Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) are members of a highly conserved family of proteins with the task of protecting a cell’s delicate lipid balance. Yet they fail when faced with metabolic or inflammatory stress, turning the cytosol into an inhospitable environment with less than ideal outcomes. This review will focus on how FABPs direct lipid traffic and simultaneously control inflammatory and metabolic pathways under the pressures of the Metabolic Syndrome.
fatty acid binding protein (FABP); Metabolic Syndrome; inflammation; obesity; insulin resistance
Of the U.S. population, 65% is either overweight or obese, and weight loss is recommended to reduce co-morbid conditions. However, bone mobilization and loss may also occur with weight loss. The risk for bone loss depends on initial body weight, age, gender, physical activity, and conditions of dieting such as the extent of energy restriction and specific levels of nutrient intake. Older populations are more prone to bone loss with weight loss; in women, this is due at least in part to a reduced dietary Ca intake and/or efficiency of absorption. Potential hormonal mechanisms regulating bone loss during weight loss are discussed, including decreases in estrogen, leptin, glucagon-like peptide-2, growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor-1, or an increase in cortisol. In contrast, the rise in adiponectin and ghrelin with weight reduction should not be detrimental to bone. Combining energy restriction with exercise does not necessarily prevent bone loss, but may attenuate loss as was shown with additional Ca intake or osteoporosis medications. Future controlled weight loss trials should be designed to further address mechanisms influencing the density and quality of bone sites vulnerable to fracture, in the prevention of osteoporosis.
bone; calcium; diet; osteoporosis; weight loss
Weight loss is associated with bone loss and the risk may be greater in lean than heavier individuals, but the mechanisms involved remain unclear. We hypothesized that energy restriction (EnR) would decrease true fractional Ca absorption (TFCA) and be mediated by Ca-regulating hormones, but differently in obese and lean rats. Rats were fed a high fat (47% energy) or low fat (16% energy) diet for 4 mo. At 6 mo of age, the resulting lean [284 ± 28g (mean ± sd, n = 18)] and obese (319 ± 34g, n = 20) groups (P < 0.005) were divided into controls (CTL, ad libitum) and energy-restricted (40% restriction) groups. At baseline, bone resorption (urinary crosslinks) was higher and bone formation (serum osteocalcin) was lower in obese than in lean rats, whereas Ca balance components and Ca-regulating hormones did not differ. EnR for 10 wk reduced body weight by 25 ± 7% compared with a 6 ± 6% gain in CTL rats (P < 0.001). For both lean and obese rats, TFCA (5-d measurement, 45Ca radioisotope) decreased from 30 ± 9% to 24 ± 9% with EnR, compared with 25 ± 10% to 29 ± 11% in controls (P < 0.05). Weight loss was directly correlated with the decrease in TFCA (r = 0.34, P < 0.05). Uterine weights indicated a reduced estrogenic activity in energy-restricted rats (P < 0.0001). In lean, but not obese rats, serum estradiol (E2) correlated with weight loss (r = 0.52, P < 0.05), and tended to correlate with the decrease in TFCA (r = 0.48, P = 0.06). At the end of the study, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin-D was lower and urinary Ca was higher in lean than obese energy-restricted rats. Distinct endocrine profiles during weight loss in obese and lean rats suggest that the susceptibility of bone and Ca metabolism to EnR could differ depending on initial body weight.
absorption; calcium; estrogen; rats; weight loss
Bone mineral density (BMD) is highly correlated with body weight, and weight loss is associated with reduced BMD. Whether such losses of BMD increase skeletal fragility is unclear. We examined the effect of 9 wk of energy restriction (ER) on bone density, mineral and matrix protein composition and biomechanical properties in mature (20 wk old, n = 12) and aged (48 wk old, n = 16) female rats. Energy-restricted rats were fed 40% less energy than controls that consumed food ad libitum. Bone content of mineral (ash and calcium content) and matrix proteins (hydroxyproline, pyridinium crosslinks and proteoglycans), serum hormones, site-specific bone density and biomechanical properties (peak load, peak torque, shear stiffness and bending stiffness) were measured at the conclusion of the study. In both age groups, ER reduced body weight by 15 ± 10% (P < 0.001) and dramatically decreased femoral bone density by 32–35% (P < 0.01) compared with controls. Energy restriction resulted in a small reduction in tibia and humerus density, as well as biomechanical properties in the aged but not mature rats (P < 0.05). Reduced serum levels of insulin and estradiol due to ER in aged rats (P < 0.05) may play a role in altering bone quality. These data show that although weight loss due to ER is detrimental to some bone parameters in mature rats, only aged rats show consistent reductions in bone density and biomechanical properties.
