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1.  Dietary Pattern and Metabolic Syndrome in Thai Adults 
Objectives. To determine the dietary patterns of middle-aged Thais and their association with metabolic syndrome (MetS). Methods. The Thai National Health Examination Survey IV data of 5,872 participants aged ≥30–59 years were used. Dietary patterns were obtained by factor analysis and their associations with Mets were examined using multiple logistic regression. Results. Three major dietary patterns were identified. The first, meat pattern, was characterized by a high intake of red meat, processed meat, and fried food. The second, healthy pattern, equated to a high intake of beans, vegetables, wheat, and dairy products. The third, high carbohydrate pattern, had a high intake of glutinous rice, fermented fish, chili paste, and bamboo shoots. Respondents with a healthy pattern were more likely to be female, higher educated, and urban residents. The carbohydrate pattern was more common in the northeast and rural areas. Compared with the lowest quartile, the highest quartile of carbohydrate pattern was associated with MetS (adjusted odds ratio: 1.82; 95% CI 1.31, 2.55 in men and 1.60; 95% CI 1.24, 2.08 in women), particularly among those with a low level of leisure time physical activity (LTPA). Conclusion. The carbohydrate pattern with low level of LTPA increased the odds of MetS.
PMCID: PMC4325199
2.  Understanding Barriers and Facilitators to Healthy Eating and Active Living in Rural Communities 
Objective. Studies demonstrate that people's food and physical activity (PA) environments influence behavior, yet research examining this in rural communities is limited. Methods. Focus groups of 8–15 women were conducted in rural communities in seven US states. Questions were designed to identify factors within residents' food and PA environments they felt helped or hindered them from eating healthfully and being physically active. Results. Participants were aged 30–84 years; mean (SD) = 61 (14) (N = 95). On average, communities had fewer than 5,000 residents. Limited time, social norms, and distances from or lack of exercise facilities were common PA barriers. Facilitators for PA included social support, dog walking, and availability of affordable facilities. Healthy eating barriers included the perception that healthy foods were too expensive; calorically dense large portion sizes served at family meals; and frequency of eating foods away from home, which were perceived as generally unhealthy. Healthy eating supports included culture/value around local food gathering (e.g., hunting and gardening) and preservation (e.g., canning and smoking). Friends and family were frequently identified as key influencers of eating and PA behavior. Conclusions. Targeting both social and built environment factors, particularly those unique to rural locales, may enhance support for healthy eating and PA behavior change interventions.
PMCID: PMC4276670  PMID: 25574386
3.  Acute Effects of Exogenous Hormone Administration on Postprandial Acylation Stimulating Protein Levels in Ovariectomized Rats after a Fat Load 
Background. ASP, a potent lipogenic factor, was linked to female fat metabolism in association studies. Aim. To investigate acute effects of sex hormone treatment on postprandial ASP levels in vivo. Methods. 24 female rats were randomly divided into 4 groups including controls. The rats were ovariectomized and injected with progesterone, estrogen, or testosterone. An hour later, olive oil was administered orally. Plasma ASP and triglycerides were measured at several postprandial time points. Area under the curve (TG-AUC) represented TG clearance. Results. Only the progesterone treated group had a significant postprandial ASP increase at two hours compared to basal levels (439.8 ± 62.4 versus 253.4 ± 59.03 μg/mL, P = 0.04). Interestingly, increased ASP levels coordinated negatively with corresponding TG levels and TG-AUC postprandially, mostly evident in the opposite effects in the progesterone and testosterone treated groups. ASP levels increased 3-fold in the progesterone versus testosterone treated groups, whereas TG-AUC was significantly lower. Conclusion. These findings suggest that progesterone enhances ASP production and TG clearance simultaneously, supporting the notion of a stimulatory role for progesterone on ASP-mediated TG clearance. This is the first functional study demonstrating a cause-effect relationship between hormone treatment and ASP levels in vivo and may contribute to understanding the mechanism of progesterone function as a female lipogenic hormone.
