Topical Collection "Food Supplements and Functional Foods Assessment for Health and Nutrition"

Editors

Dr. Laura Domínguez Díaz
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Nutrition and Food Science Department, Pharmacy Faculty, Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Madrid, Spain.
Interests: health; diet; food science; food analysis; food chemistry;nutrition assessment; food legislation; functional foods; food supplements
Prof. Dr. Montaña Cámara
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.
Interests: food science and technology; vegetable food products; functional foods and health claims.
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Virginia Fernández-Ruiz
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

The objective of this Topical Collection is to publish different types of papers (original research works, up-to-date reviews, etc.) which fit into the wide area of assessment of food supplements and functional foods and its implications in nutrition and health—that is, the characterization of the nutritional composition and phytochemicals of these functional products and its legal issues in terms of labeling, nutrition, and health-related claims and food safety; the evaluation of the functional effects and potential health benefits of particular ingredients (nutrients and bioactive compounds) used in food fortification and the development of new functional products; the study of consumers’ perception, behavior, and attitudes towards functional products; the description of food policies (regulatory frameworks, laws, rules, official guidelines); and dietary interventions from the perspective of the prevention of nutrition-related diseases.

The prevention of diet-related non-communicable diseases and their complications are currently one of the most important public health challenges worldwide with which food industry has ever been faced. Societies of developed countries are engaged in a change in the concept of food as consumers are increasingly demanding foods with added value beyond the provision of nutrients and the satisfaction of appetite—that is, food products which contribute to the achievement of an optimal nutritional well-being, health status, and quality of life by reducing the risk of diseases and promoting the appropriate function of human organs and systems.

The application of international and national policy-based approaches focused on improving eating habits and helping to adopt a healthy diet is becoming more common around the world. In this context, food supplements and functional foods are increasingly considered in these new approaches as they contain functional ingredients with beneficial effects on human health.

Dr. Laura Domínguez Díaz
Prof. Dr. Montaña Cámara
Prof. Dr. Virginia Fernández-Ruiz
Collection Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection 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.

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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 2600 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

  • Human health
  • Diet
  • Healthy eating
  • Food intake
  • Diet-related noncommunicable diseases
  • Functional foods
  • Food supplements
  • Functional ingredients
  • Food safety
  • International food regulation
  • Human nutrition and health claims
  • Phytochemicals
  • Consumer protection
  • New dietary strategies

Published Papers (14 papers)

