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1.  Vitamin K Intake and Plasma Desphospho-Uncarboxylated Matrix Gla-Protein Levels in Kidney Transplant Recipients 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47991.
Vitamin K is essential for activation of γ-carboxyglutamate (Gla)-proteins including the vascular calcification inhibitor matrix Gla-protein (MGP). Insufficient vitamin K intake leads to production of uncarboxylated, mostly inactive proteins and contributes to an increased cardiovascular risk. In kidney transplant recipients, cardiovascular risk is high but vitamin K intake and status have not been defined. We investigated dietary vitamin K intake, vascular vitamin K status and its determinants in kidney transplant recipients. We estimated vitamin K intake in a cohort of kidney transplant recipients (n = 60) with stable renal function (creatinine clearance 61 [42–77] (median [interquartile range]) ml/min), who were 75 [35–188] months after transplantation, using three-day food records and food frequency questionnaires. Vascular vitamin K status was assessed by measuring plasma desphospho-uncarboxylated MGP (dp-ucMGP). Total vitamin K intake was below the recommended level in 50% of patients. Lower vitamin K intake was associated with less consumption of green vegetables (33 vs 40 g/d, p = 0.06) and increased dp-ucMGP levels (621 vs 852 pmol/L, p<0.05). Accordingly, dp-ucMGP levels were elevated (>500 pmol/L) in 80% of patients. Multivariate regression identified creatinine clearance, coumarin use, body mass index, high sensitivity-CRP and sodium excretion as independent determinants of dp-ucMGP levels. In a considerable part of the kidney transplant population, vitamin K intake is too low for maximal carboxylation of vascular MGP. The high dp-ucMGP levels may result in an increased risk for arterial calcification. Whether increasing vitamin K intake may have health benefits for kidney transplant recipients should be addressed by future studies.
PMCID: PMC3485347  PMID: 23118917
2.  N-acetylcysteine reduces oxidative stress in sickle cell patients 
Annals of Hematology  2012;91(7):1097-1105.
Oxidative stress is of importance in the pathophysiology of sickle cell disease (SCD). In this open label randomized pilot study the effects of oral N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on phosphatidylserine (PS) expression as marker of cellular oxidative damage (primary end point), and markers of hemolysis, coagulation and endothelial activation and NAC tolerability (secondary end points) were studied. Eleven consecutive patients (ten homozygous [HbSS] sickle cell patients, one HbSβ0-thalassemia patient) were randomly assigned to treatment with either 1,200 or 2,400 mg NAC daily during 6 weeks. The data indicate an increment in whole blood glutathione levels and a decrease in erythrocyte outer membrane phosphatidylserine exposure, plasma levels of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and cell-free hemoglobin after 6 weeks of NAC treatment in both dose groups. One patient did not tolerate the 2,400 mg dose and continued with the 1,200 mg dose. During the study period, none of the patients experienced painful crises or other significant SCD or NAC related complications. These data indicate that N-acetylcysteine treatment of sickle cell patients may reduce SCD related oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC3368118  PMID: 22318468
Cell-free hemoglobin; N-acetylcysteine; Oxidative stress; Phosphatidylserine; Sickle cell disease
3.  A maternal erythrocyte DHA content of approximately 6 g% is the DHA status at which intrauterine DHA biomagnifications turns into bioattenuation and postnatal infant DHA equilibrium is reached 
European Journal of Nutrition  2011;51(6):665-675.
Higher long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCP) in infant compared with maternal lipids at delivery is named biomagnification. The decline of infant and maternal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) status during lactation in Western countries suggests maternal depletion. We investigated whether biomagnification persists at lifelong high fish intakes and whether the latter prevents a postpartum decline of infant and/or maternal DHA status.
We studied 3 Tanzanian tribes with low (Maasai: 0/week), intermediate (Pare: 2–3/week), and high (Sengerema: 4–5/week) fish intakes. DHA and arachidonic acid (AA) were determined in maternal (m) and infant (i) erythrocytes (RBC) during pregnancy (1st trimester n = 14, 2nd = 103, 3rd = 88), and in mother–infant pairs at delivery (n = 63) and at 3 months postpartum (n = 104).
At delivery, infants of all tribes had similar iRBC-AA which was higher than, and unrelated to, mRBC-AA. Transplacental DHA biomagnification occurred up to 5.6 g% mRBC-DHA; higher mRBC-DHA was associated with “bioattenuation” (i.e., iRBC-DHA < mRBC-DHA). Compared to delivery, mRBC-AA after 3 months was higher, while iRBC-AA was lower. mRBC-DHA after 3 months was lower, while iRBC-DHA was lower (low fish intake), equal (intermediate fish intake), and higher (high fish intake) compared to delivery. We estimated that postpartum iRBC-DHA equilibrium is reached at 5.9 g%, which corresponds to a mRBC-DHA of 6.1 g% throughout pregnancy.
Uniform high iRBC-AA at delivery might indicate the importance of intrauterine infant AA status. Biomagnification reflects low maternal DHA status, and bioattenuation may prevent intrauterine competition of DHA with AA. A mRBC-DHA of about 6 g% during pregnancy predicts maternal–fetal equilibrium at delivery, postnatal iRBC-DHA equilibrium, but is unable to prevent a postnatal mRBC-DHA decline.
PMCID: PMC3419349  PMID: 21952690
Biomagnification; Bioattenuation; Pregnancy; Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; Docosahexaenoic acid; Arachidonic acid; Equilibrium
4.  Brief Report: Normal Intestinal Permeability at Elevated Platelet Serotonin Levels in a Subgroup of Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders in Curaçao (The Netherlands Antilles) 
This study investigated the relationship between platelet (PLT) serotonin (5-HT) and intestinal permeability in children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD). Differential sugar absorption and PLT 5-HT were determined in 23 children with PDD. PLT 5-HT (2.0–7.1 nmol/109 PLT) was elevated in 4/23 patients. None exhibited elevated intestinal permeability (lactulose/mannitol ratio: 0.008–0.035 mol/mol). PLT 5-HT did not correlate with intestinal permeability or GI tract complaints. PLT 5-HT correlated with 24 h urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA; p = .034). Also urinary 5-HIAA and urinary 5-HT were interrelated (p = .005). A link between hyperserotonemia and increased intestinal permeability remained unsupported. Increased PLT 5-HT in PDD is likely to derive from increased PLT exposure to 5-HT. Longitudinal studies, showing the (in)consistency of abnormal intestinal permeability and PLT 5-HT, may resolve present discrepancies in the literature.
PMCID: PMC2226079  PMID: 17661166
Child development disorders; Pervasive; Platelets; Serotonin; Gastrointestinal; Permeability

Results 1-4 (4)