Special Issue "Nutrition and Atherosclerosis: From Bench to Bedside"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Clinical Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021) | Viewed by 8304

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Rita Castro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802, USA
2. Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: homocysteine; one-carbon metabolism; endothelial dysfunction; atherosclerosis; inborn errors of methionine metabolism; methylation; nutrition
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Atherosclerosis is the main cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which despite significant advances in treatment, remains the leading cause of mortality among adults. Atherosclerosis is elicited by the impairment of endothelial function and results in a chronic inflammatory condition in which arteries harden through the build-up of plaques, profoundly disturbing vascular homeostasis. A healthy dietary pattern is a cornerstone of CVD prevention and management, although the mechanistic underpinnings of dietary-pattern-related CVD risk reduction are not well understood. Nevertheless, plant-based diets and phytochemicals have been associated with improvement in atheroma plaque at an inflammatory level. Moreover, dietary micronutrient intake drives metabolic pathways that have emerged as key regulators of endothelial cell functions, which are deregulated during atherogenesis. For example, nutritional deficiencies in certain B vitamins that are co-factors for enzymes in the methionine metabolism can impact cell methylations reactions and on the different layers of related epigenetic regulation, promoting a pro-atherogenic phenotype.

This Special Issue aims to collect a set of articles directly or indirectly related to the influence of nutrition in atherosclerosis and cardiometabolic health. We welcome different types of manuscript submissions, including original research articles and up-to-date reviews (including systematic reviews and meta-analyses).

Dr. Rita Castro
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Epigenetics
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Inflammation
  • Plant-based diets
  • Cardiometabolic markers
  • Vitamins and cardiometabolic health
  • Atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease
  • Phytochemicals
  • Homocysteine
  • Nutraceuticals

