Special Issue "Precision Nutrition: Better Strategies for Research and Practice Aimed at Prevention and Management of Complex, Common, Chronic Diseases"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. John Paul SanGiovanni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for the Study of Nutrient-Responsive Systems, University of Arizona Department of Nutritional Sciences and University of Arizona BIO5 Institute; Rockville, MD and Tucson AZ
Interests: human nutrition, retinal health and disease, integrative omics, physiological imaging, model human microphysiological systems
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Global health research and practice initiatives are now aimed at elucidating fundamental knowledge on variations in human nutrient sensing and signaling systems for the purposes of enhancing health, increasing health-spans, and reducing illness and disability in diverse populations.  Central to this effort are creative discoveries, innovative research strategies, and their applications in rational, targeted preventive and therapeutic interventions guided by the precision nutrition and wellness paradigm.

In this issue of Nutrients, we welcome state-of-the-science original research reports and systematic reviews advancing knowledge linking the integrated roles of genetics, epigenetics, age and gender to actions of food and nutrients in pathogenesis and pathophysiology of common, chronic complex disease.  
Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • National initiatives to support development of informative, feasible and sustainable advances in the field of precision nutrition;  
  • Features of sound research designs necessary for biologically plausible and unequivocal inference in the field of precision nutrition; 
  • Role of large-scale public-access resources in guiding sound inquiry in precision nutrition;
    • Role of ethnographic and epidemiologic analyses in advancing inquiry and inference precision nutrition;
    • Role of integrative omic analyses in advancing inquiry and inference precision nutrition;
    • Role of computational biochemistry and -biophysics in advancing inquiry and inference precision nutrition;
  • Normal aging and age-related pathophysiology in practice of precision nutrition.
  • Role of non-intrusive physiological imaging systems in accurate and precise exposure, process and outcome measurement in precision nutrition;
  • Measurement of nutrient sensing on ultra-structural scales;
  • Measurement of integrated systems driving nutrient-based signaling at cellular and ultra-structural
  • Role of model human systems in elucidating the influence of molecular variation on mechanisms driving nutrient sensing and signaling of physiological significance across the life-span;

Dr. John Paul SanGiovanni
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 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

  • Precision nutrition 
  • Integrative Omics 
  • Physiological Imaging 
  • Human Model Systems 
  • Health-Span 
  • Chronic disease

