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1.  Effect on Blood Pressure of Daily Lemon Ingestion and Walking 
Background. Recent studies suggest that the daily intake of lemon (Citrus limon) has a good effect on health, but this has not been confirmed in humans. In our previous studies, it was observed that people who are conscious of their health performed more lemon intake and exercise. An analysis that took this into account was required. Methodology. For 101 middle-aged women in an island area in Hiroshima, Japan, a record of lemon ingestion efforts and the number of steps walked was carried out for five months. The change rates (Δ%) of the physical measurements, blood test, blood pressure, and pulse wave measured value during the observation period were calculated, and correlations with lemon intake and the number of steps walked were considered. As a result, it was suggested that daily lemon intake and walking are effective for high blood pressure because both showed significant negative correlation to systolic blood pressure Δ%. Conclusions. As a result of multiple linear regression analysis, it was possible that lemon ingestion is involved more greatly with the blood citric acid concentration Δ% and the number of steps with blood pressure Δ%, and it was surmised that the number of steps and lemon ingestion are related to blood pressure improvement by different action mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC4003767  PMID: 24818015
2.  Nutrigenomics: Definitions and Advances of This New Science 
The search for knowledge regarding healthy/adequate food has increased in the last decades among the world population, researchers, nutritionists, and health professionals. Since ancient times, humans have known that environment and food can interfere with an individual's health condition, and have used food and plants as medicines. With the advance of science, especially after the conclusion of the Human Genome Project (HGP), scientists started questioning if the interaction between genes and food bioactive compounds could positively or negatively influence an individual's health. In order to assess this interaction between genes and nutrients, the term “Nutrigenomics” was created. Hence, Nutrigenomics corresponds to the use of biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, and epigenomics to seek and explain the existing reciprocal interactions between genes and nutrients at a molecular level. The discovery of these interactions (gene-nutrient) will aid the prescription of customized diets according to each individual's genotype. Thus, it will be possible to mitigate the symptoms of existing diseases or to prevent future illnesses, especially in the area of Nontransmissible Chronic Diseases (NTCDs), which are currently considered an important world public health problem.
PMCID: PMC3984860  PMID: 24795820
3.  Nutritional Knowledge and Attitudes of Adolescent Swimmers in Trinidad and Tobago 
Purpose. To investigate the level of nutrition knowledge and attitude of adolescent male and female swimmers training competitively in Trinidad and Tobago. Methodology. A self-administered questionnaire, which consisted of 21 nutrition knowledge and 11 attitude statements, was utilized to assess the level of nutrition knowledge and attitude of adolescent swimmers. For the assessment of nutrition knowledge, correct answers were given a score of “1” and incorrect answers were given a score of “0.” For the evaluation of attitude towards nutrition, a score ranging from 1 to 5 was assigned to each response; “5” was given to the most positive response, and “1” was given to the most negative. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 21.0. Results. Two hundred and twenty swimmers with a mean age of 14.56 ± 2.544 completed the questionnaire. The mean nutrition knowledge score was 10.97 ± 2.897 and mean attitude score was 41.69 ± 6.215. Nutrition knowledge was positively and significantly related to the number of reported nutrition sources (r = 0.172, P = 0.005). Nutrition knowledge was positively and significantly related to the attitude (r = 0.130, P = 0.027). Conclusions and Implication. Athletes lack nutrition knowledge but have a positive attitude towards nutrition, which may indicate receptiveness to future nutrition education.
