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ISSN / EISSN : 20726643 / 20726643
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 9,280
Google Scholar h5-index: 78
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Alessandro Leone, Alberto Battezzati, Sara Di Lello, Stefano Ravasenghi, Babahmed Mohamed-Iahdih, Saleh Mohamed Lamin Saleh, Simona Bertoli
Published: 22 February 2020
Nutrients, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/nu12020568

Abstract:Diabetes is one of the main health problems among Saharawi refugees living in Algerian camps, especially for women. As is known, diet plays an important role in the management of diabetes. However, the dietary habits of Saharawi diabetic women are unknown. Therefore, we investigated the dietary habits and established their relationship with the nutritional status and glycemic profile of such women. We recruited 65 Saharawi type II diabetic women taking orally glucose-lowering drugs only. Dietary habits were investigated using qualitative 24 h recall carried out over three non-consecutive days. Anthropometric measurements were taken and blood parameters were measured. About 80% of the women were overweight and about three out of four women had uncompensated diabetes and were insulin resistant. The Saharawi diet was found to mainly include cereals, oils, sugars, vegetables (especially onions, tomatoes, and carrots), tea, and meat. Principal component analysis identified two major dietary patterns, the first one “healthy” and the second one “unhealthy”. Women in the higher tertile of adherence to the unhealthy dietary pattern had a higher homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA) index (b = 2.49; 95% CI: 0.41–4.57; p = 0.02) and circulating insulin (b = 4.52; 95% CI: 0.44–8.60; p = 0.03) than the women in the lowest tertile. Food policies should be oriented to improve the quality of diet of Saharawi diabetic women.
Maralinde Abbink, Lidewij Schipper, Eva Naninck, Cato De Vos, Romy Meier, Eline Van Der Beek, Paul Lucassen, Aniko Korosi
Published: 22 February 2020
Nutrients, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/nu12020570

Abstract:Early life stress (ES) increases the risk to develop metabolic and brain disorders in adulthood. Breastfeeding (exclusivity and duration) is associated with improved metabolic and neurocognitive health outcomes, and the physical properties of the dietary lipids may contribute to this. Here, we tested whether early life exposure to dietary lipids mimicking some physical characteristics of breastmilk (i.e., large, phospholipid-coated lipid droplets; Concept Nuturis® infant milk formula (N-IMF)), could protect against ES-induced metabolic and brain abnormalities under standard circumstances, and in response to prolonged Western-style diet (WSD) in adulthood. ES was induced by exposing mice to limited nesting material from postnatal day (P) 2 to P9. From P16 to P42, male offspring were fed a standard IMF (S-IMF) or N-IMF, followed by either standard rodent diet (SD) or WSD until P230. We then assessed body composition development, fat mass, metabolic hormones, hippocampus-dependent cognitive function, and neurogenesis (proliferation and survival). Prolonged WSD resulted in an obesogenic phenotype at P230, which was not modulated by previous ES or N-IMF exposure. Nevertheless, ES and N-IMF modulated the effect of WSD on neurogenesis at P230, without affecting cognitive function, highlighting programming effects of the early life environment on the hippocampal response to later life challenges at a structural level.
Joaquim Fernández-Solà
Published: 22 February 2020
Nutrients, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/nu12020572

Abstract:Alcoholic-dilated Cardiomyopathy (ACM) is the most prevalent form of ethanol-induced heart damage. Ethanol induces ACM in a dose-dependent manner, independently of nutrition, vitamin, or electrolyte disturbances. It has synergistic effects with other heart risk factors. ACM produces a progressive reduction in myocardial contractility and heart chamber dilatation, leading to heart failure episodes and arrhythmias. Pathologically, ethanol induces myocytolysis, apoptosis, and necrosis of myocytes, with repair mechanisms causing hypertrophy and interstitial fibrosis. Myocyte ethanol targets include changes in membrane composition, receptors, ion channels, intracellular [Ca2+] transients, and structural proteins, and disrupt sarcomere contractility. Cardiac remodeling tries to compensate for this damage, establishing a balance between aggression and defense mechanisms. The final process of ACM is the result of dosage and individual predisposition. The ACM prognosis depends on the degree of persistent ethanol intake. Abstinence is the preferred goal, although controlled drinking may still improve cardiac function. New strategies are addressed to decrease myocyte hypertrophy and interstitial fibrosis and try to improve myocyte regeneration, minimizing ethanol-related cardiac damage. Growth factors and cardiomyokines are relevant molecules that may modify this process. Cardiac transplantation is the final measure in end-stage ACM but is limited to those subjects able to achieve abstinence.
José López-Gil, Javier Brazo-Sayavera, Antonio García-Hermoso, Juan Yuste Lucas
Published: 22 February 2020
Nutrients, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/nu12020567

