressed transmembrane receptors. Many studies have confirmed the multifunctional role of irisin and the beneficial effects of this molecule on body homeostasis. Irisin reduces systemic inflammation, maintains the balance between resorption and bone formation, and modulates metabolic processes and the functioning of the nervous system. It suppresses the expression and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in obese individuals and attenuates inflammation in adipose tissue. The impact of irisin on cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion has also been demonstrated in numerous studies, which proves its role in carcinogenesis. Owing to these pleiotropic and beneficial properties, irisin may be a potential option to prevent and treat civilization-related diseases which are, nowadays, considered to be the major health problems in Western societies. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
A Systematic Review of the Genotoxicity and Antigenotoxicity of Biologically Synthesized Metallic Nanomaterials: Are Green Nanoparticles Safe Enough for Clinical Marketing?
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55080439 - 05 Aug 2019
Cited by 24
Abstract
Background and objectives: Although studies have elucidated the significant biomedical potential of biogenic metallic nanoparticles (MNPs), it is very important to explore the hazards associated with the use of biogenic MNPs. Evidence indicates that genetic toxicity causes mutation, carcinogenesis, and cell death. Materials [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Although studies have elucidated the significant biomedical potential of biogenic metallic nanoparticles (MNPs), it is very important to explore the hazards associated with the use of biogenic MNPs. Evidence indicates that genetic toxicity causes mutation, carcinogenesis, and cell death. Materials and Methods: Therefore, we systematically review original studies that investigated the genotoxic effect of biologically synthesized MNPs via in vitro and in vivo models. Articles were systematically collected by screening the literature published online in the following databases; Cochrane, Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, ProQuest, and EBSCO. Results: Most of the studies were carried out on the MCF-7 cancer cell line and phytosynthesis was the general approach to MNP preparation in all studies. Fungi were the second most predominant resource applied for MNP synthesis. A total of 80.57% of the studies synthesized biogenic MNPs with sizes below 50 nm. The genotoxicity of Ag, Au, ZnO, TiO2, Se, Cu, Pt, Zn, Ag-Au, CdS, Fe3O4, Tb2O3, and Si-Ag NPs was evaluated. AgNPs, prepared in 68.79% of studies, and AuNPs, prepared in 12.76%, were the two most predominant biogenic MNPs synthesized and evaluated in the included articles. Conclusions: Although several studies reported the antigenotoxic influence of biogenic MNPs, most of them reported biogenic MNP genotoxicity at specific concentrations and with a dose or time dependence. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to systematically evaluate the genotoxicity of biologically synthesized MNPs and provide a valuable summary of genotoxicity data. In conclusion, our study implied that the genotoxicity of biologically synthesized MNPs varies case-by-case and highly dependent on the synthesis parameters, biological source, applied assay, etc. The gathered data are required for the translation of these nanoproducts from research laboratories to the clinical market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Biosciences in the Field of Health-Care)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Pathogenesis and Management of Acute Kidney Injury in Patients with Nephrotic Syndrome Due to Primary Glomerulopathies
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070365 - 11 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Acute kidney injury in the context of nephrotic syndrome is a serious and alarming clinical problem. Largely, acute kidney injury is a relatively frequent complication among patients with comorbidities while it has been independently associated with an increased risk of adverse outcomes, including [...] Read more.
Acute kidney injury in the context of nephrotic syndrome is a serious and alarming clinical problem. Largely, acute kidney injury is a relatively frequent complication among patients with comorbidities while it has been independently associated with an increased risk of adverse outcomes, including death and chronic kidney disease. Nephrotic syndrome, without hematuria or with minimal hematuria, includes a list of certain glomerulopathies; minimal change disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and membranous nephropathy. In the light of primary nephrotic syndrome, pathophysiology of acute kidney injury is differentiated by the nature of the primary disease and the severity of the nephrotic state. This review aims to explore the clinical circumstances and pathogenetic mechanisms of acute kidney injury in patients with nephrotic syndrome due to primary glomerulopathies, focusing on newer perceptions regarding the pathogenesis and management of this complicated condition, for the prompt recognition and timely initiation of appropriate treatment in order to restore renal function to its baseline level. Prompt recognition of the precise cause of acute kidney injury is crucial for renal recovery. Clinical characteristics, laboratory and serological findings along with histopathological findings, if required, will reveal the implicated pathway leading to individualized approach and management. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Role of Key Micronutrients from Nutrigenetic and Nutrigenomic Perspectives in Cancer Prevention
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55060283 - 18 Jun 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Regarding cancer as a genetic multi-factorial disease, a number of aspects need to be investigated and analyzed in terms of cancer’s predisposition, development and prognosis. One of these multi-dimensional factors, which has gained increased attention in the oncological field due to its unelucidated [...] Read more.