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Decreased Iron Ion Concentrations in the Peripheral Blood Correlate with Coronary Atherosclerosis
Nutrients 2022, 14(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14020319 - 13 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 624
Abstract
(1) Background: Obesity and diabetes continue to reach epidemic levels in the population with major health impacts that include a significantly increased risk of coronary atherosclerosis. The imbalance of trace elements in the body caused by nutritional factors can lead to the progression [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Obesity and diabetes continue to reach epidemic levels in the population with major health impacts that include a significantly increased risk of coronary atherosclerosis. The imbalance of trace elements in the body caused by nutritional factors can lead to the progression of coronary atherosclerosis. (2) Methods: We measured the concentrations of sodium (Na), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), Zinc (Zn), and iron (Fe) in peripheral blood samples from 4243 patients and performed baseline analysis and propensity matching of the patient datasets. The patients were grouped into acute myocardial infarction (AMI, 702 patients) and stable coronary heart disease (SCAD1, 253 patients) groups. Both of these groups were included in the AS that had a total of 1955 patients. The control group consisted of 2288 patients. The plasma concentrations of calcium, magnesium, and iron were measured using a colorimetric method. For comparison, 15 external quality assessment (EQA) samples were selected from the Clinical Laboratory Center of the Ministry of Health of China. SPSS software was used for statistical analysis. The average values and deviations of all of the indicators in each group were calculated, and a p-value threshold of <0.05 was used to indicate statistical significance. (3) Results: The iron ion concentrations of the acute myocardial infarction (AMI) group were significantly lower than the control group (p < 0.05, AUC = 0.724, AUC = 0.702), irrespective of tendency matching. Compared to the data from the stable coronary artery disease (SCAD) group, the concentration of iron ions in the acute myocardial infarction group was significantly lower (p < 0.05, AUC = 0.710, AUC = 0.682). Furthermore, the iron ion concentrations in the (AMI + SCAD) group were significantly lower (p < 0.05) than in the control group. (4) Conclusions: The data presented in this study strongly indicate that the concentration of iron ions in the peripheral blood is related to coronary atherosclerosis. Decreases in the levels of iron ions in the peripheral blood can be used as a predictive biomarker of coronary atherosclerosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Atherosclerosis: From Bench to Bedside)
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Article
A Hypomethylating Ketogenic Diet in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice: A Pilot Study on Vascular Effects and Specific Epigenetic Changes
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3576; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103576 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1332
Abstract
Hyperhomocysteneinemia (HHcy) is common in the general population and is a risk factor for atherosclerosis by mechanisms that are still elusive. A hypomethylated status of epigenetically relevant targets may contribute to the vascular toxicity associated with HHcy. Ketogenic diets (KD) are diets with [...] Read more.
Hyperhomocysteneinemia (HHcy) is common in the general population and is a risk factor for atherosclerosis by mechanisms that are still elusive. A hypomethylated status of epigenetically relevant targets may contribute to the vascular toxicity associated with HHcy. Ketogenic diets (KD) are diets with a severely restricted amount of carbohydrates that are being widely used, mainly for weight-loss purposes. However, studies associating nutritional ketosis and HHcy are lacking. This pilot study investigates the effects of mild HHcy induced by nutritional manipulation of the methionine metabolism in the absence of dietary carbohydrates on disease progression and specific epigenetic changes in the apolipoprotein-E deficient (apoE–/–) mouse model. ApoE–/– mice were either fed a KD, a diet with the same macronutrient composition but low in methyl donors (low methyl KD, LMKD), or control diet. After 4, 8 or 12 weeks plasma was collected for the quantification of: (1) nutritional ketosis, (i.e., the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate using a colorimetric assay); (2) homocysteine by HPLC; (3) the methylating potential S-adenosylmethionine to S-adenosylhomocysteine ratio (AdoHcy/AdoMet) by LC-MS/MS; and (4) the inflammatory cytokine monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP1) by ELISA. After 12 weeks, aortas were collected to assess: (1) the vascular AdoHcy/AdoMet ratio; (2) the volume of atherosclerotic lesions by high-field magnetic resonance imaging (14T-MRI); and (3) the content of specific epigenetic tags (H3K27me3 and H3K27ac) by immunofluorescence. The results confirmed the presence of nutritional ketosis in KD and LMKD mice but not in the control mice. As expected, mild HHcy was only detected in the LMKD-fed mice. Significantly decreased MCP1 plasma levels and plaque burden were observed in control mice versus the other two groups, together with an increased content of one of the investigated epigenetic tags (H3K27me3) but not of the other (H3K27ac). Moreover, we are unable to detect any significant differences at the p < 0.05 level for MCP1 plasma levels, vascular AdoMet:AdoHcy ratio levels, plaque burden, and specific epigenetic content between the latter two groups. Nevertheless, the systemic methylating index was significantly decreased in LMKD mice versus the other two groups, reinforcing the possibility that the levels of accumulated homocysteine were insufficient to affect vascular transmethylation reactions. Further studies addressing nutritional ketosis in the presence of mild HHcy should use a higher number of animals and are warranted to confirm these preliminary observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Atherosclerosis: From Bench to Bedside)
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Article
Usefulness of MCP-1 Chemokine in the Monitoring of Patients with Coronary Artery Disease Subjected to Intensive Dietary Intervention: A Pilot Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3047; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093047 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1159
Abstract
Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) plays an important role in the entire atherosclerotic process, from atherogenesis to destabilisation of the atherosclerotic plaque. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of the dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) diet in patients with [...] Read more.
Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) plays an important role in the entire atherosclerotic process, from atherogenesis to destabilisation of the atherosclerotic plaque. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of the dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) diet in patients with coronary artery disease on the MCP-1 plasma concentration and to evaluate the potential usefulness of this chemokine as a marker of change in the volume and composition of coronary plaque. Material and method. As part of the dietary intervention to stop coronary atherosclerosis in computed tomography (DISCO-CT) study, patients were randomised to an intervention group (n = 40) in which the DASH diet was introduced, and to a control group (n = 39) with no dietary intervention. In the DASH group, dietary counselling was provided at all follow-up visits within 12 months of the follow-up period. MCP-1 plasma concentration was determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Coronary plaque analysis was performed using a semi-automated plaque analysis software system (QAngioCT, Medis, The Netherlands). Results. In the DASH group, MCP-1 plasma concentration significantly decreased by 34.1 pg/mL (p = 0.01), while in the control group, the change in MPC-1 was not significant. Significant inverse correlations were revealed for the change in MCP-1 plasma concentration and change in the consumption of vitamin C and dietary fibre both in the DASH (r = −0.519, p = 0.0005; r = −0.353, p = 0.025, respectively) and in the control group (r = −0.488 p = 0.001; r = −0.502, p = 0.001, respectively). In patients with the highest decrease in percent atheroma volume (PAV), a significant positive correlation was observed between the change in MCP-1 plasma concentration and changes in PAV (r = 0.428, p = 0.033) and calcified plaque component (r = 0.468, p = 0.018), while the change in noncalcified plaque component correlated inversely with change in MCP1 (r = −0.459, p = 0.021). Conclusion. Dietary intervention based on the DASH diet model reduces the MCP-1plasma concentration, mostly due to an increased intake of plant-derived, fibre-rich foods and antioxidants. The change in MCP-1 plasma concentration seems to reflect changes in the atheroma volume and proportions between the calcified and non-calcified plaque elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Atherosclerosis: From Bench to Bedside)
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Article
Protective Effects of Collagen Tripeptides in Human Aortic Endothelial Cells by Restoring ROS-Induced Transcriptional Repression
Nutrients 2021, 13(7), 2226; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13072226 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1418
Abstract
Collagen tripeptide (CTP) is defined as a functional food material derived from collagenase digests of type I collagen and contains a high concentration of tripeptides with a Gly-X-Y sequence. CTP has several biological effects, including the acceleration of fracture healing, ameliorating osteoarthritis, and [...] Read more.
Collagen tripeptide (CTP) is defined as a functional food material derived from collagenase digests of type I collagen and contains a high concentration of tripeptides with a Gly-X-Y sequence. CTP has several biological effects, including the acceleration of fracture healing, ameliorating osteoarthritis, and improving dryness and photoaging of the skin. Recently, an antiatherosclerotic effect of CTP has been reported, although its molecular mechanism is yet to be determined. In this study, we examined the effects of CTP on primary cultured human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) under oxidative stress, because oxidative endothelial dysfunction is a trigger of atherosclerosis. DNA microarray and RT-qPCR analyses showed that CTP treatment recovered the downregulated expression of several genes, including the interleukin-3 receptor subunit alpha (IL3RA), which were suppressed by reactive oxygen species (ROS) treatment in HAECs. Furthermore, IL3RA knockdown significantly decreased the viability of HAECs compared with control cells. RT-qPCR analysis also showed that solute carrier 15 family peptide transporters, which are involved in CTP absorption into cells, were expressed in HAECs at levels more than comparable to those of a CTP-responsive human osteoblastic cell line. These results indicated that CTP exerts a protective effect for HAECs, at least in part, by regulating the recovery of ROS-induced transcriptional repression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Atherosclerosis: From Bench to Bedside)
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Review