2022

Jump to: 2021

Review
Extracts Rich in Nutrients as Novel Food Ingredients to Be Used in Food Supplements: A Proposal Classification
Nutrients 2022, 14(15), 3194; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14153194 - 04 Aug 2022
Viewed by 332
Abstract
Consumers’ commitment to healthy lifestyles and a varied diet has experienced rapid growth in recent decades, causing an increase in the demand of better food quality and variety. The food industry has opted for innovation and the search for new sources of food, [...] Read more.
Consumers’ commitment to healthy lifestyles and a varied diet has experienced rapid growth in recent decades, causing an increase in the demand of better food quality and variety. The food industry has opted for innovation and the search for new sources of food, and these trends led to the need to develop a European regulatory framework. Novel foods are under Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 (formerly Regulation (EC) No 258/97), and this concept includes all food not used in an important measure for human consumption in the EU before 15 May 1997, and which is included in any of the food categories established. Currently, there are 26 extracts authorized as novel foods or ingredients, being one of the most numerous groups. These extracts are concentrated sources of nutrients, and 23 of them can be used in food supplements. Given their heterogeneous composition and the perceptive risk assessments performed, sometimes, the authorizations are limited to certain population groups. The present work is a comprehensive review of the extracts rich in nutrients authorized as novel ingredients to be used in food supplements within the EU. A classification is proposed according to their source of origin, resulting in four main groups: extracts of plant, animal, algae, and fungal origins. A description of each extract as well as the evaluation of the potential use restriction and health benefits are also addressed. Full article
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Article
Changes in Biomarkers of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) upon Access to Avocados in Hispanic/Latino Adults: Secondary Data Analysis of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial
Nutrients 2022, 14(13), 2744; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14132744 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 823
Abstract
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a public health concern and Hispanic/Latinos are disproportionately affected. There is evidence for favorable effects of dietary intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) on NAFLD, yet studies examining avocados as a source of MUFA on hepatic function [...] Read more.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a public health concern and Hispanic/Latinos are disproportionately affected. There is evidence for favorable effects of dietary intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) on NAFLD, yet studies examining avocados as a source of MUFA on hepatic function have not been assessed. We investigated the effects of low (3) vs. high (14) avocado allotment on biomarkers of NAFLD, oxidative stress, and NAFLD fibrosis score in a sample of Hispanic/Latino adults. Primary outcomes include hepatic function biomarkers [gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT), high-sensitivity c-reactive protein (hsCRP), and NAFLD fibrosis score]. Unpaired, two-sided t-tests were used to assess mean differences between intervention groups at 6 months and analysis of covariance models were used to adjust for diet quality and change in avocado intake from baseline to 6 months. Multivariable linear regression models evaluated the baseline and post-intervention association between avocado allotment group and outcomes, adjusting for covariates and stratifying by prediabetes status. No statistically significant differences were observed between low and high avocado allotment groups in liver enzymes, GGT, hsCRP or NAFLD fibrosis score. Findings persisted after stratifying by prediabetes status. Varied intake of avocados resulted in no effects on biomarkers of NAFLD in healthy adults, free of severe chronic disease. Full article
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Review
Clinical Evidence of the Benefits of Phytonutrients in Human Healthcare
Nutrients 2022, 14(9), 1712; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14091712 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 895
Abstract
Phytonutrients comprise many different chemicals, including carotenoids, indoles, glucosinolates, organosulfur compounds, phytosterols, polyphenols, and saponins. This review focuses on the human healthcare benefits of seven phytochemical families and highlights the significant potential contribution of phytonutrients in the prevention and management of pathologies and [...] Read more.
Phytonutrients comprise many different chemicals, including carotenoids, indoles, glucosinolates, organosulfur compounds, phytosterols, polyphenols, and saponins. This review focuses on the human healthcare benefits of seven phytochemical families and highlights the significant potential contribution of phytonutrients in the prevention and management of pathologies and symptoms in the field of family health. The structure and function of these phytochemical families and their dietary sources are presented, along with an overview of their potential activities across different health and therapeutic targets. This evaluation has enabled complementary effects of the different families of phytonutrients in the same area of health to be recognized. Full article
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Review
Low Tissue Creatine: A Therapeutic Target in Clinical Nutrition
Nutrients 2022, 14(6), 1230; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14061230 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1135
Abstract
Low tissue creatine characterizes many conditions, including neurodegenerative, cardiopulmonary, and metabolic diseases, with a magnitude of creatine shortfall often corresponds well to a disorder’s severity. A non-invasive monitoring of tissue metabolism with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) might be a feasible tool to evaluate [...] Read more.
Low tissue creatine characterizes many conditions, including neurodegenerative, cardiopulmonary, and metabolic diseases, with a magnitude of creatine shortfall often corresponds well to a disorder’s severity. A non-invasive monitoring of tissue metabolism with magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) might be a feasible tool to evaluate suboptimal levels of creatine for both predictive, diagnostic, and therapeutic purposes. This mini review paper summarizes disorders with deficient creatine levels and provides arguments for assessing and employing tissue creatine as a relevant target in clinical nutrition. Full article