Regarding cancer as a genetic multi-factorial disease, a number of aspects need to be investigated and analyzed in terms of cancer’s predisposition, development and prognosis. One of these multi-dimensional factors, which has gained increased attention in the oncological field due to its unelucidated role in risk assessment for cancer, is diet. Moreover, as studies advance, a clearer connection between diet and the molecular alteration of patients is becoming identifiable and quantifiable, thereby replacing the old general view associating specific phenotypical changes with the differential intake of nutrients. Respectively, there are two major fields concentrated on the interrelation between genome and diet: nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics. Nutrigenetics studies the effects of nutrition at the gene level, whereas nutrigenomics studies the effect of nutrients on genome and transcriptome patterns. By precisely evaluating the interaction between the genomic profile of patients and their nutrient intake, it is possible to envision a concept of personalized medicine encompassing nutrition and health care. The list of nutrients that could have an inhibitory effect on cancer development is quite extensive, with evidence in the scientific literature. The administration of these nutrients showed significant results in vitro and in vivo regarding cancer inhibition, although more studies regarding administration in effective doses in actual patients need to be done. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
SGLT2 Inhibitors: Nephroprotective Efficacy and Side Effects
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55060268 - 11 Jun 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
The burden of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) has increased worldwide in the last two decades. Besides the growth of diabetic population, the main contributors to this phenomenon are the absence of novel nephroprotective drugs and the limited efficacy of those currently available, that [...] Read more.
The burden of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) has increased worldwide in the last two decades. Besides the growth of diabetic population, the main contributors to this phenomenon are the absence of novel nephroprotective drugs and the limited efficacy of those currently available, that is, the inhibitors of renin-angiotensin system. Nephroprotection in DKD therefore remains a major unmet need. Three recent trials testing effectiveness of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2-i) have produced great expectations on this therapy by consistently evidencing positive effects on hyperglycemia control, and more importantly, on the cardiovascular outcome of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Notably, these trials also disclosed nephroprotective effects when renal outcomes (glomerular filtration rate and albuminuria) were analyzed as secondary endpoints. On the other hand, the use of SGLT2-i can be potentially associated with some adverse effects. However, the balance between positive and negative effects is in favor of the former. The recent results of Canagliflozin and Renal Endpoints in Diabetes with Established Nephropathy Clinical Evaluation Study and of other trials specifically testing these drugs in the population with chronic kidney disease, either diabetic or non-diabetic, do contribute to further improving our knowledge of these antihyperglycemic drugs. Here, we review the current state of the art of SGLT2-i by addressing all aspects of therapy, from the pathophysiological basis to clinical effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbohydrate and Insulin Metabolism in Chronic Kidney Disease)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
GLP-1 Receptor Agonists and Kidney Protection
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55060233 - 31 May 2019
Cited by 12
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is determined by specific pathological structural and functional alterations of the kidneys in patients with diabetes, and its clinical manifestations are albuminuria and decline of glomerular [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is determined by specific pathological structural and functional alterations of the kidneys in patients with diabetes, and its clinical manifestations are albuminuria and decline of glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Apart from renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors, no other drugs are currently available as therapy for diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists are a new class of anti-hyperglycemic drugs which have been demonstrated to prevent the onset of macroalbuminuria and reduce the decline of GFR in diabetic patients. These drugs may exert their beneficial actions on the kidneys through blood glucose- and blood pressure (BP)-lowering effects, reduction of insulin levels and weight loss. Clinical benefits of GLP-1R agonists were acknowledged due to data from large randomized phase III clinical trials conducted to assess their cardiovascular(CV) safety. These drugs improved renal biomarkers in placebo-controlled clinical studies, with effects supposed to be independent of the actions on glycemic control. In this review, we will focus on the actions of GLP-1R agonists on glucose metabolism and kidney physiology, and evaluate direct and indirect mechanisms through which these drugs may confer renal protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbohydrate and Insulin Metabolism in Chronic Kidney Disease)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Dietary and Pharmacological Treatment of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050166 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease in the developed world. Simple hepatic steatosis is mild, but the coexistence of steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis increases the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Proper dietary and pharmacological treatment is essential for [...] Read more.