Special Issue "The Relationship between Diet and Hormones"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Emad Al-Dujaili
SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh, Queen's Medical Research Institute, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, Scotland, UK
Interests: nutrition; stress; exercise; polyphenols and steroid hormones
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Diet is important when it comes to hormones because the energy and nutrients you obtain from food represent the raw materials to produce hormones and fuel your body. For example, all steroid hormones (>5 classes) are derived from cholesterol, which is mainly obtained from one’s diet. Hormonal changes influence all of us at every stage of life, and the effect is definitely variable between individuals. A huge number of clinical studies and hormonal research have now associated plant-based diet intake (especially rich in Polyphenols) with various beneficial health and biological activities. Functional foods and supplements have been found to reduce risk of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, neurodegenerative disorders, and some cancers. The pleiotropic effects of these polyphenols were evident as to their role in redox modulation and inflammatory processes, molecular signalling, stem cell proliferation and differentiation, metabolism regulation and hormonal imbalance, potential effect in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, in addition to their known protective effects in lowering cardiovascular disease risk factors and blood pressure through their antioxidant properties. The mechanisms for the biological actions of diet and its active natural components have been mainly attributed to their multiple actions affecting various cellular and hormonal pathways. For example, the mechanisms by which natural products could exert their antihypertensive effect have shown a multiplicity of actions (e.g., increased NO production, inhibition of renin release and ACE activity, angiotensin receptor and calcium channel blockade, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, and opioid agonistic effect). In addition, we have shown that polyphenols-rich pomegranate, dark chocolate, and green coffee can inhibit 11B-HSD1 activity, thereby improving mood and reducing stress by causing a reduction in blood pressure and the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

A well-balanced diet has an enormous impact on many hormonal systems and aspects of our health, and a consensus about how and what to eat remains elusive. There are several factors related to diet that may cause hormonal imbalance and thus disease—for example, food allergy, overweight and obesity, inflammation caused by poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, sleeping patterns, digestive issues, and others. Researchers are now suggesting that circulating substances derived from the diet may exert direct and indirect actions to activate receptors and signalling pathways as well as providing fuel and micronutrients. Therefore, food may be considered as a cocktail of “hormones”. For example, high-fat diets cause weight gain by activating specific fatty acid receptors in the brain, and there is evidence that some dietary fatty acids also modify the actions of classical hormones such as ghrelin. Ghrelin can increase food intake and weight gain by binding to its receptor, growth hormone secretagogue receptor. However, for ghrelin to signal effectively, a fatty acid must first be attached to the peptide as a side chain.

Topics that are relevant to this Special Issue include all research topics related to the relationship of the diet and hormonal synthesis, release, metabolism, and action. The following are examples for interested authors:

  1. Cancer, diet, and hormones;
  2. Glucose metabolism, diabetes, hormones, and diet;
  3. Stress (acute and chronic), diet, and hormones;
  4. Hormonal changes as they relate to cognition, ageing, and diet;
  5. Cardiovascular disease, diet, and hormones;
  6. Diet and menopause in women;
  7. Gut hormones, diet, and brain;
  8. Adaptogens, e.g., liquorice and steroid hormones;
  9. Hormones and psychology; behaviour, biopsychology and health psychology in relation to Steroid hormones, love hormone (Oxytocin), and others;
  10. Vitamin D as a hormone: From vitamin D to hormone D: Fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system essential for good health.