PMCID: PMC3942200  PMID: 24669316
4.  Evaluation of Beneficial Metabolic Effects of Berries in High-Fat Fed C57BL/6J Mice 
Objective. The aim of the study was to screen eight species of berries for their ability to prevent obesity and metabolic abnormalities associated with type 2 diabetes. Methods. C57BL/6J mice were assigned the following diets for 13 weeks: low-fat diet, high-fat diet or high-fat diet supplemented (20%) with lingonberry, blackcurrant, bilberry, raspberry, açai, crowberry, prune or blackberry. Results. The groups receiving a high-fat diet supplemented with lingonberries, blackcurrants, raspberries or bilberries gained less weight and had lower fasting insulin levels than the control group receiving high-fat diet without berries. Lingonberries, and also blackcurrants and bilberries, significantly decreased body fat content, hepatic lipid accumulation, and plasma levels of the inflammatory marker PAI-1, as well as mediated positive effects on glucose homeostasis. The group receiving açai displayed increased weight gain and developed large, steatotic livers. Quercetin glycosides were detected in the lingonberry and the blackcurrant diets. Conclusion. Lingonberries were shown to fully or partially prevent the detrimental metabolic effects induced by high-fat diet. Blackcurrants and bilberries had similar properties, but to a lower degree. We propose that the beneficial metabolic effects of lingonberries could be useful in preventing obesity and related disorders.
PMCID: PMC3941780  PMID: 24669315
5.  Nutrition Therapy in the Transition between Hospital and Home: An Investigation of Barriers 
Aims and Objectives. This study aimed to investigate barriers for nutrition therapy in the transition between hospital and home and hereby to identify areas for potential improvements. Background. Though the focus on nutritional risk is improving in hospital, there seems to be less effort to maintain or even improve nutritional status after discharge and during the rehabilitation period. Design. Qualitative focus group interviews. Methods. Semistructured focus group interviews with experienced multiprofessional staff from hospital, home care, nursing homes, and general practise. The study was done in the county of Aalborg with about 280.000 inhabitants regarding homecare and general practise as well as Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark. Results. Interviews were generated with 41 professionals from hospital, general practise, and home care. Barriers identified between settings included the following aspects: economic, organisation, and education. The impression of professionals was that few patients are discharged with nutrition therapy, compared to who could benefit from nutrition therapy after discharge. Most often, reasons were a short in-hospital stay and lack of knowledge and interest. Moreover, lack of clinical guidelines throughout all settings, time consumption, lack of transparency regarding economy and workflows, and lack of assistance from experts regarding complicated nutritional problems were identified. Conclusions. Many barriers were found in hospital as well as in the community and general practise. These were most often practical as well as organizational. Improvements of clinical guidelines and instructions and improvement of knowledge and communication at all levels are needed. Relevance to Clinical Practise. This study emphasizes that responsibility needs to be taken for patients whom are still at nutritional risk at discharge, and even before hospitalization. Nurses and doctors in and outside hospital are in need of improved knowledge, standard care plans, and instructions.
PMCID: PMC3893861  PMID: 24490060
6.  Hyperleptinemia, Adiposity, and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Older Adults 
Background. Abdominal adiposity and serum leptin increase with age as does risk of metabolic syndrome. This study investigates the prospective association between leptin and metabolic syndrome risk in relation to adiposity and cytokines. Methods. The Health, Aging, and Body Composition study is a prospective cohort of older adults aged 70 to 79 years. Baseline measurements included leptin, cytokines, BMI, total percent fat, and visceral and subcutaneous fat. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the association between leptin and metabolic syndrome (defined per NCEP ATP III) incidence after 6 years of follow-up among 1,120 men and women. Results. Leptin predicted metabolic syndrome in men (P for trend = 0.0002) and women (P for trend = 0.0001). In women, risk of metabolic syndrome increased with higher levels of leptin (compared with quintile 1, quintile 2 RR = 3.29, CI = 1.36, 7.95; quintile 3 RR = 3.25, CI = 1.33, 7.93; quintile 4 RR = 5.21, CI = 2.16, 12.56; and quintile 5 RR = 7.97, CI = 3.30, 19.24) after adjusting for potential confounders. Leptin remained independently associated with metabolic syndrome risk after additional adjustment for adiposity, cytokines, and CRP. Among men, this association was no longer significant after controlling for adiposity. Conclusion. Among older women, elevated concentrations of leptin may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome independent of adiposity and cytokines.
