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Special Issue "Steroid Hormones and Human Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Emad Al-Dujaili

Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh, Queen's Medical Research Institute, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, Scotland, UK
E-Mail
Interests: nutrition; stress; exercise; polyphenols and steroid hormones

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Steroid hormones are small lipophilic compounds derived from cholesterol that play a number of vital and important physiological roles. They are usually found in the body, either in a conjugated form as sulfate or glucuronide derivatives, or bound to proteins. Steroid hormones are synthesized mainly by endocrine glands such as the gonads (testis and ovary), the adrenals (glucocorticoids, mineralocrticoids and androgen precursors) and placenta during gestation. The CNS is also able to make a number of biologically active steroids called "neurosteroids", which are responsible for key CNS pathways involved in the long-term control of sympathetic and neuro-endocrine function, cardiovascular homeostasis and several other physiological functions. The biological activity of a steroid molecule depends on its ability to interact with a specific binding site on the corresponding receptor. Steroid hormones help control metabolism, inflammation, immune functions, salt and water balance, development of sexual characteristics, and the ability to withstand illness and injury.

Different classes of steroid hormones regulate and coordinate biochemical, physiological and behavioural responses of various biological activities, e.g., Glucocorticoids with their known effects on carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism (obesity, metabolic syndrome, etc.) stress response and the immune system, Sex steroids and their effects on reproduction and human behaviour. Vit D as a steroid hormone was proved to be  essential for good health due to its multipotent physiological and biochemical actions throughout the body. The androgen precursor, Dehydroepiandrosterone is one of the most abundant steroid hormones in the human body that possesses multiple actions which need to be fully investigated. DHEA has been linked to improvement in cognitive function, immune system strengthening and providing an antagonistic action towards the stress hormone, cortisol. Bioactive androgens (11b-OH-testosterone, oxotestosterone and OH-androsterone) are discovered to have potential physiological importance in humans. In fact, Steroids can act as coregulators and coactivators in health and disease. Metabolism plays an important role in steroid hormone action and formation of active metabolites in target tissues is important for the regulation of their cellular and physiological actions (many disorders result from defects in target tissue metabolism). Several enzymes are involved in steroid biosynthesis and thus a number of endocrine disorders can be attributed to specific enzyme defects.

Nutrition can be used to treat several disorders, for example, stress by reducing cortisol levels, while the B vitamins can stimulate fatigued adrenal glands. "A nutritious diet filled with antioxidants from brightly coloured fruits and vegetables can also support immune health which may be well appreciated when stressed”. Several studies have investigated whether the type of macronutrient influences the postprandial response of cortisol. Research and clinical studies have now associated plant-based diet intake with various beneficial health and biological activities. Functional nutrients have become essential not only for energy production and body matter of classic metabolism, but also a conditioning environment that modulates the epigenome activity and influences stress adaptive responses, energy metabolism, immune homeostasis, and disease prevention. We have reported that polyphenols in pomegranate and green coffee can inhibit 11B-HSD1 activity, thereby improving mood and reducing stress by causing a slight reduction in blood pressure and the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Therefore, polyphenols-rich diet may exert its health beneficial effects through multiple mode of actions affecting various cellular pathways, and most likely, steroid hormones modulation represents an important factor.

 Topics:

  1. Nutritional regulation of steroid hormones metabolism/action
  2. Physiological importance of bioactive androgens
  3. Sex steroids and behaviour
  4. Role of vitamin D in human health
  5. Steroid hormones, cognitive function and healthy ageing
  6. Steroid hormones in dairy foods and impact on public health
Prof. Emad Al-Dujaili
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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 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

  • Steroid hormones
  • Stress
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Polyphenols