bone; biomechanical; energy restriction; diet; rats
Weight reduction is a risk factor for bone loss. We previously showed that energy restriction is associated with a decrease in calcium (Ca) absorption and decreased estrogenic activity (EA). We hypothesized that this hypoestrogenic status may be the cause of the decrease in Ca absorption and that estrogen replacement during energy restriction would prevent it. Six-month-old rats were ovariectomized and implanted subcutaneously with 17β-estradiol (E2) pellets to maintain levels within the physiological range. After 3 wk, rats ate ad libitum [control (CTL) group, n = 12] or were 40% energy restricted (EnR group, n = 12) for 10 wk. At the end of this study, rats were divided into 2 groups according to their uterine weight: those with higher EA and those with lower EA. Whereas CTL rats gained ~46% weight from baseline, EnR rats maintained their weight throughout the study. Energy restriction was associated with lower Ca absorption (5-d measurement, 45Ca radioisotope) and Ca balance in lower EA but not higher EA rats. Similarly, Ca absorption was correlated with both serum E2 (r = 0.68, P < 0.05) and body weight (r = 0.72, P < 0.05) in rats with lower EA but not in those with higher EA. Finally, 24-h corticosterone excretion was higher in EnR than in CTL rats, a response that was blunted in the higher EA rats. Our findings suggest that decreases in estrogen and hyperadrenocorticism with energy restriction play an important role in the regulation of Ca absorption and balance.
absorption; calcium; estrogen; corticosterone; weight loss
The objective of this article was to evaluate how well American Indians with diabetes met dietary recommendations and to compare adherence to dietary recommendations with those of U.S. adults with diabetes in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Dietary intake in both studies was assessed using a 24-h recall questionnaire. Dietary intakes were evaluated against American Diabetes Association (ADA) dietary recommendations. The analysis sample consisted of 1,008 participants from SHS examined from 1997–1999 and 373 participants from NHANES examined from 1999–2000, all with diabetes. In both samples, intake of protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), and carbohydrates met the 1997 ADA dietary recommendations. However, intakes of saturated fatty acid (SFA) as well as sodium were higher and dietary fiber intake was lower than recommended. In the SHS and NHANES, only 4.6% and 8.5% of persons with diabetes met recommendations for both SFA and fiber (p = 0.02), respectively. However, only 8.3% of the NHANES sample met the 2006 recommendations for SFA and fiber, and none of the SHS sample met those recommendations. This cross-sectional study shows low adherence to ADA dietary recommendations for saturated fat, fiber, and sodium by American Indians with diabetes and by the broader U.S. population of adults with diabetes, and shows that in American Indians with diabetes programs to decrease SFA and increase fiber intakes are warranted.
Because retinoic acid (RA) exerts a stimulatory effect on macrophages and tubercle bacilli target alveolar macrophages, the therapeutic potential of RA was examined in rats with tuberculosis. In the main study, 15 rats were randomized to treatment with oil (control) or RA,100 µg/100 g body weight per dose, given 3 times weekly for 3 and 5 wk after infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain H37Rv. There was a significant difference in the severity of tuberculosis histopathology between control and RA-treated rats, and oral administration of RA decreased the number of colony-forming units (CFU) in both lung and spleen at 3 and 5 wk after H37Rv infection (P < 0.005). CD4-positive and CD8-positive T cells, natural killer cells, and CD163-positive macrophages increased (P < 0.05) in the infected lung tissues of RA-treated rats. Expression of IFNγ and inducible nitric oxide synthetase messenger RNA (mRNA) was higher in the infected lung tissues of RA-treated rats than in control rats. Alveolar macrophages from rats treated in vivo with RA and infected in vitro with M. tuberculosis showed significantly higher expression of TNFα and IL-1β mRNA than macrophages in control rats. To our knowledge, this is the first reported study to demonstrate that orally administered RA significantly inhibits the in vivo growth of M. tuberculosis and the development of tuberculosis.