Abstract:The relationship between adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MD) and both physical fitness (PF) and physical activity (PA) level has been analysed in several studies. The aim of this research was to describe, compare and analyse the level of PF and PA in schoolchildren aged 6–13 in the Region of Murcia, according to adherence to the MD. A descriptive and cross-sectional study was performed. A total of 370 schoolchildren (44.9% girls) aged 6–13 (8.7 ± 1.8) from six primary schools in the Region of Murcia (Spain). Mediterranean Diet Quality Index for children and teenagers (KIDMED) was used to determinate the adherence to the MD. The ALPHA-FIT Test Battery was applied for assess body composition and PF. PA level was determined using Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C). Only 25.9% of the schoolchildren had optimal adherence to the MD. Regarding the scores of the different PF tests in MD groups, only statistically significant differences were found for cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) (p = 0.048) in boys. PA level showed statistically significant differences in both boys (p = 0.040) and girls (p = 0.016). A positive relationship was found between the KIDMED and PA level (p = 0.235). A higher probability of having a greater CRF (OR = 1.17; CI = 1.02–1.34) and PA level (OR = 7.84; CI = 2.84–21.60) was found in high MD group. These results suggest that an optimal adherence to the MD is associated with higher CRF and PA level in the selected schoolchildren.
Lindsey Taillie, Marissa Hall, Barry Popkin, Shu Ng, Nandita Murukutla
Published: 22 February 2020
Nutrients, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/nu12020569

Abstract:Policies that require front-of-package (FoP) nutrient warnings are becoming increasingly common across the globe as a strategy to discourage excess consumption of sugary drinks and ultra-processed food. However, a better understanding of the pathway through which FoP nutrient warnings work, as well as a review of how outcomes being measured in recent studies map onto this pathway, are needed in order to inform policy on the most effective FoP label design for reducing purchases of ultra-processed foods. This scoping review describes a conceptual model for how FoP nutrient warnings affect consumer behavior, examines which of these outcomes are currently being measured, and summarizes evidence from randomized controlled experiments. Twenty-two studies which experimentally tested nutrient warnings against a control label or other labeling systems were included for full-text review. Our conceptual model includes attention; comprehension, cognitive elaboration, and message acceptance; negative affect and risk perception; behavioral intentions, and behavioral response, along with other elements such as external factors and interpersonal communications. We found that many studies focused on outcomes such as attention, comprehension, and behavioral intentions, but considerable gaps in the evidence remain, particularly for intermediary steps on the pathway to behavioral change, such as negative affect and social interactions. FoP nutrient warnings were visually attended to by consumers, easy to understand, helped consumers identify products high in nutrients of concern, and discouraged them from purchasing these products, although other labeling systems were perceived as containing more information and performed better at helping consumers rank the healthfulness of products. More research is needed to understand whether and how nutrient warnings work in the real world to discourage consumer purchases of sugary drinks and ultra-processed food.
Alessandro De Sire, Roberto De Sire, Valentina Petito, Letizia Masi, Carlo Cisari, Antonio Gasbarrini, Franco Scaldaferri, Marco Invernizzi
Published: 22 February 2020
Nutrients, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/nu12020574

Abstract:Osteoarthritis (OA) is considered one of the most common joint disorders worldwide and its prevalence is constantly increasing due to the global longevity and changes in eating habits and lifestyle. In this context, the role of gut microbiota (GM) in the pathogenesis of OA is still unclear. Perturbation of GM biodiversity and function, defined as ‘gut dysbiosis’, might be involved in the development of inflammaging, one of the main risk factors of OA development. It is well known that physical exercise could play a key role in the prevention and treatment of several chronic diseases including OA, and it is recommended by several guidelines as a first line intervention. Several studies have shown that physical exercise could modulate GM composition, boosting intestinal mucosal immunity, increasing the Bacteroidetes–Firmicutes ratio, modifying the bile acid profile, and improving the production of short chain fatty acids. Moreover, it has been shown that low intensity exercise might reduce the risk of gastrointestinal diseases, confirming the hypothesis of a strict correlation between skeletal muscle and GM. However, up to date, there is still a lack of clinical trials focusing on this research field. Therefore, in this narrative, we aimed to summarize the state-of-the-art of the literature regarding the correlation between these conditions, supporting the hypothesis of a ‘gut–joint axis’ and highlighting the role of physical exercise combined with adequate diet and probiotic supplements in rebalancing microbial dysbiosis.
Jihye Choi, Sae Won, Young Kwon
Published: 22 February 2020
Nutrients, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/nu12020571

Abstract:It has been reported that maternal nutrition determines the offspring’s susceptibility to chronic diseases including cancer. Here, we investigated the effects of maternal diets differing in protein source on diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in adult rat offspring. Dams were fed a casein (CAS) diet or a low-isoflavone soy protein isolate (SPI) diet for two weeks before mating and throughout pregnancy and lactation. Offspring were weaned to and fed a chow diet throughout the study. From four weeks of age, hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) were induced by intraperitoneal injection of DEN once a week for 14 weeks. The SPI/DEN group exhibited higher mortality rate, tumor multiplicity, and HCC incidence compared with the CAS/DEN group. Accordingly, altered cholesterol metabolism and increases in liver damage and angiogenesis were observed in the SPI/DEN group. The SPI/DEN group had a significant induction of the nuclear factor-κB-mediated anti-apoptotic pathway, as measured by increased phosphorylation of IκB kinase β, which may lead to the survival of precancerous hepatocytes. In conclusion, maternal consumption of a low-isoflavone soy protein isolate diet accelerated chemically induced hepatocarcinogenesis in male rat offspring in the present study, suggesting that maternal dietary protein source may be involved in DEN-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in adult offspring.
Francesca Uberti, Vera Morsanuto, Sara Ruga, Rebecca Galla, Mahitab Farghali, Felice Notte, Chiarella Bozzo, Corrado Magnani, Antonio Nardone, Claudio Molinari
Published: 22 February 2020
Nutrients, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/nu12020573