PMCID: PMC4267214  PMID: 25525514
4.  The Intake of Energy and Selected Nutrients by Thai Urban Sedentary Workers: An Evaluation of Adherence to Dietary Recommendations 
Rapid changes in Thailand's nutrition and lifestyles have led to increasing diet-related pathologies among people with sedentary occupations. This study examines the extent to which the dietary intake of nutrients and energy by a sample of Thai sedentary workers conforms to the Thai Dietary Reference Intakes (Thai DRIs). The nutrients and energy intake estimates were based on self-reported information collected with a single 24-hour dietary recall and nonweighed 2-day food record. The study participants were Thai adults aged 20–50 years employed in sedentary occupations. A convenience sample of 215 healthy individuals (75 males and 140 females) was based on four randomly selected worksites in the Bangkok metropolitan area. For male participants, the study found a median energy intake of 1,485 kcal/day, with 54.4% of energy coming from carbohydrate, 15.9% from protein, and 29.6% from fat. Females' median energy intake was 1,428 kcal/day, 56% of which came from carbohydrate, 16.2% from protein, and 28.6% from fat. Both genders showed insufficient intake of fiber and most micronutrients. This study provides the material for preventive public health interventions focusing on nutrition-related diseases affecting Thailand's rapidly growing sedentary workforce.
PMCID: PMC4267465  PMID: 25525512
5.  Measuring Outcomes in Adult Weight Loss Studies That Include Diet and Physical Activity: A Systematic Review 
Background. Measuring success of obesity interventions is critical. Several methods measure weight loss outcomes but there is no consensus on best practices. This systematic review evaluates relevant outcomes (weight loss, BMI, % body fat, and fat mass) to determine which might be the best indicator(s) of success. Methods. Eligible articles described adult weight loss interventions that included diet and physical activity and a measure of weight or BMI change and body composition change. Results. 28 full-text articles met inclusion criteria. Subjects, settings, intervention lengths, and intensities varied. All studies measured body weight (−2.9 to −17.3 kg), 9 studies measured BMI (−1.1 to −5.1 kg/m2), 20 studies measured % body fat (−0.7 to −10.2%), and 22 studies measured fat mass (−0.9 to −14.9 kg). All studies found agreement between weight or BMI and body fat mass or body fat % decreases, though there were discrepancies in degree of significance between measures. Conclusions. Nearly all weight or BMI and body composition measures agreed. Since body fat is the most metabolically harmful tissue type, it may be a more meaningful measure of health change. Future studies should consider primarily measuring % body fat, rather than or in addition to weight or BMI.
PMCID: PMC4262752  PMID: 25525513
6.  Effects of Canned Pineapple Consumption on Nutritional Status, Immunomodulation, and Physical Health of Selected School Children 
This randomized, controlled trial examined the effects of canned pineapple consumption on immunomodulation, nutritional status, and physical health of ninety-eight (98) school children with mean age of 8.44 ± 0.20. The study participants were divided into three groups: Group A (33) includes subjects who were not given canned pineapple, Group B (33) includes those who were given 140 g, and Group C (32) includes those given 280 g of canned pineapple for nine weeks. Each major group was further divided into two groups: normal (N) and underweight (U) based on 2007 WHO Growth Reference Standards. Sociodemographic, anthropometric, physical examination, dietary intake, hemoglobin level, and immunological data were analyzed. Results showed a decrease in incidence of viral and bacterial infections for both Group B and Group C (normal and underweight) after canned pineapple consumption. Granulocyte production increased by 0.77–26.61% for normal weight subjects and 14.95–34.55% for underweight. CD16+56 count augmented by 20.44–22.13% for normal weight and 3.57–15.89% for underweight subjects. Thus, intake of both one can (140 g) and two cans (280 g) of canned pineapple may shorten the duration and incidence of infection and may increase the production of granulocytes and CD16+56, but intake of two cans (280 g) demonstrated higher granulocyte and CD16+56 production. This trial is registered with Philippine Health Research Registry: PHRR140826-000225.
PMCID: PMC4258310  PMID: 25505983
7.  Effects of High Phosphorus Diet on Bone Metabolism-Related Gene Expression in Young and Aged Mice 
In this study, the effects of high phosphorus (P) diet on bone metabolism-related gene expression were investigated in young and aged mice. Twelve- and 80-week-old ddY male mice were divided into two groups, respectively, and fed a control diet containing 0.3% P or a high P diet containing 1.2% P. After 4 weeks of treatment, serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentration was significantly higher in the high P groups than in the control groups in both young and aged mice and was significantly higher in aged mice than in young mice fed the high P diet. High P diet significantly increased receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) mRNA in the femur of both young and aged mice and significantly increased the RANKL/osteoprotegerin (OPG) mRNA ratio only in aged mice. High P diet significantly increased mRNA expression of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 6, calbindin-D9k, and plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase 1b in the duodenum of both young and aged mice. These results suggest that high P diet increased RANKL mRNA expression in the femur and calcium absorption-related gene expression in the duodenum regardless of age. Furthermore, the high P diet-induced increase in PTH secretion might increase the RANKL/OPG mRNA ratio in aged mice.