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of nutrient ingestion, dietary protein intake, age, and sex on the fractional synthesis rate (FSR) of albumin. Thirty-six healthy free-living individuals (8 females and 10 males aged 21–43 y and 9 females and 9 males aged 63–79 y) completed three 18-d periods of controlled feeding with protein intakes of 125% (P125, 1.00 g protein · kg−1 · d−1), 94% (P94, 0.75 g protein · kg−1 · d−1), and 63% (P63, 0.50 g protein · kg−1 · d−1) of the recommended dietary allowance. On d 12 of each trial, postabsorptive (PA) serum albumin concentration was determined and PA and postprandial (PP) albumin FSR were estimated from the rate of L-[1-13C] leucine incorporation into plasma albumin during an 8-h infusion. There were no age-related differences in PA and PP albumin FSR. Albumin FSR was higher PP than PA (P < 0.0001), and the increase in albumin FSR from PA to PP was smaller as dietary protein intake decreased from P125 to P94 and P63 (P < 0.05). Independent of protein intake, males had a higher albumin FSR (P < 0.05) and a greater increase in albumin FSR with feeding (P < 0.05). There was no age or dietary protein effect on serum albumin concentrations, but males had higher albumin concentrations than females (P < 0.0001). These results show that older persons are responsive to nutrient ingestion and dietary protein-related changes in albumin FSR. The greater albumin synthesis rate in males might contribute to a higher albumin concentration set point.
Although it is understood that plasma retinol concentration is not proportional to the concentration of vitamin A stored in liver, plasma retinol still is often used as an indicator of vitamin A status. An aim of vitamin A supplementation strategies is to maintain plasma retinol concentration in a range considered adequate, generally >1.05 µmol/L in humans, with some adjustment for age. In the present study in rats, we addressed the following question: Does lung vitamin A increase postnatally, as is observed in rats fed a vitamin A–adequate diet, if plasma retinol is maintained at ~1 µmol/L by supplementation at neonatal age, but the weaning diet is deficient in vitamin A? We treated rats on postnatal d 6, 7, and 8 with placebo (oil), vitamin A, retinoic acid (RA), and a nutrient-metabolite combination of vitamin A and RA, VARA, after which tissues were analyzed on d 9. Other rats treated identically as neonates were fed a vitamin A–deficient diet from 3–9 wk of age, and in parallel, another group of rats was fed a vitamin A–adequate diet. Although supplementation with vitamin A or VARA elevated liver and lung retinyl esters (RE) on d 9 (P < 0.0001), and prevented the fall in plasma retinol to <1 µmol/L by 9 wk of age, when the diet was vitamin A–deficient, lung RE fell to 28% of the concentration present in the lungs of rats fed the vitamin A–adequate diet (P < 0.0001). We infer that the lungs depend, at least in part, on the uptake of dietary vitamin A, probably from chylomicrons, to develop RE stores in the postweaning growth period.
Retinoic acid (RA), produced from vitamin A (VA, retinol), is required for normal lung development and postnatal lung maturation. The concentration of retinyl ester (RE), the major storage form of retinol, decreases in the lungs in the perinatal period. Previously, we tested VARA, a nutrient-metabolite combination of VA and RA (10:1 molar ratio), on lung RE formation in postnatal rats and showed that the components of VARA acted synergistically to increase lung RE, as compared with the effects of equal amounts of VA and RA given alone. In this study, we first determined the equivalency of orally administered VARA in comparison to a standard oral supplement of VA, with respect to lung and liver RE storage. In a dose-dilution study, VARA was 4 times as effective as the standard dose of VA (VARA-25% did not differ from VA-100%). The synergistic effect of VARA was selective for the lungs, compared with the liver, in which VA and VARA had equal effects. Secondly, we tested whether the 2 components of VARA must be coadministered to exert their synergistic effect on lung RE content. RA and VA and were administered separately and together as VARA. Although RA alone had no effect on lung RE in this 24-h experiment, RA synergized with VA administered either 12 h before RA or 12 h after RA, as well as when coadministered as VARA. We infer that VA and RA are both limiting for lung RE formation in neonates. Given the importance of bioactive retinoids in cell differentiation and lung development, assuring an adequate lung RE content postnatally could be of benefit for lung maturation.