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Article
Short-Term Ingestion of Medium-Chain Triglycerides Could Enhance Postprandial Consumption of Ingested Fat in Individuals with a Body Mass Index from 25 to Less than 30: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Crossover Study
Nutrients 2022, 14(5), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14051119 - 07 Mar 2022
Viewed by 605
Abstract
The elimination of obesity is essential to maintaining good health. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) inhibit fat accumulation. However, studies examining energy expenditure and fat oxidation with continuous ingestion of MCTs show little association with the elimination of obesity. In this study, we conducted a [...] Read more.
The elimination of obesity is essential to maintaining good health. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) inhibit fat accumulation. However, studies examining energy expenditure and fat oxidation with continuous ingestion of MCTs show little association with the elimination of obesity. In this study, we conducted a randomized, double-blind crossover clinical trial to investigate the effects of continuous ingestion of MCTs on postprandial energy expenditure and ingested long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) oxidation. A daily 2 g of MCTs were ingested for two weeks by sedentary participants with a body mass index (BMI) from 25 (kg/m2) to less than 30. Ingestion of a meal containing MCTs and isotopic carbon-13-labeled (13C) LCTs increased energy expenditure and consumption of diet-derived LCTs, as determined by postprandial 13C carbon dioxide excretion, compared to canola oil as the placebo control. These results indicate that continuous ingestion of MCTs could enhance postprandial degradation of diet-derived fat and energy expenditure in sedentary, overweight individuals. Full article
Article
Anti-Fatigue and Exercise Performance Improvement Effect of Glossogyne tenuifolia Extract in Mice
Nutrients 2022, 14(5), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14051011 - 27 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 898
Abstract
Glossogyne tenuifolia (GT) is a native perennial plant growing across the coastline areas in Taiwan. The current study aimed to examine the efficacy of GT extract in ameliorating physical fatigue during exercise and increasing exercise performance. Fifty male Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) [...] Read more.
Glossogyne tenuifolia (GT) is a native perennial plant growing across the coastline areas in Taiwan. The current study aimed to examine the efficacy of GT extract in ameliorating physical fatigue during exercise and increasing exercise performance. Fifty male Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice were randomly segregated into five groups (n = 10) to GT extract orally for 4 weeks, at different concentrations (50, 100, 250, and 500 mg/kg BW/day): LGT 1X, MGT 2X, HGT 5X, and HGT 10X groups. Forelimb grip strength, endurance swimming time, serum biochemical marker levels, blood lipid profile and histological analysis of various organs were performed to assess the anti-fatigue effect and exercise performance of GT extract. The forelimb-grips strength and endurance-swimming time of GT-administered mice were increased significantly in a dose-dependent manner when compared to the control. Serum glucose, creatine kinase, and lactate levels were increased significantly in the HGT 10X group. Liver marker serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) was increased in the HGT 5X and HGT 10X groups, whereas Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase (GPT) was not altered. Renal markers, creatinine and uric acid levels, were not altered. Muscle and hepatic glycogen levels, which are essential for energy sources during exercise, were also significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner in all GT extract groups. No visible histological aberrations were observed in the vital organs after GT extract administration. The supplementation with GT extract could have beneficial effects on exercise performance and anti-fatigue function without toxicity at a higher dose. Full article
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Article
Microbial and Chemical Profiles of Commercial Kombucha Products
Nutrients 2022, 14(3), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030670 - 05 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1336
Abstract
Kombucha is an increasingly popular functional beverage that has gained attention for its unique combination of phytochemicals, metabolites, and microbes. Previous chemical and microbial composition analyses of kombucha have mainly focused on understanding their changes during fermentation. Very limited information is available regarding [...] Read more.
Kombucha is an increasingly popular functional beverage that has gained attention for its unique combination of phytochemicals, metabolites, and microbes. Previous chemical and microbial composition analyses of kombucha have mainly focused on understanding their changes during fermentation. Very limited information is available regarding nutrient profiles of final kombucha products in the market. In this study, we compared the major chemicals (tea polyphenols, caffeine), antioxidant properties, microbial and metabolomic profiles of nine commercial kombucha products using shotgun metagenomics, internal transcribed spacer sequencing, untargeted metabolomics, and targeted chemical assays. All of the nine kombucha products showed similar acidity but great differences in chemicals, metabolites, microbes, and antioxidant activities. Most kombucha products are dominated by the probiotic Bacillus coagulans or bacteria capable of fermentation including Lactobacillus nagelii, Gluconacetobacter, Gluconobacter, and Komagataeibacter species. We found that all nine kombuchas also contained varying levels of enteric bacteria including Bacteroides thetaiotamicron, Escherischia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Bacteroides fragilis, Enterobacter cloacae complex, and Akkermansia muciniphila. The fungal composition of kombucha products was characterized by predominance of fermenting yeast including Brettanomyces species and Cyberlindnera jadinii. Kombucha varied widely in chemical content assessed by global untargeted metabolomics, with metabolomic variation being significantly associated with metagenomic profiles. Variation in tea bases, bacteria/yeast starter cultures, and duration of fermentation may all contribute to the observed large differences in the microbial and chemical profiles of final kombucha products. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2022