PMCID: PMC4253706  PMID: 25505982
8.  Body Composition and Basal Metabolic Rate in Women with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus 
Objective. The aim of this study was to determine which of the seven selected equations used to predict basal metabolic rate most accurately estimated the measured basal metabolic rate. Methods. Twenty-eight adult women with type 2 diabetes mellitus participated in this cross-sectional study. Anthropometric and biochemical variables were measured as well as body composition (by absorptiometry dual X-ray emission) and basal metabolic rate (by indirect calorimetry); basal metabolic rate was also estimated by prediction equations. Results. There was a significant difference between the measured and the estimated basal metabolic rate determined by the FAO/WHO/UNU (Pvalue < 0.021) and Huang et al. (Pvalue ≤ 0.005) equations. Conclusion. The calculations using Owen et al's. equation were the closest to the measured basal metabolic rate.
PMCID: PMC4243127  PMID: 25436144
9.  Sex-Related Differences in the Effects of the Mediterranean Diet on Glucose and Insulin Homeostasis 
Objective. To document sex differences in the impact of the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) on glucose/insulin homeostasis and to verify whether these sex-related effects were associated with changes in nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA). Methods. All foods were provided to 38 men and 32 premenopausal women (24–53 y) during 4 weeks. Variables were measured during a 180 min OGTT before and after the MedDiet. Results. A sex-by-time interaction for plasma insulin iAUC was found (men: −17.8%, P = 0.02; women: +9.4%, P = 0.63; P for sex-by-time interaction = 0.005). A sex-by-time interaction was also observed for insulin sensitivity (Cederholm index, P = 0.03), for which only men experienced improvements (men: +8.1%, P = 0.047; women: −5.9%, P = 0.94). No sex difference was observed for glucose and C-peptide responses. Trends toward a decrease in NEFA AUC (P = 0.06) and an increase in NEFA suppression rate (P = 0.06) were noted, with no sex difference. Changes in NEFA were not associated with change in insulin sensitivity. Conclusions. Results suggest that the more favorable changes in glucose/insulin homeostasis observed in men compared to women in response to the MedDiet are not explained by sex differences in NEFA response. This clinical trial is registered with NCT01293344.
PMCID: PMC4209833  PMID: 25371817
10.  Leucine Modulates Mitochondrial Biogenesis and SIRT1-AMPK Signaling in C2C12 Myotubes 
Previous studies from this laboratory demonstrate that dietary leucine protects against high fat diet-induced mitochondrial impairments and stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis and energy partitioning from adipocytes to muscle cells through SIRT1-mediated mechanisms. Moreover, β-hydroxy-β-methyl butyrate (HMB), a metabolite of leucine, has been reported to activate AMPK synergistically with resveratrol in C2C12 myotubes. Therefore, we hypothesize that leucine-induced activation of SIRT1 and AMPK is the central event that links the upregulated mitochondrial biogenesis and fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle. Thus, C2C12 myotubes were treated with leucine (0.5 mM), alanine (0.5 mM), valine (0.5 mM), EX527 (SIRT1 inhibitor, 25 μM), and Compound C (AMPK inhibitor, 25 μM) alone or in combination to determine the roles of AMPK and SIRT1 in leucine-modulation of energy metabolism. Leucine significantly increased mitochondrial content, mitochondrial biogenesis-related genes expression, fatty acid oxidation, SIRT1 activity and gene expression, and AMPK phosphorylation in C2C12 myotubes compared to the controls, while EX527 and Compound C markedly attenuated these effects. Furthermore, leucine treatment for 24 hours resulted in time-dependent increases in cellular NAD+, SIRT1 activity, and p-AMPK level, with SIRT1 activation preceding that of AMPK, indicating that leucine activation of SIRT1, rather than AMPK, is the primary event.