Vitamin A supplementation for infants and young children is recommended by WHO/UNICEF for countries with a high prevalence of vitamin A deficiency, and vitamin A is often administered at immunization contacts. Using a rat model, we tested whether supplementation with vitamin A or other retinoids at the time of neonatal immunization has prospective benefit in terms of preventing postweaning vitamin A deficiency and promoting antibody responses to T-cell dependent (TD) antigens administered at the neonatal stage and at the young adult stage. Rats were treated orally on postnatal d 6–8 with oil (placebo control), vitamin A, retinoic acid, or a combination of both (VARA) (n ≥ 12/group), and immunized with tetanus toxoid (TT) on d 7. The primary anti-TT response was measured on d 21, after which weanling rats were fed the vitamin A-deficient diet until ~ 10 wk. At 8 wk, rats were immunized again with TT to determine the recall response, and with a novel TD antigen, keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), to assess the adult primary response. None of the supplements affected the plasma titer of anti-TT immunoglobulinG (IgG) on d 21 (P = 0.25). However, neonatal-age supplementation with vitamin A or VARA at the young adult stage resulted in: >5 times higher anti-TT IgG recall response (P < 0.01); 5- and 9-times higher anti-KLH primary IgM and IgG responses, respectively (P < 0.05), and plasma retinol in the normal range (~1.0 µmol/L vs. ~0.35 µmol/L in retinoic acid-treated and control groups, P < 0.0001). We conclude that early-life supplementation with vitamin A or VARA can prospectively benefit the primary and recall antibody responses to TD antigens administered at the young adult stage, which may involve the maintenance of normal plasma retinol levels.
The relation between vitamin A (VA) nutritional status and the metabolism of all-trans-retinoic acid (RA) is not well understood. In this study, we determined the tissue distribution and metabolism of a test dose of [3H]-RA in rats with graded, diet-dependent, differences in VA status. The design included 3 groups, designated VA-deficient, VA-marginal, and VA-adequate, with liver total retinol concentrations of 9.7, 35.7 and 359 nmol/g, respectively, (P < 0.05), and an additional group of VA-deficient rats treated with a single oral dose of retinyl palmitate (RP) 20 h before the injection of [3H]-RA. Plasma, liver, lung, and small intestines, collected 30 min after [3H]-RA, were analyzed for total3H, unmetabolized [3H]-RA, polar organic-phase metabolites of [3H]-RA, and aqueous phase [3H]-labeled metabolites. In all groups, [3H]-RA was rapidly removed from plasma and concentrated in the liver. VA deficiency did not prevent the oxidative metabolism of RA. Nevertheless, the quantity of [3H]-RA metabolites in plasma and the ratio of total [3H]-polar metabolites to unmetabolized [3H]-RA in liver varied directly with VA status (VA-adequate > VA-marginal > VA-deficient, P < 0.05). Moreover, supplementation of VA-deficient rats with RP reduced the metabolism of [3H]-RA, similar to that in VA-adequate or VA-marginal rats. Liver retinol concentration, considered a proxy for VA status, was correlated (P < 0.05) with [3H]-RA metabolites in liver (R2 = 0.54), plasma (R2 = 0.44), lung (R2 =0.40), intestine (R2 =0.62), and all combined (R2 =0.655). Overall, the results demonstrate close linkage between dietary VA intake, hepatic storage of VA, and the degradation of RA and suggest that measuring plasma retinoid metabolites after a dose of RA may provide insight into the metabolism of this bioactive retinoid by visceral organs.