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Vitamin D Supplementation on Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Hormones, and Liver Markers in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Nutrients 2019, 11(1), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11010188
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
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Abstract
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic-fatty-liver disease (NAFLD). Vitamin D supplementation may exert positive effects on liver biochemistry in patients with NAFLD; however, its effects on PCOS are unknown. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study explored the effect
[...] Read more.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) increases the risk of metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic-fatty-liver disease (NAFLD). Vitamin D supplementation may exert positive effects on liver biochemistry in patients with NAFLD; however, its effects on PCOS are unknown. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study explored the effect of vitamin D supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), weight, body mass index (BMI), lipid profile, glucose levels, insulin levels, the homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), hormones (free androgen index (FAI), testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and liver markers (alanine aminotransferase (ALT), hyaluronic acid (HA), N-terminal pro-peptide of type III procollagen (PIIINP), tissue inhibitor of metallo-proteinases-1 (TIMP-1), and the enhanced liver fibrosis (ELF) score). Forty women with PCOS were recruited and randomized to vitamin D (3200 IU) or placebo daily for 3 months. All outcomes were measured at baseline and 3 months follow-up (FU). Greater increases in vitamin D levels were shown in the supplementation group (vitamin D, baseline: 25.6 ± 11.4 nmol/L, FU: 90.4 ± 19.5 nmol/L vs. placebo, baseline: 30.9 ± 11.1 nmol/L, FU: 47.6 ± 20.5 nmol/L, p < 0.001). Between groups comparisons (% baseline change) revealed significant differences in ALT (p = 0.042) and a weak effect indicating a greater reduction in the HOMA-IR in the vitamin D group (p = 0.051). No further between group differences were seen in other cardiovascular risk factor, liver markers, or hormones. This study supports beneficial effects of vitamin D supplementation on liver markers and modest improvements in insulin sensitivity in vitamin D deficient women with PCOS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Steroid Hormones and Human Health)
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Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Adipocytes ESR1 Expression, Body Fat and Response to Testosterone Therapy in Hypogonadal Men Vary According to Estradiol Levels
Nutrients 2018, 10(9), 1226; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10091226
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
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Abstract
Estradiol (E2), mainly produced from Testosterone (T) in men, promotes visceral lipolysis. However, high visceral fat and hyperestrogenemia are features of obese hypogonadal (HG) men. Our study objectives are to evaluate relationships between circulating E2 and: (1) fat mass; (2) Estrogen Receptor α
[...] Read more.
Estradiol (E2), mainly produced from Testosterone (T) in men, promotes visceral lipolysis. However, high visceral fat and hyperestrogenemia are features of obese hypogonadal (HG) men. Our study objectives are to evaluate relationships between circulating E2 and: (1) fat mass; (2) Estrogen Receptor α (ESR1) expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue; (3) changes in body fat after 6 months (M) of T therapy in HG men. Hypotheses: (1) existence of a range of circulating E2 associated with better body composition; (2) serum E2 determines tissue E2 sensitivity which affects response to T therapy. Men 40–74 years old, T < 300 (ng/dL), given T-cypionate for 6 months. Subjects were divided into 4-E2 categories: (1) <10.0; (2) 10.0–15.9; (3) 16.0–19.9; (4) ≥20.0 (pg/mL). Body composition (DXA), fat biopsies (liposuction), gene expression (qPCR), serum E2 and T (LC/MS), at baseline and 6 months. We enrolled 105 men; 90 completed the study. Group 2 had lower total and truncal fat mass (p < 0.01) but higher % lean mass (p < 0.001). ESR1 mRNA was the highest in group 1 (p = 0.01). At 6 months, group 1 had higher reduction in total (p = 0.03) and truncal (p = 0.01) fat. In conclusion, serum E2 = 10–15.9 (pg/mL) is associated with the best body composition profile in HG men; however, those with E2 < 10 (pg/mL) had the best response (greater fat loss) to T replacement possibly because of greater E2 sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Steroid Hormones and Human Health)
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Graphical abstract

Review

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Open AccessReview Antitumor Effect of Various Phytochemicals on Diverse Types of Thyroid Cancers
Nutrients 2019, 11(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11010125
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract
Thyroid cancers developed from the tissues of the thyroid gland are classified into papillary (PTC), follicular (FTC), medullary (MTC), and anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC). Although thyroid cancers have been generally known as mild forms of cancer, undifferentiated MTC and ATC have a more
[...] Read more.
Thyroid cancers developed from the tissues of the thyroid gland are classified into papillary (PTC), follicular (FTC), medullary (MTC), and anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC). Although thyroid cancers have been generally known as mild forms of cancer, undifferentiated MTC and ATC have a more unfavorable prognosis than differentiated PTC and FTC because they are more aggressive and early metastatic. A variety of therapies such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy have been currently used to treat thyroid cancer, but they still have limitations including drug resistance or unfavorable side effects. Phytochemicals are plant-derived chemicals having various physiological activities that are expected to be effective in cancer treatment. In this review, anticancer efficacy of phytochemicals, such as resveratrol, genistein, curcumin, and other substances in each type of thyroid cancer was introduced with their chemopreventive mechanisms. English articles related with thyroid cancer and anti-thyroid cancer of phytochemicals were searched from PubMed and Google Scholar. This article mainly focused on in vitro or animal studies on phytochemicals with anti-thyroid cancer activity. These various phytochemicals have been shown to induce apoptosis in all types of thyroid cancer cells, inhibit cell proliferation and invasion, and to be helpful in enhancing the effect of radioiodine therapy that is a typical therapy to thyroid cancer. These results suggest that thyroid cancer can be more effectively treated by the combinations of phytochemicals and the existing therapies or substances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Steroid Hormones and Human Health)
Open AccessReview Flash Glucose Monitoring: A Review of the Literature with a Special Focus on Type 1 Diabetes
Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 992; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10080992
Received: 23 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 29 July 2018
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Abstract
In people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), obtaining good glycemic control is essential to reduce the risk of acute and chronic complications. Frequent glucose monitoring allows the adjustment of insulin therapy to improve metabolic control with near-normal blood glucose concentrations. The recent
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In people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), obtaining good glycemic control is essential to reduce the risk of acute and chronic complications. Frequent glucose monitoring allows the adjustment of insulin therapy to improve metabolic control with near-normal blood glucose concentrations. The recent development of innovative technological devices for the management of T1DM provides new opportunities for patients and health care professionals to improve glycemic control and quality of life. Currently, in addition to traditional self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) through a glucometer, there are new strategies to measure glucose levels, including the detection of interstitial glucose through Continuous Glucose Monitoring (iCGM) or Flash Glucose Monitoring (FGM). In this review, we analyze current evidence on the efficacy and safety of FGM, with a special focus on T1DM. FGM is an effective tool with great potential for the management of T1DM both in the pediatric and adult population that can help patients to improve metabolic control and quality of life. Although FGM might not be included in the development of an artificial pancreas and some models of iCGM are more accurate than FGM and preferable in some specific situations, FGM represents a cheaper and valid alternative for selected patients. In fact, FGM provides significantly more data than the intermittent results obtained by SMBG, which may not capture intervals of extreme variability or nocturnal events. With the help of a log related to insulin doses, meal intake, physical activity and stress factors, people can achieve the full benefits of FGM and work together with health care professionals to act upon the information provided by the sensor. The graphs and trends available with FGM better allow an understanding of how different factors (e.g., physical activity, diet) impact glycemic control, consequently motivating patients to take charge of their health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Steroid Hormones and Human Health)
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