PMCID: PMC4220583  PMID: 25400942
11.  A Randomized Clinical Trial of Nutrition Education for Improvement of Diet Quality and Inflammation in Iranian Obese Women 
Background. Obesity is considered as a low grade inflammation condition. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of nutritional education on diet quality and biomarkers of inflammation in Iranian obese women. Method. Sixty obese women voluntarily participated in this randomized clinical trial and were randomly assigned to intervention or control group (n = 30). Intervention group was instructed to attend nutrition education sessions (1 hr/wk, for 3 months) in small groups. Diet quality scores were measured by Healthy Eating Index (HEI). Anthropometric indices and serum concentration of hs-CRP, TNF-α, and adiponectin were measured at the baseline and end of the intervention. Results. There were no significant differences in anthropometric indices of participants between the two groups at the end of intervention (P > 0.05). However, the total HEI score was significantly higher in the educated group compared to the control group after intervention (P < 0.05). The educated group also showed significant lower concentration of TNF-α and hs-CRP and higher levels of adiponectin than the control group at the end of study (P < 0.05). Conclusions. Our results provide limited evidence that higher dietary quality contributes to reduced inflammation in obese women. This effect could be independent of the weight loss.
PMCID: PMC4202200  PMID: 25349725
12.  A Body Shape Index and Heart Rate Variability in Healthy Indians with Low Body Mass Index 
Background. One third of Indian population is said to be suffering from chronic energy deficiency (CED), with increased risk of developing chronic diseases. A new anthropometric measure called A Body Shape Index (ABSI) is said to be a better index in predicting risks for premature mortality. ABSI is also in part said to be a surrogate of visceral fat. Objective. The present study aimed to explore the association between indices of HRV (heart rate variability), BMI, WC, and ABSI in healthy Indian males with low BMI (BMI < 18.5 kg/m2) and to compare with normal BMI group (BMI 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2). Methodology. ABSI and BMI were derived from anthropometric parameters, namely, height, weight, and waist circumference in 178 males aged 18 to 78 years. Subjects were categorized into two groups based on their BMI. Results and Conclusions. Power spectral analysis of HRV demonstrated a significant negative correlation between Log HF (high frequency) and ABSI in both low BMI [−24.2 (9.4), P < 0.05] and normal BMI group [−23.41 (10.1), P < 0.05] even after controlling for age. Thus even with slight increase in BMI among low BMI individuals, there could be a greater risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
PMCID: PMC4202247  PMID: 25371818
13.  Food Insecurity and Not Dietary Diversity Is a Predictor of Nutrition Status in Children within Semiarid Agro-Ecological Zones in Eastern Kenya 
Machakos and Makueni counties in Kenya are associated with historical land degradation, climate change, and food insecurity. Both counties lie in lower midland (LM) lower humidity to semiarid (LM4), and semiarid (LM5) agroecological zones (AEZ). We assessed food security, dietary diversity, and nutritional status of children and women. Materials and Methods. A total of 277 woman-child pairs aged 15–46 years and 6–36 months respectively, were recruited from farmer households. Food security and dietary diversity were assessed using standard tools. Weight and height, or length in children, were used for computation of nutritional status. Findings. No significant difference (P > 0.05) was observed in food security and dietary diversity score (DDS) between LM4 and LM5. Stunting, wasting, and underweight levels among children in LM4 and LM5 were comparable as were BMI scores among women. However, significant associations (P = 0.023) were found between severe food insecurity and nutritional status of children but not of their caregivers. Stunting was significantly higher in older children (>2 years) and among children whose caregivers were older. Conclusion. Differences in AEZ may not affect dietary diversity and nutritional status of farmer households. Consequently use of DDS may lead to underestimation of food insecurity in semiarid settings.