PMCID: PMC3888758  PMID: 24455217
7.  The Effect of a Maternal Double Megadose of Vitamin A Supplement on Serum Levels of Retinol in Children Aged under Six Months 
Objective. To measure concentrations of serum retinol in children after the use of maternal vitamin A double megadose supplements. Design. Randomized controlled clinical trial. Setting. The study was conducted at two maternity hospitals in the city of Recife, in the northeast region of Brazil between August 2007 and June 2009. Subjects and Methods. 276 children/mothers were recruited after birth and the women received a 200,000 IU capsule of vitamin A. After ten days they were randomly assigned to two treatment groups. One group received a second 200.000 IU capsule, while the other received a placebo. The concentrations of retinol in the serum of the children from each group were measured at 2, 4, and 6 months. Results. 173 children completed the study. There was no difference between the two treatment groups (P = 0.514). The mean base retinol level was lower than that at four and six months (P < 0.001). Conclusions. The maternal double megadose supplement had no additional effect on the serum retinol levels of the children, although concentrations of retinol in the children rose in the first six months of life. This trial is registered with NCT00742937.
PMCID: PMC3886490  PMID: 24455219
8.  Assistance for the Prescription of Nutritional Support Must Be Required in Nonexperienced Nutritional Teams 
The aim of the study was to determine the current practices of nutritional support among hospitalized patients in nonspecialized hospital departments. Materials and Methods. During an observation period of 2 months, a surgeon and a gastroenterologist designated in each of the two departments concerned, not “specialized” in nutritional assistance, have treated patients in which nutritional support seemed necessary. Assessing the degree of malnutrition of the patient, the therapeutic decision and the type of product prescribed by the doctors were secondarily compared to the proposals of a structured computer program according to the criteria and standards established by the institutions currently recognized. Results. The study included 120 patients bearing a surgical disease in 86.7% of cases and 10% of medical cases. 50% of the patients had cancer. Nutritional status was correctly evaluated in 38.3% by the initial doctors' diagnosis—consistent with the software's evaluation. The strategy of nutrition was concordant with the proposals of the software in 79.2% of cases. Conclusions. Despite an erroneous assessment of the nutritional status in more than two-thirds of cases the strategy of nutritional management was correct in 80% of cases. Malnutrition and its consequences can be prevented in nonexperienced nutritional teams by adequate nutritional support strategies coming from modern techniques including computerized programs.
PMCID: PMC3877633  PMID: 24575300
9.  Cut-Off Values of Visceral Adiposity to Predict NAFLD in Brazilian Obese Adolescents 
Objectives. The present study aimed at determining cut-off points of visceral fat to predict NAFLD and analyzed metabolic disorders of obese adolescents. Methods. Cross-sectional study involved 165 obese adolescents ranged in age from 15 to 19 years. Glycemia, hepatic transaminases, lipid profile, and insulin resistance were analyzed. Visceral and subcutaneous fat were measured by ultrasound and body composition by plesthysmography. Results. The NAFLD adolescents had significantly higher values for body mass, BMI-for-age, BMI, total fat, waist circumference, and visceral fat when compared with non-NAFLD obese adolescents in both genders. Moreover, there were significant positive correlations between visceral fat with the variables BMI-for-age (r = 0.325,), TG (r = 0.277), AST (r = 0.509), ALT (r = 0.519), WC (r = 0.390), and visceral/subcutaneous ratio (r = 0.790) for NAFLD group. Total fat, triglycerides, and visceral fat were the independent predictors to NAFLD. Analysis of the ROC curves revealed cut-off points of visceral fat of 4.47 cm for girls and 4.21 cm for boys. Conclusions. The results may suggest that abdominal ultrasonography procedure may be a safe alternative method of assessing visceral adiposity aiming to be considered to the development of preventive and treatment strategies in obese individuals. This clinial trial is registered with (NCT01358773).
