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1.  Phytase supplementation improves blood zinc in rats fed with high phytate Iranian bread 
Background:
More than one third of energy intake in Iran is provided from bread. Therefore, improving bread mineral bioavailability through dephytinization can play an important role in decreasing the prevalence of many mineral deficiencies. In this study, effect of phytase supplementation on zinc, iron and calcium status in growing rats fed with a diet containing high phytate Iranian bread (Sangak) was assessed.
Methods:
Thirty weanling Wistar male rats were assigned to phytase (Aspergillus niger) or control group for 6 weeks. The diet was designed based on Iranian's food pattern and 34.2% of the energy was supplied from Sangak bread. Food intake, body and organ weight and body height were measured. Zinc was measured in blood, liver and femur. Iron was assessed in blood and liver and calcium was titrated from femur bone. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software. Paired sample t-test, Wilcoxon signed-rank test and repeated measurement ANOVA were used for proper analysis of data.
Results:
Although weekly weight gain was not different between groups, final weight was in favor of control group. Food intakes, liver and femur bone weight did not differ between the two groups. However, the blood zinc was higher in the phytase group (26.2 ± 7.4 vs. 19.2 ± 5.2, P = 0.03). Thus positive effects of phytase supplementation on zinc, independent of growth was found. Other variables did not show any differences between groups.
Conclusion:
Addition of phytase to diet containing high phytate Iranian bread can improve blood zinc status in growing rats.
PMCID: PMC3526130  PMID: 23267398
Bread; calcium; iron; phytase; phytic acid; zinc
2.  Fish oil and olive oil can modify insulin resistance and plasma desacyl-ghrelin in rats 
BACKGROUND:
Evidence exists for reciprocal effects of insulin and desacyl-ghrelin (DAG) concentration, but the association between different fatty acid saturation in high fat diet (HFD) and these hormones remain to be established. To evaluate the impact of different sources of dietary fat and the level of fatty acid saturation on plasma insulin and DAG levels and also the association of DAG with insulin action this study was carried out.
METHODS:
Male weaning Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups of HFDs, high fat butter (HF-B), high fat soy (HF-S), high fat olive (HF-O), high fat fish (HF-F), and a group of standard diet (SD). Blood samples were collected after 8 weeks and after they were fasted for 24 h. Body weight, food intake, plasma glucose, insulin, DAG and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were measured.
RESULTS:
Plasma insulin levels at fed and fasted status, were significantly higher in rats on HF-B compared to those on SD, HF-F and HF-O diets (P<0.05). Insulin concentration in rats on HF-S was also higher than those on SD, HF-F and HF-O diets (P<0.05), in the feeding status. Insulin resistance was significantly higher in rats on HF-B, compared to those on SD, HF-F and HF-O (P<0.05). Rats that were fed with HF-B diet had lower fasting plasma DAG levels than the SD, HF-F and HF-O groups (P<0.05); furthermore, the HF-F group had significantly higher DAG level than the HF-S groups (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS:
Fish and olive oils may hence contribute to lower insulin level and HOMA-IR by increasing DAG concentration and may have more health benefits than other fat sources in diets.
PMCID: PMC3263097  PMID: 22279452
Fish oil; olive oil; desacyl-ghrelin; insulin resistance
3.  Patterns of food and nutrient consumption in northern Iran, a high-risk area for esophageal cancer 
Nutrition and cancer  2009;61(4):475-483.
Objectives
To investigate patterns of food and nutrient consumption in Golestan province, a high-incidence area for esophageal cancer (EC) in northern Iran.
Methods
Twelve 24-hour dietary recalls were administered during a one year period to 131 healthy participants in a pilot cohort study. We compare here nutrient intake in Golestan with Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) and Lowest Threshold Intakes (LTIs). We also compare the intake of 27 food groups and nutrients among several population subgroups, using mean values from the twelve recalls.
Results
Rural women had a very low level of vitamin intake, which was even lower than LTIs (P < 0.01). Daily intake of vitamins A and C was lower than LTI in 67% and 73% of rural women, respectively. Among rural men, the vitamin intakes were not significantly different from LTIs. Among urban women, the vitamin intakes were significantly lower than RDAs, but were significantly higher than LTIs. Among urban men, the intakes were not significantly different from RDAs. Compared to urban dwellers, intake of most food groups and nutrients, including vitamins, was significantly lower among rural dwellers. In terms of vitamin intake, no significant difference was observed between Turkmen and non-Turkmen ethnics.
Conclusions
The severe deficiency in vitamin intake among women and rural dwellers and marked differences in nutrient intake between rural and urban dwellers may contribute to the observed epidemiological pattern of EC in Golestan, with high incidence rates among women and people with low socioeconomic status, and the highest incidence rate among rural women.
doi:10.1080/01635580902803735
PMCID: PMC2796961  PMID: 19838919
esophageal cancer; Iran; Caspian Littoral; Golestan: Turkmen; diet record

Results 1-3 (3)