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease in the developed world. Simple hepatic steatosis is mild, but the coexistence of steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis increases the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Proper dietary and pharmacological treatment is essential for preventing NAFLD progression. The first-line treatment should include dietary intervention and increased physical activity. The diet should be based on the food pyramid, with a choice of products with low glycemic index, complex carbohydrates in the form of low-processed cereal products, vegetables, and protein-rich products. Usage of insulin-sensitizing substances, pro- and prebiotics, and vitamins should also be considered. Such a therapeutic process is intended to support both liver disease and obesity-related pathologies, including insulin resistance, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and blood hypertension. In the pharmacological treatment of NAFLD, apart from pioglitazone, there are new classes of antidiabetic drugs that are of value, such as glucagon-like peptide 1 analogs and sodium/glucose cotransporter 2 antagonists, while several other compounds that target different pathogenic pathways are currently being tested in clinical trials. Liver biopsies should only be considered when there is a lack of decline in liver enzymes after 6 months of the abovementioned treatment. Dietary intervention is recommended in all patients with NAFLD, while pharmacological treatment is recommended especially for those with NASH and showing significant fibrosis in a biopsy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
A Systematic Review of the Role of Prebiotics and Probiotics in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050129 - 10 May 2019
Cited by 20
Abstract
Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition typically characterized by deficits in social and communicative behaviors as well as repetitive patterns of behaviors. Despite its prevalence (affecting 0.1% to 1.8% of the global population), the pathogenesis of ASD remains [...] Read more.
Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition typically characterized by deficits in social and communicative behaviors as well as repetitive patterns of behaviors. Despite its prevalence (affecting 0.1% to 1.8% of the global population), the pathogenesis of ASD remains incompletely understood. Patients with ASD are reported to have more frequent gastrointestinal (GI) complaints. There is some anecdotal evidence that probiotics are able to alleviate GI symptoms as well as improve behavioral issues in children with ASD. However, systematic reviews of the effect of prebiotics/probiotics on ASD and its associated symptoms are lacking. Methods: Using the keywords (prebiotics OR probiotics OR microbiota OR gut) AND (autism OR social OR ASD), a systematic literature search was conducted on PubMed, EMBASE, Medline, Clinicaltrials.gov and Google Scholar databases. The inclusion criteria were original clinical trials, published in English between the period 1st January 1988 and 1st February 2019. Results: A total of eight clinical trials were systematically reviewed. Two clinical trials examined the use of prebiotic and/or diet exclusion while six involved the use of probiotic supplementation in children with ASD. Most of these were prospective, open-label studies. Prebiotics only improved certain GI symptoms; however, when combined with an exclusion diet (gluten and casein free) showed a significant reduction in anti-sociability scores. As for probiotics, there is limited evidence to support the role of probiotics in alleviating the GI or behavioral symptoms in children with ASD. The two available double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials found no significant difference in GI symptoms and behavior. Conclusion: Despite promising preclinical findings, prebiotics and probiotics have demonstrated an overall limited efficacy in the management of GI or behavioral symptoms in children with ASD. In addition, there was no standardized probiotics regimen, with multiple different strains and concentrations of probiotics, and variable duration of treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complementary and Integrative Medicine)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Radiation-Induced Heart Diseases: Protective Effects of Natural Products
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050126 - 09 May 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) account for the majority of deaths worldwide. Radiation-induced heart diseases (RIHD) is one of the side effects following exposure to ionizing radiation (IR). Exposure could be from various forms such as diagnostic imaging, radiotherapy for cancer treatment, as well as [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) account for the majority of deaths worldwide. Radiation-induced heart diseases (RIHD) is one of the side effects following exposure to ionizing radiation (IR). Exposure could be from various forms such as diagnostic imaging, radiotherapy for cancer treatment, as well as nuclear disasters and nuclear accidents. RIHD is mostly observed after radiotherapy for thoracic malignancies, especially left breast cancer. RIHD may affect the supply of blood to heart muscles, leading to an increase in the risk of heart attacks to irradiated persons. Due to its dose-limiting consequence, RIHD has a negative effect on the therapeutic efficacy of radiotherapy. Several methods have been proposed for protection against RIHD. In this paper, we review the use of natural products, which have shown promising results for protection against RIHD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heart Failure and Inflammation)
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Synergistic Effects of Plant Derivatives and Conventional Chemotherapeutic Agents: An Update on the Cancer Perspective
Medicina 2019, 55(4), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55040110 - 17 Apr 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
Synergy is a process in which some substances cooperate to reach a combined effect that is greater than the sum of their separate effects. It can be considered a natural “straight” strategy which has evolved by nature to obtain more efficacy at low [...] Read more.