PMCID: PMC3872012  PMID: 24381750
10.  Dietary Diversity and Meal Frequency Practices among Infant and Young Children Aged 6–23 Months in Ethiopia: A Secondary Analysis of Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey 2011 
Background. Appropriate complementary feeding practice is essential for growth and development of children. This study aimed to assess dietary diversity and meal frequency practice of infants and young children in Ethiopia. Methods. Data collected in the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) from December 2010 to June 2011 were used for this study. Data collected were extracted, arranged, recoded, and analyzed by using SPSS version 17. A total of 2836 children aged 6–23 months were used for final analysis. Both bivariate and multivariate analysis were done to identify predictors of feeding practices. Result. Children with adequate dietary diversity score and meal frequency were 10.8% and 44.7%, respectively. Children born from the richest households showed better dietary diversity score (OR = 0.256). Number of children whose age less than five years was important predictor of dietary diversity (OR = 0.690). Mothers who had exposure to media were more likely to give adequate meal frequency to their children (OR = 0.707). Conclusion. Dietary diversity and meal frequency practices were inadequate in Ethiopia. Wealth quintile, exposure to media, and number of children were affecting feeding practices. Improving economic status, a habit of eating together, and exposure to media are important to improve infant feeding practices in Ethiopia.
PMCID: PMC3878383  PMID: 24455218
11.  Pivotal Role of Mediterranean Dietary Regimen in the Increase of Serum Magnesium Concentration in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease 
Background. Recent studies confirmed cardioprotective role of intravenous magnesium for the prevention of cardiac events, but effect of dietary intake of this mineral via recommended dietary regimens on control and inhibition of coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors has been questioned. The aim of the present study was to determine effect of Mediterranean dietary approach on serum magnesium concentration among Iranian patients with CAD. Method. Baseline characteristics and clinical data of 102 consecutive patients with the diagnosis of CAD and candidates for isolated coronary artery bypass surgery were entered into the study. Laboratory parameters especially serum magnesium concentration were measured after 12–14 h of overnight fasting and before operation. Nutritional status was assessed by food frequency questionnaire and the diet score was calculated on the basis of Mediterranean diet quality index (Med-DQI). Results. No significant differences were found in the concentrations of albumin, last fasting blood sugar, last creatinine, and lipid profiles between the groups with Mediterranean dietary score < 5 and the group with higher dietary score; however, serum magnesium concentration in the first group was higher than that in the group with higher dietary score. Linear multivariate regression analysis showed that the lower Mediterranean dietary score was a predictor for serum magnesium concentration after adjusting for confounders. Conclusion. Taking Mediterranean dietary regimen can be associated with increased level of serum magnesium concentration, and thus this regimen can be cardioprotective because of its effects on serum magnesium.
PMCID: PMC3838832  PMID: 24307942
12.  Clinical Spectrum of Propionic Acidaemia 
Objectives. To evaluate the clinical features, physical findings, diagnosis, and laboratory parameters of the patients with propionic acidaemia (PA). Methods. The records of diagnosed cases of propionic acidaemia were reviewed, retrospectively. Results. Twenty-six patients with PA had 133 admissions. The majority (85%) of the patients exhibited clinical manifestations in the 1st week of life. Regarding clinical features, lethargy, fever, poor feeding, vomiting, dehydration, muscular hypotonia, respiratory symptoms, encephalopathy, disturbance of tone and reflexes, and malnutrition were observed in 51–92% admissions. Metabolic crises, respiratory diseases, hyperammonaemia, metabolic acidosis, hypoalbuminaemia, and hypocalcaemia were observed in 30–96% admissions. Pancytopenia, ketonuria, hypoproteinemia, hypoglycaemia, and mildly disturbed liver enzymes were found in 12–41% admissions. Generalised brain oedema was detected in 17% and cerebral atrophy in 25% admissions. Gender-wise odd ratio analysis showed value of 1.9 for lethargy, 1.99 for respiratory diseases, 0.55 for anaemia, and 1.82 for hypocalcaemia. Conclusion. Propionic acidaemia usually presents with wide spectrum of clinical features and disturbances of laboratory parameters in early neonatal age. It is associated with significant complications which deteriorate the patients' quality of life. Perhaps with early diagnosis of the disease and in time intervention, these may be preventable.