Sickle cell disease is associated with hypermetabolism and a consequent shortage of substrates for normal growth and healthy immune response. The protein:energy ratio is a major determinant of dietary adequacy; the requirement for optimal growth of control mice is 20% of energy from dietary protein. This study investigated the efficacy of increased dietary protein for improving weight gain and reducing inflammation in the Berkeley sickle cell mouse model (S). The study examined the effect of diet on weight gain and circulating levels of 2 inflammatory proteins, C-reactive protein (CRP), and cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6). Male C57BL/6 (C) control (n = 8) and S mice (n = 8) were randomized at weaning to 40 d of isoenergetic diets containing 20% (normal) and 35% (high) of energy from protein (C20, C35, S20, S35), replacing dextrin. Rate of weight gain was calculated and plasma CRP and IL-6 concentrations determined by ELISA. Liver mRNA expression of these proteins was measured by real-time PCR and L-arginase by colorimetric assay. S35 mice tended to gain weight more rapidly than S20 mice (P = 0.06) and more rapidly than C35 mice (P < 0.01). Circulating CRP and IL-6 levels were also lower in S35 mice than in S20 mice (P < 0.05), as was liver CRP mRNA expression (P < 0.01). These results demonstrate that introducing a high protein diet at weaning attenuates the steady-state inflammation in this S mouse model. Dietary L-arginine availability was investigated as a possible mechanism for increased nitric oxide production and consequent reduced inflammation.
Independently, metformin (MET) and the prebiotic, oligofructose (OFS), have been shown to increase glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) secretion. Our objective was to determine whether using OFS as an adjunct with MET augments GLP-1 secretion in obese rats. Male, diet-induced obese Sprague Dawley rats were randomized to: 1) high-fat/-sucrose diet [HFHS; control (C); 20% fat, 50% sucrose wt:wt]; 2) HFHS+10% OFS (OFS); 3) HFHS + MET [300 mg/kg/d (MET)]; 4) HFHS+10% OFS+MET (OFS +MET). Body composition, glycemia, satiety hormones, and mechanisms related to dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) activity in plasma, hepatic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK; Western blots), and gut microbiota (qPCR) were examined. Direct effects of MET and SCFA were examined in human enteroendocrine cells. The interaction between OFS and MET affected fat mass, hepatic TG, secretion of glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and leptin, and AMPKα2 mRNA and phosphorylated acetyl CoA carboxylase (pACC) levels (P < 0.05). Combined, OFS and MET reduced GIP secretion to a greater extent than either treatment alone (P < 0.05). The hepatic pACC level was increased by OFS+MET by at least 50% above all other treatments, which did not differ from each other (P < 0.05). OFS decreased plasma DPP4 activity (P < 0.001). Cecal Bifidobacteria (P < 0.001) were markedly increased and C. leptum decreased (P < 0.001) with OFS consumption. In human enteroendocrine cells, the interaction between MET and SCFA affected GLP-1 secretion (P < 0.04) but was not associated with higher GLP-1 than the highest individual doses. In conclusion, the combined actions of OFS and MET were associated with important interaction effects that have the potential to improve metabolic outcomes associated with obesity.