Synergy is a process in which some substances cooperate to reach a combined effect that is greater than the sum of their separate effects. It can be considered a natural “straight” strategy which has evolved by nature to obtain more efficacy at low cost. In this regard, synergistic effects may be observed in the interaction between herbal products and conventional drugs or biochemical compounds. It is important to identify and exploit these interactions since any improvement brought by such kind of process can be advantageously used to treat human disorders. Even in a complex disease such as cancer, positive synergistic plant–drug interactions should be investigated to achieve the best outcomes, including providing a greater benefit to patients or avoiding adverse side effects. This review analyzes and summarizes the current knowledge on the synergistic effects of plant–drug interactions with a focus on anticancer strategies. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Impact of Different Types of Diet on Gut Microbiota Profiles and Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Medicina 2019, 55(4), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55040084 - 29 Mar 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
Diet is frequently considered as a food regimen focused on weight loss, while it is actually the sum of food consumed by the organism. Western diets, modern lifestyle, sedentary behaviors, smoking habits, and drug consumption have led to a significant reduction of gut [...] Read more.
Diet is frequently considered as a food regimen focused on weight loss, while it is actually the sum of food consumed by the organism. Western diets, modern lifestyle, sedentary behaviors, smoking habits, and drug consumption have led to a significant reduction of gut microbial diversity, which is linked to many non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The latter kill 40 million people each year, equivalent to more than 70% of all deaths globally. Among NCDs, tumors play a major role, being responsible for 29% of deaths from NCDs. A link between diet, microbiota, and cancer prevention and treatment has recently been unveiled, underlining the importance of a new food culture based on limiting dietary surplus and on preferring healthier foods. Here, we review the effects of some of the most popular “cancer-specific” diets on microbiota composition and their potential impact on cancer prevention and treatment. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition in the Pathogenesis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Medicina 2019, 55(4), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55040083 - 28 Mar 2019
Cited by 18
Abstract
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a serious disease of the lung, which leads to extensive parenchymal scarring and death from respiratory failure. The most accepted hypothesis for IPF pathogenesis relies on the inability of the alveolar epithelium to regenerate after injury. Alveolar epithelial [...] Read more.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a serious disease of the lung, which leads to extensive parenchymal scarring and death from respiratory failure. The most accepted hypothesis for IPF pathogenesis relies on the inability of the alveolar epithelium to regenerate after injury. Alveolar epithelial cells become apoptotic and rare, fibroblasts/myofibroblasts accumulate and extracellular matrix (ECM) is deposited in response to the aberrant activation of several pathways that are physiologically implicated in alveologenesis and repair but also favor the creation of excessive fibrosis via different mechanisms, including epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is a pathophysiological process in which epithelial cells lose part of their characteristics and markers, while gaining mesenchymal ones. A role for EMT in the pathogenesis of IPF has been widely hypothesized and indirectly demonstrated; however, precise definition of its mechanisms and relevance has been hindered by the lack of a reliable animal model and needs further studies. The overall available evidence conceptualizes EMT as an alternative cell and tissue normal regeneration, which could open the way to novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, as well as to more effective treatment options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Recently Discovered Interstitial Cell Population of Telocytes: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction Regarding Their Role in the Pathogenesis of Diverse Diseases Called “Telocytopathies”
Medicina 2019, 55(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55020056 - 18 Feb 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
In recent years, the interstitial cells telocytes, formerly known as interstitial Cajal-like cells, have been described in almost all organs of the human body. Although telocytes were previously thought to be localized predominantly in the organs of the digestive system, as of 2018 [...] Read more.