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Macular Pigment Reflectometry: Developing Clinical Protocols, Comparison with Heterochromatic Flicker Photometry and Individual Carotenoid Levels
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2553; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082553 - 26 Jul 2021
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Abstract
The study was designed to: (1) Analyze and create protocols of obtaining measurements using the Macular Pigment Reflectometry (MPR). (2) To assess the agreement of MPOD measurements obtained using the heterochromatic flicker photometry (MPS II) and MPR. (3) To obtain the lutein and [...] Read more.
The study was designed to: (1) Analyze and create protocols of obtaining measurements using the Macular Pigment Reflectometry (MPR). (2) To assess the agreement of MPOD measurements obtained using the heterochromatic flicker photometry (MPS II) and MPR. (3) To obtain the lutein and zeaxanthin optical density obtained using the MPR in the central one-degree of the macula. The measurements were performed using the MPR and heterochromatic flicker photometry. The MPR measurements were performed twice without pupillary dilation and twice following pupillary dilation. The MPR measurements were performed for a 40-s period and the spectrometer signal was parsed at different time points: 10–20, 10–30, 10–40, 20–30, 20–40, and 30–40 s. The MPR analyzes the high-resolution spectrometer signal and calculates MPOD, lutein optical density and zeaxanthin optical density automatically. The MPR-MPOD data was compared with MPPS II-MPOD results. The MPR-MPOD values are highly correlated and in good agreement with the MPS II-MPOD. Of the various parsing of the data, the data 10–30 interval was the best at obtaining the MPOD, lutein, and zeaxanthin values (8–12% coefficient of repeatability). The lutein to zeaxanthin ratio in the central one-degree of the macula was 1:2.40. Dilation was not needed to obtain the MPOD values but provided better repeatability of lutein and zeaxanthin optical density. MPR generates MPOD measurements that is in good agreement with MPS II. The device can produce lutein and zeaxanthin optical density which is not available from other clinical devices. Full article
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Article
The Role of Plant-Based Protein Functional Food in Preventing Acute Respiratory Disease: A Case Study
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 2116; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13062116 - 20 Jun 2021
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Abstract
The Kaliningrad region is known for its specific climate, which can negatively affect the adaptive potential of the body. This manifests in an increased incidence of respiratory diseases and skin conditions. To prevent high morbidity, a plant protein product was included in the [...] Read more.
The Kaliningrad region is known for its specific climate, which can negatively affect the adaptive potential of the body. This manifests in an increased incidence of respiratory diseases and skin conditions. To prevent high morbidity, a plant protein product was included in the diet of first-year university students. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of this food intervention in preventing the most common diseases among Kaliningrad students. Two groups of university students took part in the food trial. In the control group, catabolic processes prevailed in nutrient metabolism. Disadaptation manifested itself in the metabolism of proteins, vitamins, minerals, hematopoiesis and humoral immunity. Inflammation was indicated by α1- and α2-globulins, a weak immune response, and IgM and IgG. High oxidative stress and low antioxidative ability of blood serum were observed. The plant-based protein product (FP) helped preserve testosterone level and prevent an increase in catabolic reactions. Moreover, it had a positive effect on both red blood cell hematopoiesis (a smaller increase in the average volume of erythrocytes, the same average concentration and content of hemoglobin, an increased relative red cell distribution width (RDW) and white blood cell hematopoiesis (a beneficial effect for the immune system: lymphocytes, the relative content of neutrophils, monocytes, basophils and eosinophils). The stimulation of humoral immunity was evidenced by beta- and gamma-globulins, an active immune response, the level of IgM and IgG, antioxidant protection, reduction of peroxides and an increase in antioxidant activity of blood serum. The 34-week observation showed a 1.7-fold decrease in the incidence of respiratory illnesses and a 5.7-fold decrease in skin and subcutaneous tissue diseases. Acute respiratory infections were reduced 1.8-fold. There were no cases of community-acquired pneumonia in the treatment group, compared with 55.1‰ in the control group. The incidence of respiratory diseases was 3.3–10.6 times lower in the treatment group than in the control group in weeks 6–19. The findings testify to the prophylactic effect of functional food during social adaptation and acclimatization of students. Full article
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Article
Resting Energy Expenditure Is Elevated in Asthma
Nutrients 2021, 13(4), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041065 - 25 Mar 2021
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Abstract
Background: Asthma physiology affects respiratory function and inflammation, factors that may contribute to elevated resting energy expenditure (REE) and altered body composition. Objective: We hypothesized that asthma would present with elevated REE compared to weight-matched healthy controls. Methods: Adults with asthma (n [...] Read more.
Background: Asthma physiology affects respiratory function and inflammation, factors that may contribute to elevated resting energy expenditure (REE) and altered body composition. Objective: We hypothesized that asthma would present with elevated REE compared to weight-matched healthy controls. Methods: Adults with asthma (n = 41) and healthy controls (n = 20) underwent indirect calorimetry to measure REE, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) to measure body composition, and 3-day diet records. Clinical assessments included spirometry, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO), and a complete blood count. Results: Asthmatics had greater REE than controls amounting to an increase of ~100 kcals/day, even though body mass index (BMI) and body composition were similar between groups. Inclusion of asthma status and FENO in validated REE prediction equations led to improved estimates. Further, asthmatics had higher white blood cell (control vs. asthma (mean ± SD): 4.7 ± 1.1 vs. 5.9 ± 1.6, p < 0.01) and neutrophil (2.8 ± 0.9 vs. 3.6 ± 1.4, p = 0.02) counts that correlated with REE (both p < 0.01). Interestingly, despite higher REE, asthmatics reported consuming fewer calories (25.1 ± 7.5 vs. 20.3 ± 6.0 kcals/kg/day, p < 0.01) and carbohydrates than controls. Conclusion: REE is elevated in adults with mild asthma, suggesting there is an association between REE and the pathophysiology of asthma. Full article
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Review