PMCID: PMC3833112  PMID: 24288598
13.  Immobilization Technologies in Probiotic Food Production 
Various supports and immobilization/encapsulation techniques have been proposed and tested for application in functional food production. In the present review, the use of probiotic microorganisms for the production of novel foods is discussed, while the benefits and criteria of using probiotic cultures are analyzed. Subsequently, immobilization/encapsulation applications in the food industry aiming at the prolongation of cell viability are described together with an evaluation of their potential future impact, which is also highlighted and assessed.
PMCID: PMC3830840  PMID: 24288597
14.  Impact of a Traditional Dietary Supplement with Coconut Milk and Soya Milk on the Lipid Profile in Normal Free Living Subjects 
Background. The effects of coconut fat and soya fat on serum lipids are controversial. This study was designed to investigate the lipid effects of coconut milk and soya milk supplementation on the lipid profile of free living healthy subjects. Methods. Sixty (60) healthy volunteers aged 18–57 years were given coconut milk porridge (CMP) for 5 days of the week for 8 weeks, followed by a 2-week washout period, subsequent to which they received isoenergetic soya milk porridge (SMP) for 8 weeks. Results. The LDL (low density lipoprotein) levels decreased with CMP and reached statistical significance in the total study population and in the >130 baseline LDL group. The HDL (high density lipoprotein) levels rose significantly with CMP supplementation (P = 0.000). Conclusions. We conclude that coconut fat in the form of CM does not cause a detrimental effect on the lipid profile in the general population and in fact is beneficial due to the decrease in LDL and rise in HDL. SMP will be of benefit only in those whose baseline LDL levels are elevated.
PMCID: PMC3824402  PMID: 24282632
15.  Effects of Intake of Maternal Dietary Elaidic Acids during Pregnancy and Lactation on the Fatty Acid Composition of Plasma, Erythrocyte Membrane, and Brain in Rat Pups 
To investigate the effects of a dam's dietary elaidic acid (EA) intake during pregnancy and lactation on the fatty acid composition of plasma, erythrocyte membrane, and brain in rat pups, we fed two groups of dams either a soybean oil diet (SOD) or a shortening diet (SHD) containing soybean oil (10%) or shortening (10%), respectively. Although EA was not detected in the SOD, EA accounted for 25.3% of all fatty acid content in the SHD. On day 8 after birth, the EA levels in the stomach, plasma, and erythrocyte membrane of pups nursed by the dams fed the SHD were 11.6 ± 1.03%, 7.18 ± 1.20%, and 5.82 ± 1.00%, respectively. Although on day 8 after birth the EA level of the brains of pups nursed by SHD-fed dams was 0.56 ± 0.24%, EA was not detected on day 21 or day 82 after birth. These results suggest that EA intake during pregnancy and lactation supplies EA to plasma, remains in the erythrocyte membrane of pups, and moves into the brain in early infancy.
PMCID: PMC3806163  PMID: 24194980
16.  Prevalence of Anemia and Associated Factors in Child Bearing Age Women in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 
Objective. To determine the prevalence and risk factors for anemia in child bearing age women in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Design. Cross-sectional survey was conducted using two-stage cluster sampling. 25 clusters (primary health care centers (PHCC)) were identified from all over Riyadh, and 45–50 households were randomly selected from each cluster. Eligible women were invited to PHCC for questionnaire filling, anthropometric measurements, and complete blood count. Blood hemoglobin was measured with Coulter Cellular Analysis System using light scatter method. Setting. PHCC. Subjects. 969 (68%) women out of 1429 women were included in the analysis. Results. Mean hemoglobin was 12.35 (±1.80) g/dL, 95% CI 12.24–12.46 with interquartile range of 1.9. Anemia (Hb <12 g/dL) was present in 40% (390) women. Mean (±SD) for MCH, MCV, MCHC, and RDW was 79.21 (±12.17) fL, 26.37 (±6.21) pg, 32.36 (±4.91) g/dL, and 14.84 (±4.65)%, respectively. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that having family history of iron deficiency anemia (OR 2.91, 95% CI 1.78–4.76) and infrequent intake of meat (OR 1.54, 95%CI 1.15–2.05) were associated with increased risk of anemia, whereas increasing body mass index (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.92–0.97) was associated with reduced risk of anemia. Conclusion. Women should be educated about proper diet and reproductive issues in order to reduce the prevalence of anemia in Saudi Arabia.