In recent years, the interstitial cells telocytes, formerly known as interstitial Cajal-like cells, have been described in almost all organs of the human body. Although telocytes were previously thought to be localized predominantly in the organs of the digestive system, as of 2018 they have also been described in the lymphoid tissue, skin, respiratory system, urinary system, meninges and the organs of the male and female genital tracts. Since the time of eminent German pathologist Rudolf Virchow, we have known that many pathological processes originate directly from cellular changes. Even though telocytes are not widely accepted by all scientists as an individual and morphologically and functionally distinct cell population, several articles regarding telocytes have already been published in such prestigious journals as Nature and Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. The telocyte diversity extends beyond their morphology and functions, as they have a potential role in the etiopathogenesis of different diseases. The most commonly described telocyte-associated diseases (which may be best termed “telocytopathies” in the future) are summarized in this critical review. It is difficult to imagine that a single cell population could be involved in the pathogenesis of such a wide spectrum of pathological conditions as extragastrointestinal stromal tumors (“telocytomas”), liver fibrosis, preeclampsia during pregnancy, tubal infertility, heart failure and psoriasis. In any case, future functional studies of telocytes in vivo will help to understand the mechanism by which telocytes contribute to tissue homeostasis in health and disease. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Oxidative Stress and Antioxidant Biomarkers in Clinical and Experimental Models of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Medicina 2019, 55(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55020026 - 24 Jan 2019
Cited by 19
Abstract
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a term that covers a range of hepatic disorders involving fat deposits in the liver. NAFLD begins with simple steatosis and progresses into non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) characterised by inflammation, fibrosis, apoptosis, oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial dysfunction [...] Read more.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a term that covers a range of hepatic disorders involving fat deposits in the liver. NAFLD begins with simple steatosis and progresses into non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) characterised by inflammation, fibrosis, apoptosis, oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial dysfunction and release of adipokines and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Oxidative stress and antioxidants are known to play a vital role in the pathogenesis and severity of NAFLD/NASH. A number of oxidative stress and antioxidant markers are employed in the assessment of the pathological state and progression of the disease. In this article, we review several biomarkers of oxidative stress and antioxidants that have been measured at clinical and experimental levels. Also included is a comprehensive description of oxidative stress, sources and contribution to the pathogenesis of NAFLD/NASH. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Paediatric Pain Medicine: Pain Differences, Recognition and Coping Acute Procedural Pain in Paediatric Emergency Room
Medicina 2018, 54(6), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina54060094 - 27 Nov 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Paediatric pain and its assessment and management are challenging for medical professionals, especially in an urgent care environment. Patients in a paediatric emergency room (PER) often undergo painful procedures which are an additional source of distress, anxiety, and pain. Paediatric procedural pain is [...] Read more.
Paediatric pain and its assessment and management are challenging for medical professionals, especially in an urgent care environment. Patients in a paediatric emergency room (PER) often undergo painful procedures which are an additional source of distress, anxiety, and pain. Paediatric procedural pain is often underestimated and neglected because of various myths, beliefs, and difficulties in its evaluation and treatment. However, it is very different from other origins of pain as it can be preventable. It is known that neonates and children can feel pain and that it has long-term effects that last through childhood into adulthood. There are a variety of pain assessment tools for children and they should be chosen according to the patient’s age, developmental stage, communication skills, and medical condition. Psychological factors such as PER environment, preprocedural preparation, and parental involvement should also be considered. There are proven methods to reduce a patient’s pain and anxiety during different procedures in PER. Distraction techniques such as music, videogames, virtual reality, or simple talk about movies, friends, or hobbies as well as cutaneous stimulation, vibration, cooling sprays, or devices are effective to alleviate procedural pain and anxiety. A choice of distraction technique should be individualized, selecting children who could benefit from nonpharmacological pain treatment methods or tools. Nonpharmacological pain management may reduce dosage of pain medication or exclude pharmacological pain management. Most nonpharmacological treatment methods are cheap, easily accessible, and safe to use on every child, so it should always be a first choice when planning a patient’s care. The aim of this review is to provide a summary of paediatric pain features, along with their physiology, assessment, management, and to highlight the importance and efficacy of nonpharmacological pain management in an urgent paediatric care setting. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Current Status of Direct Acting Antiviral Agents against Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Pakistan
Medicina 2018, 54(5), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina54050080 - 05 Nov 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
In Pakistan, the burden of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the second highest in the world with the development of chronic hepatitis. Interferon-based combination therapy with ribavirin was the only available treatment until a few years back, with severe side-effects and [...] Read more.