Article
Herbal Infusions as a Valuable Functional Food
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 4051; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13114051 - 12 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1192
Abstract
Herbal infusions are an underestimated and easy to intake a source of biologically active natural compounds (polyphenols), which, in the dissolved form, are more easily absorbed. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the potential of herbal infusions as a functional food to reduce [...] Read more.
Herbal infusions are an underestimated and easy to intake a source of biologically active natural compounds (polyphenols), which, in the dissolved form, are more easily absorbed. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the potential of herbal infusions as a functional food to reduce postprandial hyperglycemia (inhibition of α-amylase and α-glucosidase) and to reduce the effects of increased blood glucose level (antioxidant effect-DPPH, CUPRAC, and Fe2+ chelating assays, as well as anti-inflammatory activity-inhibition of collagenase). We showed that polyphenols are present in the examined aqueous herbal infusions (including chlorogenic and gallic acids). Subsequently, our research has shown that herbal infusions containing cinnamon bark, mulberry leaves, and blackberry fruits most strongly inhibit glucose release from complex carbohydrates, and that all herbal infusions can, to different degrees, reduce the effects of elevated blood sugar. In conclusion, infusions prepared from herbal blends could be recommended to prevent type II diabetes. Full article
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Article
Intake Estimation of Phytochemicals in a French Well-Balanced Diet
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3628; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103628 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1091
Abstract
Phytochemicals contribute to the health benefits of plant-rich diets, notably through their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. However, recommended daily amounts of the main dietary phytochemicals remain undetermined. We aimed to estimate the amounts of phytochemicals in a well-balanced diet. A modelled diet was [...] Read more.
Phytochemicals contribute to the health benefits of plant-rich diets, notably through their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. However, recommended daily amounts of the main dietary phytochemicals remain undetermined. We aimed to estimate the amounts of phytochemicals in a well-balanced diet. A modelled diet was created, containing dietary reference intakes for adults in France. Two one-week menus (summer and winter) were devised to reflect typical intakes of plant-based foods. Existing databases were used to estimate daily phytochemical content for seven phytochemical families: phenolic acids, flavonoids (except anthocyanins), anthocyanins, tannins, organosulfur compounds, carotenoids, and caffeine. The summer and winter menus provided 1607 and 1441 mg/day, respectively, of total polyphenols (phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and tannins), the difference being driven by reduced anthocyanin intake in winter. Phenolic acids, flavonoids (including anthocyanins), and tannins accounted for approximately 50%, 25%, and 25% of total polyphenols, respectively. Dietary carotenoid and organosulfur compound content was estimated to be approximately 17 and 70 mg/day, respectively, in both seasons. Finally, both menus provided approximately 110 mg/day of caffeine, exclusively from tea and coffee. Our work supports ongoing efforts to define phytochemical insufficiency states that may occur in individuals with unbalanced diets and related disease risk factors. Full article
Article
I Believe It Is Healthy—Impact of Extrinsic Product Attributes in Demonstrating Healthiness of Functional Food Products
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3518; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103518 - 07 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1501
Abstract
Due to the high proportion of impulse purchases and the short time devoted to purchase decisions, packaging and other extrinsic attributes are becoming increasingly important in demonstrating the health benefits of a functional food item to consumers as plausibly as possible. Our research [...] Read more.