PMCID: PMC3800602  PMID: 24205435
17.  A 10-Week Multimodal Nutrition Education Intervention Improves Dietary Intake among University Students: Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial 
The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing multimodal nutrition education intervention (NEI) to improve dietary intake among university students. The design of study used was cluster randomised controlled design at four public universities in East Coast of Malaysia. A total of 417 university students participated in the study. They were randomly selected and assigned into two arms, that is, intervention group (IG) or control group (CG) according to their cluster. The IG received 10-week multimodal intervention using three modes (conventional lecture, brochures, and text messages) while CG did not receive any intervention. Dietary intake was assessed before and after intervention and outcomes reported as nutrient intakes as well as average daily servings of food intake. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and adjusted effect size were used to determine difference in dietary changes between groups and time. Results showed that, compared to CG, participants in IG significantly improved their dietary intake by increasing their energy intake, carbohydrate, calcium, vitamin C and thiamine, fruits and 100% fruit juice, fish, egg, milk, and dairy products while at the same time significantly decreased their processed food intake. In conclusion, multimodal NEI focusing on healthy eating promotion is an effective approach to improve dietary intakes among university students.
PMCID: PMC3771440  PMID: 24069535
18.  Risk of Anaemia in Population of Healthy Young People Inhabiting a Region in Central Europe 
It is quite unbelievable but significant percentage of young healthy women is at risk of anaemia despite proper nutritional state. In this study we decided to determine the lack or excess of which nutrients in a diet can lead to any effects. The major cause of anaemia is not, as in many studies on nutritional status, the deficiency in iron in a diet. Iron intake in women with anaemia exceeded AI (Adequate Intake) level. 120 people took part in the study. Average HGB concentration in female group amounted to 12.45 g/dL and in male group to 14.35 g/dL. Anaemia was determined in 29% women and 4.2% men. In group of women with anaemia a statistically higher intake of SFA, cholesterol, and sucrose and lower intake of pyridoxine, folacin, niacin, and vitamin E, Mn, Cu, Zn, Fe, and Mg were determined. In a group of men with low haemoglobin concentration a statistically higher intake of sucrose but lower intake of fat, especially SFA and MUFA, vitamin C and zinc were observed. Therefore, together with anaemia in the group of women there are coexisting deficiencies in other nutrients, as compared to the group of men. Prevention in both groups should include various supplements.
PMCID: PMC3736460  PMID: 23970961
19.  Preliminary Studies Demonstrating Acetoclastic Methanogenesis in a Rat Colonic Ring Model 
Washed rat colonic rings were incubated in closed flasks under N2 at physiologic pH and temperature levels. In the absence of an exogenous substrate, negligible H2 but some CH4 concentrations were detected in vitro after one hour of incubation, but high concentrations (H2 > 100 ppm, CH4 > 10 ppm) of both gases were found after 24 hours of culture. Production of H2 and CH4 by the washed colonic rings was stimulated by lactose addition. Maximum H2 production occurred at about pH 7.0, while maximum CH4 production occurred between pH 4.0 and 6.0. The increased production of both gases at 24 hours was associated with dramatic increases (104-fold) in anaerobic bacteria colony counts on the colonic rings and in the incubation media, as well as dramatic increases (100-fold) in acetate concentrations in the media, while lactate concentrations first rose and then fell significantly. These results suggest that gas production in colonic ring preparations is subject to quantitative changes in microbiota, pH, and metabolite formation analogous to in vivo conditions. In addition, microbiota firmly attached to colonic tissue appears to utilize colonic tissue to support its growth in the absence of an exogenous substrate.