In Pakistan, the burden of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the second highest in the world with the development of chronic hepatitis. Interferon-based combination therapy with ribavirin was the only available treatment until a few years back, with severe side-effects and high failure rates against different genotypes of HCV. Interferon-free all-oral direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) approved by the FDA have revolutionized the HCV therapeutic landscape due to their efficiency in targeting different genotypes in different categories of patients, including treatment naïve, treatment failure and relapsing patients, as well as patients with compensated and decompensated cirrhosis. The availability and use of these DAAs is limited in the developing world. Sofosbuvir (SOF), a uridine nucleotide analogue and inhibitor of HCV encoded NS5B polymerase, is now a widely available and in-use DAA in Pakistan; whereas daclatasvir was recently added in the list. According to the documented results, there is hope that this disease can be effectively cured in Pakistan, although a few concerns still remain. The aim of this article is to review the effectiveness of DAAs and the current status of this treatment against HCV genotype 3 infection in Pakistan; various factors associated with SVR; its limitations as an effective treatment regime; and future implications. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Current Research on the Safety of Pyrethroids Used as Insecticides
Medicina 2018, 54(4), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina54040061 - 28 Aug 2018
Cited by 34
Abstract
Pyrethroids are synthetic derivatives of natural pyrethrins extracted from Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium. They are 2250 times more toxic to insects than to vertebrates due to insects’ smaller size, lower body temperature and more sensitive sodium channels. In particular, three pyrethroid compounds, namely deltamethrin, [...] Read more.
Pyrethroids are synthetic derivatives of natural pyrethrins extracted from Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium. They are 2250 times more toxic to insects than to vertebrates due to insects’ smaller size, lower body temperature and more sensitive sodium channels. In particular, three pyrethroid compounds, namely deltamethrin, permethrin, and alpha-cypermethrin, are commonly used as insecticides and are recommended for in-home insect control because they are considered to be relatively non-toxic to humans in all stages of life. However, recent data show that they are not completely harmless to human health as they may enter the body through skin contact, by inhalation and food or water, and absorption level depending on the type of food. Permethrin seems to have an adverse effect on fertility, the immune system, cardiovascular and hepatic metabolism as well as enzymatic activity. Deltamethrin induces inflammation, nephro- and hepatotoxicity and influences the activity of antioxidant enzymes in tissues. Alpha-cypermethrin may impair immunity and act to increase glucose and lipid levels in blood. The aim of the review is to provide comprehensive information on potential hazards associated to human exposure to deltamethrin, permethrin and alpha-cypermethrin. The results of presented studies prove that the insecticides must be used with great caution. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Chemotherapy in Pancreatic Cancer: A Systematic Review
Medicina 2018, 54(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina54030048 - 11 Jul 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
Background and Aim: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal cancers. Cytotoxic chemotherapy remains the mainstream treatment for unresectable pancreatic cancer. This systematic review evaluated and compared the overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) outcomes obtained from recent phase 2 and [...] Read more.
Background and Aim: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal cancers. Cytotoxic chemotherapy remains the mainstream treatment for unresectable pancreatic cancer. This systematic review evaluated and compared the overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) outcomes obtained from recent phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of pancreatic cancer chemotherapy. Materials and methods: Thirty-two studies were included and compared based on chemotherapy agents or combinations used. Additionally, outcomes of first-line versus second-line chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer were compared. Results: In studies that investigated the treatments in adjuvant settings, the highest OS reported was for S-1 in patients, who received prior surgical resection (46.5 months). In neoadjuvant settings, the combination of gemcitabine, docetaxel, and capecitabine prior to the surgical resection had promising outcomes (OS of 32.5 months). In non-adjuvant settings, the highest OS reported was for the combination of temsirolimus plus bevacizumab (34.0 months). Amongst studies that investigated second-line treatment, the highest OS reported was for the combination of gemcitabine plus cisplatin (35.5 months), then temsirolimus plus bevacizumab (34.0 months). Conclusions: There is a need to develop further strategies besides chemotherapy to improve the outcomes in pancreatic cancer treatment. Future studies should consider surgical interventions, combination chemotherapy, and individualized second-line treatment based on the prior chemotherapy. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
The Relationship between Vitamin D and Periodontal Pathology
Medicina 2018, 54(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina54030045 - 12 Jun 2018
Cited by 18
Abstract
Osteoporosis and periodontal diseases are common problems among the elderly population. Vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone that is either synthesized by human skin cells under the effect of UV radiation or consumed through diet. Deficiency in vitamin D leads to reduced bone [...] Read more.