Due to the high proportion of impulse purchases and the short time devoted to purchase decisions, packaging and other extrinsic attributes are becoming increasingly important in demonstrating the health benefits of a functional food item to consumers as plausibly as possible. Our research aims at identifying the role of extrinsic features (claims related to ingredients and health claims, organic or domestic origin, as well as the shape and color of packaging), gathered in the course of in-depth literature analysis, in the case of a functional smoothie. Our online consumer questionnaire was completed by 633 respondents, and the answers were assessed by choice based conjoint analysis. Our results show that each examined attribute plays a role in the assessment of health effects. The color blue has the biggest impact on making the consumer believe in the health benefits of the product. This is followed by the indication of organic origin, then the statement emphasizing the natural quality of the ingredients. The assessment of the specific extrinsic attributes is affected by consumers’ general health interest level, their involvement with food items, and their various demographic features. Full article
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Article
Is the Magnesium Content in Food Supplements Consistent with the Manufacturers’ Declarations?
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3416; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103416 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1114
Abstract
Food supplements (FS) are gaining more and more popularity because they are a quick way to compensate for deficiencies in the diet. Due to their affordable price and easy-to-take form, they are eaten by all age groups and by healthy and sick people. [...] Read more.
Food supplements (FS) are gaining more and more popularity because they are a quick way to compensate for deficiencies in the diet. Due to their affordable price and easy-to-take form, they are eaten by all age groups and by healthy and sick people. There are many categories of this type of preparations on the market, and FS with magnesium (Mg) are some of the most commonly used. Therefore, the aim of the study was to determine the Mg content in FS and to compare the estimated value with that declared by the manufacturer. The study included 116 FS containing Mg. In order to determine the Mg content, the atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) method was used. The tested FS were divided in terms of the declared content, pharmaceutical form, chemical form of Mg, composition complexity, and price. It was shown that in the case of 58.7% of the samples, the Mg content was different than the permissible tolerance limits set by the Polish chief sanitary inspectorate, which range from −20% to +45%. It has been estimated that as a result of the differences in the content, the patient may take up to 304% more Mg per day or 98% less than it is stated in the declaration. The above results indicate that the quality and safety of FS should be more closely monitored. Full article
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Article
Acetylcholine and Royal Jelly Fatty Acid Combinations as Potential Dry Eye Treatment Components in Mice
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2536; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082536 - 24 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1260
Abstract
Dry eye is a multifactorial disease characterized by ocular discomfort and visual impairment. Our previous studies have shown that royal jelly (RJ) has restored the capacity for tear secretion by modulating muscarinic calcium signaling. RJ contains acetylcholine, which is a major cholinergic neurotransmitter, [...] Read more.
Dry eye is a multifactorial disease characterized by ocular discomfort and visual impairment. Our previous studies have shown that royal jelly (RJ) has restored the capacity for tear secretion by modulating muscarinic calcium signaling. RJ contains acetylcholine, which is a major cholinergic neurotransmitter, and a unique set of fatty acids with C 8 to 12 chains, which are expected to be associated with health benefits. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the active components involved in tear secretion capacity, focusing on acetylcholine and fatty acids in RJ. Using the stress-induced dry-eye model mice, it was confirmed that acetylcholine with three fatty acids (10-hydroxydecanoic acid, 8-hydroxyoctanoic acid, and (R)-3,10-dihydroxydecanoic acid) was essential for tear secretion. In ex vivo Ca2+ imaging, these three fatty acids suppressed the decrease in intracellular modulation of Ca2+ in the lacrimal gland by acetylcholine when treated with acetylcholinesterase, indicating that the specific type of RJ fatty acids contributed to the stability of acetylcholine. To our knowledge, this study is the first to confirm that a specific compound combination is important for the pharmacological activities of RJ. Our results elucidate the active molecules and efficacy mechanisms of RJ. Full article