Prof. Dr. Emad Al-Dujaili
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Diet
  • Hormones
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Appetite
  • Menopause
  • Behaviour
  • Well-being
  • Ageing
  • Alzheimer
  • Dementia
  • Vitamin D

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Ginseng Ingestion on Salivary Testosterone and DHEA Levels in Healthy Females: An Exploratory Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1582; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061582 - 28 May 2020
Abstract
Ginseng is a traditional herbal adaptogen that has been historically used in China and the Far East. Ginsenosides are the active component of ginseng known to exert several actions by targeting “multi-receptor systems”, both extracellular and intracellular. In humans, ginseng effects remain unclear. [...] Read more.
Ginseng is a traditional herbal adaptogen that has been historically used in China and the Far East. Ginsenosides are the active component of ginseng known to exert several actions by targeting “multi-receptor systems”, both extracellular and intracellular. In humans, ginseng effects remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate whether ginseng can influence salivary androgen levels (testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)) in females. The study followed a parallel partially controlled design. Healthy women (n = 24) were recruited and divided into two groups (A = 20–32 and B = 38–50 years). Volunteers were asked to maintain a food diary pre and post ginseng consumption and collected four salivary samples (7 a.m., 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5 p.m.) before and after ingesting 75 mg red Korean ginseng extract per day for seven days. Testosterone and DHEA were then assayed by ELISA methods. Group A’s mean daily salivary testosterone pre ginseng ingestion increased from 76.3 ± 16.6 to 98.4 ± 21.1 pg/mL post ginseng (p < 0.01) with significant difference at all time points, and mean daily salivary DHEA increased from 1.53 ± 0.63 to 1.98 ± 0.89 ng/mL post ginseng (p = 0.02). Group B’s mean daily salivary testosterone pre ginseng ingestion was 61.2 ± 16.9 and post ginseng 68.1 ± 11.5 pg/mL (p = 0.132), and daily salivary DHEA increased from 0.91 ± 0.32 to 1.62 ± 0.49 ng/mL post ginseng (p = 0.014) with significant difference at all time points. In conclusion, it appears that ginseng intake significantly increased salivary testosterone levels in the younger women group, but only slightly in the older group. However, DHEA levels in the older women showed a marked and significant increase. These results suggest a potential role for ginseng in modulating salivary androgen levels and that such effect may be more evident in older women where the levels of androgens (DHEA) start to decline. However, it has to be stressed that our results are preliminary and further properly controlled trials are justified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Diet and Hormones)
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Open AccessArticle
Estradiol Replacement Improves High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity by Suppressing the Action of Ghrelin in Ovariectomized Rats
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12040907 - 26 Mar 2020
Abstract
This study aims to investigate the effects of estradiol replacement on the orexigenic action of ghrelin in ovariectomized (OVX) obese rats fed with a high-fat diet (HFD). Four weeks after OVX at 9 weeks of age, Wistar rats were subcutaneously implanted with either [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the effects of estradiol replacement on the orexigenic action of ghrelin in ovariectomized (OVX) obese rats fed with a high-fat diet (HFD). Four weeks after OVX at 9 weeks of age, Wistar rats were subcutaneously implanted with either 17β-estradiol (E2) or placebo (Pla) pellets and started on HFD feeding. After 4 weeks, growth hormone-releasing peptide (GHRP)-6, a growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR) agonist injected intraperitoneally, induced changes in HFD intake, and c-Fos-positive neurons in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) were measured in both groups. The ghrelin protein and mRNA levels, as well as GHSR protein in stomach, were analyzed by Western blotting and real-time PCR. HFD increased energy intake and body weight in the Pla group, while it temporarily reduced these in the E2 group. GHRP-6 enhanced HFD intake and activated neurons in the ARC only in the Pla group. Furthermore, gastric ghrelin and GHSR protein levels were lower in the E2 group than in the Pla group, but plasma acyl ghrelin levels were similar in both groups. Our results suggest that E2 replacement improves obesity by inhibiting the orexigenic action of ghrelin via downregulation of ghrelin and its receptor in stomach in HFD-fed OVX rats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Diet and Hormones)
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Open AccessArticle
Fluoxetine Mimics the Anorectic Action of Estrogen and Its Regulation of Circadian Feeding in Ovariectomized Female Rats
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030849 - 22 Mar 2020
Abstract