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Review
Efficacy of Bilberry and Grape Seed Extract Supplement Interventions to Improve Glucose and Cholesterol Metabolism and Blood Pressure in Different Populations—A Systematic Review of the Literature
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1692; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051692 - 17 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
Intervention with fruit extracts may lower glucose and lipid levels, as well as blood pressure. We reviewed the efficacy of bilberry and grape seed extracts to affect these outcomes across populations with varying health status, age and ethnicity, across intervention doses and durations, [...] Read more.
Intervention with fruit extracts may lower glucose and lipid levels, as well as blood pressure. We reviewed the efficacy of bilberry and grape seed extracts to affect these outcomes across populations with varying health status, age and ethnicity, across intervention doses and durations, in 24 intervention studies with bilberry and blackcurrant (n = 4) and grape seed extract (n = 20). Bilberry and blackcurrant extract lowered average levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), at least in Chinese subjects, especially in those who were older, who were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and who were participating in longer-term studies. We also found good evidence that across studies and in subjects with hypercholesterolemia, T2DM or metabolic syndrome, intervention with bilberry and blackcurrant extract, and to some extent grape seed extract, significantly lowered total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels after four weeks. Intervention with grape seed extract may reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure in subjects with hypertension or metabolic syndrome. Differential responsiveness in cholesterol and blood pressure outcomes between stratified populations could not be explained by age, dose or study duration. In conclusion, bilberry and blackcurrant extract appears effective in lowering HbA1c and total and LDL cholesterol, whereas grape seed extract may lower total and LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure, in specific population groups. Full article
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Other

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Perspective
Precision Nutrition for Alzheimer’s Prevention in ApoE4 Carriers
Nutrients 2021, 13(4), 1362; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041362 - 19 Apr 2021
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Abstract
The ApoE4 allele is the most well-studied genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that is increasing in prevalence and remains without a cure. Precision nutrition targeting metabolic pathways altered by ApoE4 provides a tool for the potential prevention of disease. However, [...] Read more.
The ApoE4 allele is the most well-studied genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that is increasing in prevalence and remains without a cure. Precision nutrition targeting metabolic pathways altered by ApoE4 provides a tool for the potential prevention of disease. However, no long-term human studies have been conducted to determine effective nutritional protocols for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease in ApoE4 carriers. This may be because relatively little is yet known about the precise mechanisms by which the genetic variant confers an increased risk of dementia. Fortunately, recent research is beginning to shine a spotlight on these mechanisms. These new data open up the opportunity for speculation as to how carriers might ameliorate risk through lifestyle and nutrition. Herein, we review recent discoveries about how ApoE4 differentially impacts microglia and inflammatory pathways, astrocytes and lipid metabolism, pericytes and blood–brain barrier integrity, and insulin resistance and glucose metabolism. We use these data as a basis to speculate a precision nutrition approach for ApoE4 carriers, including a low-glycemic index diet with a ketogenic option, specific Mediterranean-style food choices, and a panel of seven nutritional supplements. Where possible, we integrate basic scientific mechanisms with human observational studies to create a more complete and convincing rationale for this precision nutrition approach. Until recent research discoveries can be translated into long-term human studies, a mechanism-informed practical clinical approach may be useful for clinicians and patients with ApoE4 to adopt a lifestyle and nutrition plan geared towards Alzheimer’s risk reduction. Full article
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