Osteoporosis and periodontal diseases are common problems among the elderly population. Vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone that is either synthesized by human skin cells under the effect of UV radiation or consumed through diet. Deficiency in vitamin D leads to reduced bone mineral density, osteoporosis, the progression of periodontal diseases and causes resorption to occur in the jawbone. Sufficient intake of vitamin D can decrease the risk of gingivitis and chronic periodontitis, as it has been shown to have immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative effects and initiates cell apoptosis. In addition, vitamin D is also important for bone metabolism, alveolar bone resorption and preventing tooth loss. It increases antibacterial defense of gingival epithelial cells and decrease gingival inflammation, improves postoperative wound healing after periodontal surgery and is an important supplement used as prophylaxis in periodontology. This publication aims to update the recent advances, stress the clinical importance, and evaluate vitamin D in the prevention of periodontal diseases to reach a successful outcome of conservative and surgical treatment. An analysis of the literature shows that vitamin D plays a significant role in maintaining healthy periodontal and jaw bone tissues, alleviating inflammation processes, stimulating post-operative healing of periodontal tissues and the recovery of clinical parameters. However, further research is needed to clarify the required vitamin D concentration in plasma before starting periodontal treatment to achieve the best outcome. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Angiogenesis: Managing the Culprits behind Tumorigenesis and Metastasis
Medicina 2018, 54(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina54010008 - 25 Mar 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
Deregulated angiogenesis has been identified as a key contributor in a number of pathological conditions including cancer. It is a complex process, which involves highly regulated interaction of multiple signalling molecules. The pro-angiogenic signalling molecule, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its cognate [...] Read more.
Deregulated angiogenesis has been identified as a key contributor in a number of pathological conditions including cancer. It is a complex process, which involves highly regulated interaction of multiple signalling molecules. The pro-angiogenic signalling molecule, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its cognate receptor 2 (VEGFR-2), which is often highly expressed in majority of human cancers, plays a central role in tumour angiogenesis. Owing to the importance of tumour vasculature in carcinogenesis, tumour blood vessels have emerged as an excellent therapeutic target. The anti-angiogenic therapies have been shown to arrest growth of solid tumours through multiple mechanisms, halting the expansion of tumour vasculature and transient normalization of tumour vasculature which help in the improvement of blood flow resulting in more uniform delivery of cytotoxic agents to the core of tumour mass. This also helps in reduction of hypoxia and interstitial pressure leading to reduced chemotherapy resistance and more uniform delivery of cytotoxic agents at the targeted site. Thus, complimentary combination of different agents that target multiple molecules in the angiogenic cascade may optimize inhibition of angiogenesis and improve clinical benefit in the cancer patients. This review provides an update on the current trend in exploitation of angiogenesis pathways as a strategy in the treatment of cancer. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Alloxan-induced diabetes, a common model for evaluating the glycemic-control potential of therapeutic compounds and plants extracts in experimental studies
Medicina 2017, 53(6), 365-374; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medici.2018.02.001 (registering DOI) - 27 Feb 2018
Cited by 22
Abstract
Glycemic homeostasis refers to glucose balance or control within circulation in living organisms. It is normally and largely compromised in diabetes. The compromise when exacerbated, leads to several complications including retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy which are collectively known as diabetic complications and are [...] Read more.
Glycemic homeostasis refers to glucose balance or control within circulation in living organisms. It is normally and largely compromised in diabetes. The compromise when exacerbated, leads to several complications including retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy which are collectively known as diabetic complications and are the principal actors in co-morbidity and eventual mortality often associated with diabetes. The ability of therapeutic compounds including medicinal plants to restore glycemic balance or homeo- stasis in hyperglycemic condition is an index of their antidiabetic function and relevance. Alloxan and streptozotocin are the most popular diabetogenic agents used for assessing the antidiabetic or hypoglycemic capacity of test compounds. Notably, alloxan is far less expensive and more readily available than streptozotocin. On this ground, one will logically expect a preference for use of alloxan in experimental diabetes studies. Surprisingly, a sub meta-analysis of randomly selected studies conducted within the last one and half decade revealed otherwise. This observation necessitated the review of alloxan as a diabetogenic agent in animal studies. Full article
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