PMID: 22223580 CAMSID: cams3220
The novel polysaccharide (NPS) PolyGlycopleX (PGX) has been shown to reduce glycemia. Pharmacological treatment with sitagliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitor, also reduces glycemia by increasing glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Our objective was to determine if using NPS in combination with sitagliptin reduces hyperglycemia in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats more so than either treatment alone. Male ZDF rats were randomized to: 1) cellulose/vehicle [control (C)]; 2) NPS (5% wt:wt)/vehicle (NPS); 3) cellulose/sitagliptin [10 mg/(kg · d) (S)]; or 4) NPS (5%) + S [10 mg/(kg · d) (NPS+S)]. Glucose tolerance, adiposity, satiety hormones, and mechanisms related to DPP4 activity and hepatic and pancreatic histology were examined. A clinically relevant reduction in hyperglycemia occurred in the rats treated with NPS+S (P = 0.001) compared with NPS and S alone. Blood glucose, measured weekly in fed and feed-deprived rats and during an oral glucose tolerance test, was lower in the NPS+S group compared with all other groups (all P = 0.001). At wk 6, glycated hemoglobin was lower in the NPS+S group than in the C and S (P = 0.001) and NPS (P = 0.06) groups. PGX (P = 0.001) and S (P = 0.014) contributed to increased lean mass. Active GLP-1 was increased by S (P = 0.001) and GIP was increased by NPS (P = 0.001). Plasma DPP4 activity was lower in the NPS+S and S groups than in the NPS and C groups (P = 0.007). Insulin secretion and β-cell mass was increased with NPS (P < 0.05). NPS alone reduced LDL cholesterol and hepatic steatosis (P < 0.01). Independently, NPS and S improve several metabolic outcomes in ZDF rats, but combined, their ability to markedly reduce glycemia suggests they may be a promising dietary/pharmacological co-therapy for type 2 diabetes management.
PMID: 22915295 CAMSID: cams3204
Because dietary fats provide an important source of energy in the newborn, the efficient digestion of dietary fats is critical to their well-being. Despite the importance of dietary fat digestion, newborns have a deficiency of pancreatic triglyceride lipase, the predominant digestive lipase in adults. The efficient dietary fat digestion in newborns suggests that other lipases must compensate for the lack of pancreatic triglyceride lipase. In this study, we test the hypothesis that breast milk, pancreatic carboxyl ester lipase (CEL), or both contribute to dietary fat digestion in the newborn. To test this hypothesis, we determined the amount and composition of fecal fat in wild-type and CEL-deficient newborns nursed by either wild-type or CEL-deficient dams. We tested all genetic permutations of the nursing pairs. An interaction between the genotype of the dam and of the pup determined the amount of fecal fat (P < 0.001). Fecal fat was highest in CEL-deficient pups nursed by CEL-deficient dams. Furthermore, only the feces from the CEL-deficient pups nursed by CEL-deficient dams contained undigested lipids. Even with increased fecal fats, the CEL-deficient pups had normal weight gain. Our results demonstrate that CEL contributes significantly to dietary triglyceride digestion whether it originates from mother’s milk or pancreatic secretions. However, only the absence of both mother’s milk and pancreatic CEL produces fat maldigestion. The absence of a single CEL source makes no difference in the efficiency of dietary fat absorption.
Folate and vitamin B-12 (B-12) are essential for normal brain development. Few studies have examined the relationship of maternal folate and B-12 status during pregnancy to offspring cognitive function. To test the hypothesis that lower maternal plasma folate and B-12 concentrations and higher plasma homocysteine concentrations during pregnancy, are associated with poorer neurodevelopment, cognitive function was assessed during 2007-2008 among 536 children (aged 9-10 y) from the Mysore Parthenon birth cohort. Maternal folate, B-12 and homocysteine concentrations were measured in stored plasma samples taken at 30±2 wk gestation. The children’s cognitive function was measured using 3 core tests from the Kaufman Assessment Battery and additional tests measuring learning ability, long-term storage/retrieval, attention and concentration, visuo-spatial and verbal abilities. During pregnancy 4% of mothers had low folate concentrations (<7 nmol/L), 42.5% had low B-12 concentrations (<150 pmol/L) and 3% had hyperhomocysteinemia (>10 μmol/L). There was a 0.1-0.2 SD increase in the children’s cognitive scores per SD increase in maternal folate concentration (p<0.001 for all tests). The associations with learning ability and long-term storage/retrieval, visuo-spatial ability, attention and concentration were independent of maternal age, BMI, parity, the parents’ education, socio-economic status, rural/urban residence, religion, the child’s gestational age, birth size, sex and the children’s size, educational level and folate and B-12 concentrations at 9.5 y. There were no consistent associations of maternal B-12 and homocysteine concentrations with childhood cognitive performance.
In this Indian population higher maternal folate, but not vitamin B-12 concentrations during pregnancy, predicted better childhood cognitive ability.