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Article
Physicochemical Properties and Effects of Fruit Pulps from the Amazon Biome on Physiological Parameters in Rats
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1484; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051484 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 932
Abstract
This study aimed to analyze the physicochemical characteristics and the effects of Amazonian pulp fruits consumption, such as araçá-boi (Eugenia stipitata), abiu grande (Pouteria caimito), araticum (Annona crassiflora), biri-biri (Averrhoa bilimbi L.), and yellow mangosteen ( [...] Read more.
This study aimed to analyze the physicochemical characteristics and the effects of Amazonian pulp fruits consumption, such as araçá-boi (Eugenia stipitata), abiu grande (Pouteria caimito), araticum (Annona crassiflora), biri-biri (Averrhoa bilimbi L.), and yellow mangosteen (Garcinia xanthochymus), on hematologic, metabolic, renal, and hepatic function parameters in Wistar rats (n = 10 rats/group). The pulp of abiu had the highest levels of soluble solids, sugars, and pH. Biri-biri pulp had the highest levels of ascorbic acid and total titratable acidity, and a low pH. The araticum pulp had higher (p ≤ 0.05) ash content, total phenolic compounds, and antioxidant activity than the pulp of other analyzed fruits. No significant increase in hematocrit, nor reduction of blood glucose, plasma cholesterol, and serum levels of glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (TGP), creatinine, and urea was observed in experimental groups relative to the control group of rats after the consumption of fruits pulp. The intake of abiu and araticum pulps promoted a significant reduction (p ≤ 0.05) in total leukocytes of the experimental groups as compared to the control group and only the intake of araticum significantly increased (p ≤ 0.05) triglyceride blood levels in rats (99.50 mg/dL). The regular consumption of biri-biri pulp for 30 days significantly (p ≤ 0.05) increased serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (TGO) levels in rats (116.83 U/L) compared to the control group (98.00 U/L). More researches are needed to generate knowledge about these promising Amazonian fruits, supporting the native fruit production, in addition to promoting health in the population and sustainability in the Amazon region. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Health Claims Related to Folic Acid in Food Supplements for Pregnant Women According to the European Regulation
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030937 - 14 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1459
Abstract
Pregnant women are a vulnerable group with increased nutritional requirements. The daily intake of folic acid, a crucial vitamin for embryonic development, must be reinforced through supplementation, as sometimes diets are not well equilibrated. As consumers increasingly rely on food supplements, it is [...] Read more.
Pregnant women are a vulnerable group with increased nutritional requirements. The daily intake of folic acid, a crucial vitamin for embryonic development, must be reinforced through supplementation, as sometimes diets are not well equilibrated. As consumers increasingly rely on food supplements, it is vital to properly inform them about the health benefits provided by supplements’ consumption to ensure their safe use. The objective of this work was to assess the compliance level of health claims related to folic acid in food supplements commercialized in Spain according to the European regulation. Authors performed (1) a review of health-related claims approved for folic acid in Europe, (2) a market research of food supplements commercialized in Spain with those claims, and (3) a selection of food supplements for chemical analysis in the lab to assess these claims. The results showed that nine health-related claims are currently approved for folic acid in Europe. The analytical results for folic acid content in the selected samples were consistent with the declared values and within the tolerance ranges established in the European Guidance document. All samples included accurate dosages and met the legal requirements (European Regulations 1924/2006, 432/2012, 1169/2011) for all approved claims for folic acid. Full article
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