PMCID: PMC3727201  PMID: 23956847
20.  Pomegranate Polyphenols Lower Lipid Peroxidation in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes but Have No Effects in Healthy Volunteers: A Pilot Study 
Aims. To examine the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of pomegranate polyphenols in obese patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) (n = 8) and in healthy nondiabetic controls (n = 9). Methods. Participants received 2 capsules of pomegranate polyphenols (POMx, 1 capsule = 753 mg polyphenols) daily for 4 weeks. Blood draws and anthropometrics were performed at baseline and at 4 weeks of the study. Results. Pomegranate polyphenols in healthy controls and in T2DM patients did not significantly affect body weight and blood pressure, glucose and lipids. Among clinical safety profiles, serum electrolytes, renal function tests, and hematological profiles were not significantly affected by POMx supplementation. However, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) showed a significant increase in healthy controls, while alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was significantly decreased in T2DM patients at 4 weeks (P < 0.05), though values remained within the normal ranges. Among the biomarkers of lipid oxidation and inflammation, oxidized LDL and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) did not differ at 4 weeks in either group, while pomegranate polyphenols significantly decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydroxynonenal (HNE) only in the diabetic group versus baseline (P < 0.05). Conclusions. POMx reduces lipid peroxidation in patients with T2DM, but with no effects in healthy controls, and specifically modulates liver enzymes in diabetic and nondiabetic subjects. Larger clinical trials are merited.
PMCID: PMC3723081  PMID: 23936637
21.  An Assessment of the Breastfeeding Practices and Infant Feeding Pattern among Mothers in Mauritius 
Proper breastfeeding practices are effective ways for reducing childhood morbidity and mortality. While many mothers understand the importance of breastfeeding, others are less knowledgeable on the benefits of breastfeeding and weaning. The aim in here is to assess breastfeeding pattern, infant formula feeding pattern, and weaning introduction in Mauritius and to investigate the factors that influence infant nutrition. 500 mothers were interviewed using a questionnaire which was designed to elicit information on infant feeding practices. Statistical analyses were done using SPSS (version 13.0), whereby chi-square tests were used to evaluate relationships between different selected variables. The prevalence of breastfeeding practice in Mauritius has risen from 72% in 1991 to 93.4% as found in this study, while only 17.9% breastfed their children exclusively for the first 6 months, and the mean duration of EBF (exclusive breastfeeding) is 2.10 months. Complementary feeding was more commonly initiated around 4–6 months (75.2%). Despite the fact that 60.6% of mothers initiate breastfeeding and 26.1% of mothers are found to breastfeed up to 2 years, the practice of EBF for the first 6 months is low (17.9%). Factors found to influence infant feeding practices are type of delivery, parity, alcohol consumption, occupation, education, and breast problems.
PMCID: PMC3707234  PMID: 23864943
22.  Formation of Short-Chain Fatty Acids, Excretion of Anthocyanins, and Microbial Diversity in Rats Fed Blackcurrants, Blackberries, and Raspberries 
Introduction. Berries contain high amounts of dietary fibre and flavonoids and have been associated with improved metabolic health. The mechanisms are not clear but the formation of SCFAs, especially propionic and butyric acids, could be important. The potent antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of flavonoids could also be a factor, but little is known about their fate in the gastrointestinal tract. Aim. To compare how blackcurrants, blackberries, raspberries, and Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL19 affect formation of SCFAs, inflammatory status, caecal microbial diversity, and flavonoids. Results and Conclusions. Degradation of the dietary fibre, formation of SCFAs including propionic and butyric acids, the weight of the caecal content and tissue, and the faecal wet and dry weight were all higher in rats fed blackcurrants rather than blackberries or raspberries. However, the microbial diversity of the gut microbiota was higher in rats fed raspberries. The high content of soluble fibre in blackcurrants and the high proportion of mannose-containing polymers might explain these effects. Anthocyanins could only be detected in urine of rats fed blackcurrants, and the excretion was lower with HEAL19. No anthocyanins or anthocyanidins were detected in caecal content or blood. This may indicate uptake in the stomach or small intestine.