Abstract:Background: Magnesium is involved in a wide variety of physiological processes including direct relaxation of smooth muscle. A magnesium imbalance can be considered the primary cause or consequence of many pathophysiological conditions. The smooth muscle tissue of the uterus, i.e., the myometrium, undergoes numerous physiological changes during life, fundamental for uterine activities, and it receives proven benefits from magnesium supplementation. However, magnesium supplements have poor absorption and bioavailability. Furthermore, no data are available on the direct interaction between intestinal absorption of magnesium and relaxation of the myometrium. Methods: Permeability in human intestinal cells (Caco-2 cells) and direct effects on myometrial cells (PHM1-41 cells) of two different forms of magnesium, i.e., sucrosomial and bisglycinate, were studied in order to verify the magnesium capacity of modulate contractility. Cell viability, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) production, magnesium concentration, contractility, and pathways involved were analyzed. Results: Data showed a better influence of buffered chelate bisglycinate on intestinal permeability and myometrial relaxation over time with a maximum effect at 3 h and greater availability compared to the sucrosomial form. Conclusions: Magnesium-buffered bisglycinate chelate showed better intestinal absorption and myometrial contraction, indicating a better chance of effectiveness in human applications.
Do-Houn Kim, Cesar Meza, Holly Clarke, Jeong-Su Kim, Robert Hickner
Published: 22 February 2020
Nutrients, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/nu12020575

Abstract:Vitamin D is known to elicit a vasoprotective effect, while vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for endothelial dysfunction (ED). ED is characterized by reduced bioavailability of a potent endothelium-dependent vasodilator, nitric oxide (NO), and is an early event in the development of atherosclerosis. In endothelial cells, vitamin D regulates NO synthesis by mediating the activity of the endothelial NO synthase (eNOS). Under pathogenic conditions, the oxidative stress caused by excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) facilitates NO degradation and suppresses NO synthesis, consequently reducing NO bioavailability. Vitamin D, however, counteracts the activity of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase which produces ROS, and improves antioxidant capacity by enhancing the activity of antioxidative enzymes such as superoxide dismutase. In addition to ROS, proinflammatory mediators such as TNF-α and IL-6 are risk factors for ED, restraining NO and eNOS bioactivity and upregulating the expression of various atherosclerotic factors through the NF-κB pathway. These proinflammatory activities are inhibited by vitamin D by suppressing NF-κB signaling and production of proinflammatory cytokines. In this review, we discuss the diverse activities of vitamin D in regulating NO bioavailability and endothelial function.
Domenica Maria Di Palo, Gabriella Garruti, Agostino Di Ciaula, Emilio Molina-Molina, Harshitha Shanmugam, Maria De Angelis, Piero Portincasa
Published: 21 February 2020
Nutrients, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/nu12020564

Abstract:Intestinal permeability (IP) is essential in maintaining gut-metabolic functions in health. An unequivocal evaluation of IP, as marker of intestinal barrier integrity, however, is missing in health and in several diseases. We aimed to assess IP in the whole gastrointestinal tract according to body mass index (BMI) and liver steatosis. In 120 patients (61F:59M; mean age 45 ± SEM 1.2 years, range: 18–75), IP was distinctively studied by urine recovery of orally administered sucrose (SO, stomach), lactulose/mannitol ratio (LA/MA, small intestine), and sucralose (SA, colon). By triple quadrupole mass-spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography, we measured urinary recovery of saccharide probes. Subjects were stratified according to BMI as normal weight, overweight, and obesity, and answered questionnaires regarding dietary habits and adherence to the Mediterranean Diet. Liver steatosis was assessed by ultrasonography. IP at every gastrointestinal tract was similar in both sexes and decreased with age. Stomach and small intestinal permeability did not differ according to BMI. Colonic permeability increased with BMI, waist, neck, and hip circumferences and was significantly higher in obese than in lean subjects. As determined by logistic regression, the odds ratio (OR) of BMI increment was significantly higher in subjects in the highest tertile of sucralose excretion, also after adjusting for age and consumption of junk food. The presence of liver steatosis was associated with increased colonic permeability. Patients with lower score of adherence to Mediterranean diet had a higher score of ‘junk food’. Intestinal permeability tended to increase in subjects with a lower adherence to Mediterranean diet. In conclusion, colonic (but not stomach and small intestinal) permeability seems to be linked to obesity and liver steatosis independently from dietary habits, age, and physical activity. The exact role of these last factors, however, requires specific studies focusing on intestinal permeability. Results should pave the way to both primary prevention measures and new therapeutic strategies in metabolic and liver diseases.