Transcription initiation sites of the asparagine synthetase gene were investigated in human hepatoma cells after amino acid limitation by incubation in amino acid-complete minimal essential medium or medium lacking histidine. Cells incubated in complete minimal essential medium had mRNA transcripts with starting positions spanning across the 69 nucleotides immediately upstream of a previously designated transcription start site (+1), whereas the majority of mRNA transcripts started at nucleotide +1 in cells incubated in histidine-free medium. Similar results were obtained regardless of whether the analysis was by 5′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends or a ribonuclease protection assay. Low ASNS mRNA expression in amino acid-complete medium was associated with the wide range of initiation sites, whereas preferred alignment of the general transcription machinery at nucleotide +1, observed in the amino acid deprived condition, was associated with a concurrent increase in transcription activity. To our knowledge, these results are the first example in a mammalian cell of transcription start selection by nutrient availability.
Low plasma concentrations of vitamin B-12 are common in Indians, possibly due to low dietary intakes of animal-source foods. Weather malabosrption of the vitamin contributes to this has not been investigated. A rise in plasma holotranscobalamin (holo-TC) concentration after a standard dose of oral vitamin B-12 has been proposed as a measure of gastrointestinal absorption in people with normal plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations. We studied 313 individuals (children and parents, 109 families) in the Pune Maternal Nutrition Study. They received 3 doses of 10 μg (n=191) or 2 μg (n=122) of cyanocobalamin at 6 h intervals. A rise in plasma holo-TC of ≥15% and >15 pmol/L above baseline was considered normal vitamin B-12 absorption. The baseline plasma vitamin B-12 was <150 pmol/L in 48% of participants; holo-TC was <35 pmol/L in 98%, and total homocysteine was high in 50% (>10 μmol/L in children and >15 μmol/L in adults). In 10 μg group plasma holo-TC concentration increased by 4.8 -fold from (mean ± SD) 9.3 ± 7.0 pmol/L to 53.8 ± 25.9 pmol/L, and in 2 μg group by 2.2 -fold from 11.1 ± 8.5 pmol/L to 35.7 ± 19.3 pmol/L. Only 10% of participants, mostly fathers, had an increase less than the suggested cut-points. Our results suggest that an increase in plasma holo-TC may be used to assess vitamin B-12 absorption in individuals with low vitamin B-12 status. Because malabsorption is unlikely to be a major reason for the low plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations in this population, increasing dietary vitamin B-12 should improve their status.
Vitamin B-12; cyanocobalamin; holotranscobalamin; absorption; India
This study compared social looking and response to novelty in preschool-aged children (47–68 mo) with or without iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Iron status of the participants from a low-income community in New Delhi, India, was based on venous hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, and red cell distribution width. Children’s social looking toward adults, affect, and wary or hesitant behavior in response to novelty were assessed in a semistructured paradigm during an in-home play observation. Affect and behavior were compared as a function of iron status: IDA (n = 74) vs. nonanemic (n = 164). Compared with nonanemic preschoolers, preschoolers with IDA displayed less social looking toward their mothers, moved close to their mothers more quickly, and were slower to display positive affect and touch novel toys for the first time. These results indicate that IDA in the preschool period has affective and behavioral effects similar to those reported for IDA in infancy.
Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) subjects failing diet treatment are characterized by hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance leading to fasting and postprandial hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Energy is essential for allowing the process of protein synthesis to proceed. Additionally, insulin can stimulate protein synthesis in human muscle. The aims of this study were to determine if poorly controlled T2DM affects postabsorptive muscle protein anabolism, and if the muscle anabolic response to hyperinsulinemia with high energy availability is maintained. Control (n = 6) and T2DM subjects (n = 6) were studied in the postabsorptive state and during an isoenergetic high nutritional energy clamp (relative to postabsorptive state). Muscle protein synthesis and breakdown (nmol · min−1 · 100 g leg muscle−1) were assessed using stable isotope methodology, femoral arterio-venous sampling, muscle biopsies, and a three-pool model to calculate protein turnover. Postabsorptive phenylalanine net balance and whole body rate of appearance (Ra) were not different between groups; however, basal muscle protein breakdown was higher in T2DM (94 ± 9) than in controls (58 ± 12) (P < 0.05) and muscle protein synthesis tended (P = 0.07) to be elevated in T2DM (66 ± 14) compared with controls (39 ± 6). During the clamp, net balance increased, whole body Ra and muscle protein breakdown decreased (P < 0.05), and muscle protein synthesis tended to decrease (P = 0.08) to a similar extent in both groups. We conclude that postabsorptive muscle protein turnover is elevated in poorly controlled T2DM, however, there is no excessive loss of muscle protein because net balance is not different from controls. Moreover, the anabolic response to increased insulin and energy availability is maintained in T2DM.
type 2 diabetes; protein metabolism; muscle protein synthesis; protein turnover
Aging is associated with a progressive loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia), which increases the risks of injury and disability. Although the mechanisms of sarcopenia are not clearly elucidated, age-associated alterations in the muscle anabolic response to nutritional stimuli and a decline in protein intake may be significant contributing factors. The most recent findings regarding the role of nutritional intake on protein metabolism in the elderly will be reviewed. Specifically, aging is associated with changes in the muscle protein metabolism response to a meal, likely due to alterations in the response to endogenous hormones. Nonetheless, the older muscle is still able to respond to amino acids, mainly the essential and BCAAs, which have been shown to acutely stimulate muscle protein synthesis in older individuals. It is likely that this stimulatory effect of essential and BCAA is due to the direct effect of leucine on the initiation of mRNA translation, which is still present in older age, although it appears to be attenuated in aged animals. Recent data suggest that excess leucine may be able to overcome this age-related resistance of muscle proteins to leucine. For this reason, long-term essential amino acid supplementation may be a useful tool for the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia, particularly if excess leucine is provided in the supplement.
aging; amino acids; muscle; sarcopenia; protein metabolism
The relationship between four micronutrient deficiencies (iodine, iron, zinc and vitamin B-12) and children’s cognitive functioning is reviewed. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy has negative and irreversible effects on the developing fetus. Although there is some evidence that postnatal iodine deficiency is associated with cognitive deficits, the findings are controversial. Iron deficiency is widespread and has been associated to cognitive deficits, but the results of prevention trials are inconsistent. Zinc deficiency has been linked with low activity and depressed motor development among the most vulnerable children. Associations with cognitive development are less clear and may be limited to specific neuropsychological processes. Vitamin B-12 deficiency has been associated with cognitive problems among the elderly, but little is known about its effect on children’s cognitive functioning. Rates of vitamin B-12 deficiency are likely to be high because animal products are the only source of vitamin B-12. Although micronutrient deficiencies often co-occur in the context of poverty, little is known about the impact of multiple micronutrient deficiencies on cognitive development. J. Nutr. 133: 3927S–3931S, 2003.
micronutrients; iron; iodine; zinc; vitamin B-12; cognitive development
The role of zinc in children’s cognitive and motor functioning is usually assessed by the response to supplementation in populations thought to be zinc deficient. A review of published zinc-supplementation trials that examined behavior and development identified one trial in fetuses, six trials in infants and toddlers and three trials in school-age children. The three studies that examined activity reported that zinc supplementation was associated with more activity. Of the five studies that examined motor development in infants and toddlers, one found improvements among very low-birth–weight infants, one found improvements in the quality of motor development and three found no impact. Of the four studies that examined mental development in infants and toddlers, three found no impact of zinc supplementation and one found that zinc-supplemented children had lower scores than control children. Among school-age children, one study found no impact of zinc supplementation on cognitive performance and two found a beneficial impact of neuropsychological processes, specifically reasoning. The evidence linking zinc deficiency to children’s cognitive and motor functioning suggests a relationship among the most vulnerable children but lacks a clear consensus, highlighting the need for additional research into the timing of zinc deficiency and the co-occurrence with other micronutrient deficiencies.
zinc; child development; cognitive; motor functioning