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Review
Diet Quality Assessment and the Relationship between Diet Quality and Cardiovascular Disease Risk
Nutrients 2021, 13(12), 4305; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124305 - 28 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1518
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and globally. Dietary risk factors contribute to over half of all CVD deaths and CVD-related disability. The aim of this narrative review is to describe methods used to assess [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and globally. Dietary risk factors contribute to over half of all CVD deaths and CVD-related disability. The aim of this narrative review is to describe methods used to assess diet quality and the current state of evidence on the relationship between diet quality and risk of CVD. The findings of the review will be discussed in the context of current population intake patterns and dietary recommendations. Several methods are used to calculate diet quality: (1) a priori indices based on dietary recommendations; (2) a priori indices based on foods or dietary patterns associated with risk of chronic disease; (3) exploratory data-driven methods. Substantial evidence from prospective cohort studies shows that higher diet quality, regardless of the a priori index used, is associated with a 14–29% lower risk of CVD and 0.5–2.2 years greater CVD-free survival time. Limited evidence is available from randomized controlled trials, although evidence shows healthy dietary patterns improve risk factors for CVD and lower CVD risk. Current dietary guidance for general health and CVD prevention and management focuses on following a healthy dietary pattern throughout the lifespan. High diet quality is a unifying component of all dietary recommendations and should be the focus of national food policies and health promotion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Atherosclerosis: From Bench to Bedside)
Review
Selenium, a Micronutrient That Modulates Cardiovascular Health via Redox Enzymology
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3238; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093238 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1459
Abstract
Selenium (Se) is a trace nutrient that promotes human health through its incorporation into selenoproteins in the form of the redox-active amino acid selenocysteine (Sec). There are 25 selenoproteins in humans, and many of them play essential roles in the protection against oxidative [...] Read more.
Selenium (Se) is a trace nutrient that promotes human health through its incorporation into selenoproteins in the form of the redox-active amino acid selenocysteine (Sec). There are 25 selenoproteins in humans, and many of them play essential roles in the protection against oxidative stress. Selenoproteins, such as glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase, play an important role in the reduction of hydrogen and lipid hydroperoxides, and regulate the redox status of Cys in proteins. Emerging evidence suggests a role for endoplasmic reticulum selenoproteins, such as selenoproteins K, S, and T, in mediating redox homeostasis, protein modifications, and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Selenoprotein P, which functions as a carrier of Se to tissues, also participates in regulating cellular reactive oxygen species. Cellular reactive oxygen species are essential for regulating cell growth and proliferation, protein folding, and normal mitochondrial function, but their excess causes cell damage and mitochondrial dysfunction, and promotes inflammatory responses. Experimental evidence indicates a role for individual selenoproteins in cardiovascular diseases, primarily by modulating the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species. This review examines the roles that selenoproteins play in regulating vascular and cardiac function in health and disease, highlighting their antioxidant and redox actions in these processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Atherosclerosis: From Bench to Bedside)
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