Our previous study demonstrated that chronic estrogen replacement in ovariectomized rats reduces food intake and augments c-Fos expression in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), specifically during the light phase. Here, we hypothesized that serotonergic neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), which have anorectic [...] Read more.
Our previous study demonstrated that chronic estrogen replacement in ovariectomized rats reduces food intake and augments c-Fos expression in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), specifically during the light phase. Here, we hypothesized that serotonergic neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), which have anorectic action and play a role in regulating circadian rhythm, mediate the light phase-specific anorectic action of estrogen, and that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) mimic the hypophagic action of estrogen. Female Wistar rats were ovariectomized and treated with estradiol (E2) or cholesterol by subcutaneously implanting a silicon capsule containing E2 or cholesterol. Then, half of the cholesterol-treated rats were injected with the SSRI fluoxetine (5 mg/kg) (FLX group), while the remaining rats in the cholesterol-treated group (CON group) and all those in the E2 group were injected with saline subcutaneously twice daily at the onsets of the light and dark phases. Both E2 and FLX reduced food intake during the light phase but not the dark phase, and reduced body weight gain. In addition, both E2 and FLX augmented the c-Fos expression in the SCN, specifically during the light phase. These data indicate that FLX exerts estrogen-like antiobesity and hypophagic actions by modifying circadian feeding patterns, and suggest that estrogen regulates circadian feeding rhythm via serotonergic neurons in the CNS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Diet and Hormones)
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Open AccessArticle
Pituitary Glycoprotein Hormones in Human Milk before and after Pasteurization or Refrigeration
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030687 - 04 Mar 2020
Abstract
Our aims were to investigate the presence of pituitary glycoprotein hormones in preterm and donor milk, and to examine the effects of Holder pasteurization and refrigeration on the levels of these hormones. We measured follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone [...] Read more.
Our aims were to investigate the presence of pituitary glycoprotein hormones in preterm and donor milk, and to examine the effects of Holder pasteurization and refrigeration on the levels of these hormones. We measured follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in milk samples from mothers who delivered prematurely (n = 27) and in samples of mothers who delivered at term and donated milk to the Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa (n = 30). The gonadotropins and TSH were present in similar amounts within human milk produced for preterm and term infants. FSH increased 21% after refrigeration (p < 0.05), while LH declined by 39% (p < 0.05). Holder pasteurization decreased LH by 24% (p < 0.05) and increased TSH by 17% (p < 0.05). Holder pasteurization followed by refrigeration resulted in a 21% increase in FSH and a 41% decrease in LH (both p < 0.05), resulting in more than a 3-fold increase in donor milk FSH:LH ratios (p < 0.05 versus fresh donor milk). Despite structural similarities, the gonadotropins are differentially impacted by Holder pasteurization and refrigeration, and this results in marked alterations in the relative amount of FSH and LH that may be administered to preterm infants, potentially swinging hormonal balance towards ovarian hyperstimulation in females and hypogonadism in males. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Diet and Hormones)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Backstage of Eating Disorder—About the Biological Mechanisms behind the Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2604; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092604 - 27 Aug 2020
Abstract
Anorexia nervosa (AN) represents a disorder with the highest mortality rate among all psychiatric diseases, yet our understanding of its pathophysiological components continues to be fragmentary. This article reviews the current concepts regarding AN pathomechanisms that focus on the main biological aspects involving [...] Read more.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) represents a disorder with the highest mortality rate among all psychiatric diseases, yet our understanding of its pathophysiological components continues to be fragmentary. This article reviews the current concepts regarding AN pathomechanisms that focus on the main biological aspects involving central and peripheral neurohormonal pathways, endocrine function, as well as the microbiome–gut–brain axis. It emerged from the unique complexity of constantly accumulating new discoveries, which hamper the ability to look at the disease in a more comprehensive way. The emphasis is placed on the mechanisms underlying the main symptoms and potential new directions that require further investigation in clinical settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Diet and Hormones)
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