PMCID: PMC3707259  PMID: 23864942
23.  A Single Consumption of High Amounts of the Brazil Nuts Improves Lipid Profile of Healthy Volunteers 
Background. This study investigates the effects of Brazil nut ingestion on serum lipid profile in healthy volunteers. Methods. Ten healthy subjects were enrolled in the study. Each subject was tested 4 times in a randomized crossover in relation to the ingestion of different serving sizes of the Brazil nut: 0, 5, 20, or 50 g. At each treatment point, peripheral blood was drawn before and at 1, 3, 6, 9, 24, and 48 hours and 5 and 30 days. Blood samples were tested for total cholesterol, high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c and LDL-c, resp.), triglycerides, selenium, aspartate and alanine aminotransferases, albumin, total protein, alkaline phosphatase, gamma GT, urea, creatinine, and C-reactive protein. Results. A significant increase of the plasma selenium levels was observed at 6 hours within the groups receiving the nuts. Serum LDL-c was significantly lower, whereas HDL-c was significantly higher 9 hours after the ingestion of 20 or 50 g of nuts. The biochemical parameters of liver and kidney function were not modified by ingestion of nuts. Conclusions. This study shows that the ingestion of a single serving of Brazil nut can acutely improve the serum lipid profile of healthy volunteers.
PMCID: PMC3693158  PMID: 23840948
24.  Use of Dietary Supplements among Professional Athletes in Saudi Arabia 
The objective of this study was to understand the usage patterns of dietary supplements among professional athletes in Saudi Arabia. The survey consisted of sixteen questions divided into four categories: use of supplements, reason for consumption of supplements, personal beliefs about supplements, and behavior. The questionnaires were given to the three teams residing in Riyadh: Al Hilal, Al Nasr, and Al-Shabab. Out of the 105 athletes surveyed, we found that only 98 are currently taking dietary supplements and the mean age and standard deviation were 25.74 ± 2.90. The survey results showed a high percentage of athletes (93.3%; n = 98) using different dietary supplements throughout the season, 43.8% (n = 43) reported using supplements for performance, and 32.6% (n = 32) believed in health benefits as a reason for using dietary supplements. Our results showed that a total of 87 (88.7%), 81 (82.6%), and 51 (52.0%) athletes are consuming sports drinks, vitamin C, and multivitamins, respectively. Meanwhile, those supplements ranking among the least used included omega 6 (18.6%), creatine (16.3%), and Ginkgo biloba (10.2%). A majority of athletes indicated that their use of supplements was for the purpose of improving their health and performance.
PMCID: PMC3677665  PMID: 23762541
25.  A Scientific Assessment of Sociodemographic Factors, Physical Activity Level, and Nutritional Knowledge as Determinants of Dietary Quality among Indo-Mauritian Women 
A healthy diet is of particular concern throughout the life of women to avoid many chronic illnesses especially during their 30s to 50s. There are published data on dietary quality and its determinants among women, but there is a lack of similar data regarding women in Mauritius. This study aimed to investigate the association between age and dietary quality in relation to sociodemographic factors, physical activity level (PAL) and nutritional knowledge (NK). A survey-based study was conducted in 2012 among Indo-Mauritian women including 117 young (21.35 ± 1.98), 160 reaching middle age (34.02 ± 5.09) and 50 middle-aged (37.85 ± 8.32). Validated questionnaires were used to elicit information on the determinants. A food frequency table consisting of 18 food items was used to assess dietary quality. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine the association between various factors and dietary quality. The mean dietary score of middle-aged women (18.70 ± 2.67) was closer to recommended dietary guidelines compared to young women (17.22 ± 3.40), and women reaching middle age (17.55 ± 3.29). Educational level, PAL, NK, and age were main determinants of dietary quality among Indo-Mauritian women (P < 0.05). Younger women with low educational level, PAL, and NK are at risk of poor dietary quality.
PMCID: PMC3677610  PMID: 23762543

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