PMCID: PMC4195253  PMID: 25328691
14.  Validity of Nutritional Screening Tools for Hospitalized Children 
Background. Malnutrition in hospitalized children can be prevented if children with risk of malnutrition are identified. Every hospital is recommended to have a standard nutritional screening tool. Numerous simple screening tools have been developed, namely Paediatric Yorkhill Malnutrition Score (PYMS), Screening Tool for the Assessment of Malnutrition in Paediatrics (STAMP), and Screening Tool for Risk on Nutritional Status and Growth (STRONG-kids). None has been accepted as a universal tool. Our study aims to determine the best screening tools compared to Subjective Global Nutrition Assessment (SGNA), an assessment tool which is more complex as our gold standard. Methods. This diagnostic study involved 116 patients aged 1–15 years. Three screening tools and SGNA were examined to each subject. Statistical analysis was used to determine sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratio (LR) by results from screening tools divided into low and moderate-high risk of malnutrition compared to results from SGNA divided into no and moderate-severe malnutrition. Results. PYMS showed superior agreement to SGNA resulting in sensitivity 95.32%, specificity 76.92%, positive LR 4.13, and negative LR 0.061. STAMP resulted in sensitivity, specificity, positive LR, and negative LR, respectively, as 100%, 11.54%, 1.13, and 0 and STRONG-kids resulted in 100%, 7.7%, 1.083, and 0. Conclusion. PYMS was the most reliable screening tool.
PMCID: PMC4178907  PMID: 25298890
15.  Moringa oleifera Supplemented Diets Prevented Nickel-Induced Nephrotoxicity in Wistar Rats 
Background. The Moringa oleifera plant has been implicated for several therapeutic potentials. Objective. To evaluate whether addition of M. oleifera to diet has protective effect against nickel-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. Methodology. Male Wistar rats were assigned into six groups of five. The rats were given oral exposure to 20 mg/kg nickel sulphate (NiSO4) in normal saline and sustained on either normal diet or diets supplemented with Moringa oleifera at different concentrations for 21 days. 24 hours after cessation of treatments, all animals were sacrificed under slight anesthesia. The blood and kidney samples were collected for biochemical and histopathology analyses, respectively. Results. NiSO4 exposure reduced the kidney-to-body weight ratio in rats and caused significant elevation in the levels of plasma creatinine, urea, and potassium. Also, the plasma level of sodium was decreased by NiSO4 exposure. However, addition of M. oleifera to diets averted the nickel-induced alteration to the level of creatinine and urea. The histopathology revealed damaged renal tubules and glomerular walls caused by NiSO4 exposure. In contrast, the damages were ameliorated by the M. oleifera supplemented diets. Conclusion. The addition of M. oleifera to diet afforded significant protection against nickel-induced nephrotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC4177826  PMID: 25295181
16.  Effect of a Mediterranean Diet Intervention on Dietary Glycemic Load and Dietary Glycemic Index: The PREDIMED Study 
Objective. To compare the one year effect of two dietary interventions with MeDiet on GL and GI in the PREDIMED trial. Methods. Participants were older subjects at high risk for cardiovascular disease. This analysis included 2866 nondiabetic subjects. Diet was assessed with a validated 137-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). The GI of each FFQ item was assigned by a 5-step methodology using the International Tables of GI and GL Values. Generalized linear models were fitted to assess the relationship between the intervention group and dietary GL and GI at one year of follow-up, using control group as reference. Results. Multivariate-adjusted models showed an inverse association between GL and MeDiet + extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) group: β = −8.52 (95% CI: −10.83 to −6.20) and MeDiet + Nuts group: β = −10.34 (95% CI: −12.69 to −8.00), when comparing with control group. Regarding GI, β = −0.93 (95% CI: −1.38 to −0.49) for MeDiet + EVOO, β = −1.06 (95% CI: −1.51 to −0.62) for MeDiet + Nuts when comparing with control group. Conclusion. Dietary intervention with MeDiet supplemented with EVOO or nuts lowers dietary GL and GI.
PMCID: PMC4180650  PMID: 25295183
17.  HO-1 Upregulation Attenuates Adipocyte Dysfunction, Obesity, and Isoprostane Levels in Mice Fed High Fructose Diets 
Background. Fructose metabolism is an unregulated metabolic pathway and excessive fructose consumption is known to activate ROS. HO-1 is a potent antioxidant gene that plays a key role in decreasing ROS and isoprostanes. We examined whether the fructose-mediated increase in adipocyte dysfunction involves an increase in isoprostanes and that pharmacological induction of HO-1 would decrease both isoprostane levels and adipogenesis. Methods and Results. We examined the effect of fructose, on adipogenesis in human MSCs in the presence and absence of CoPP, an inducer of HO-1. Fructose increased adipogenesis and the number of large lipid droplets while decreasing the number of small lipid droplets (P < 0.05). Levels of heme and isoprostane in fructose treated MSC-derived adipocytes were increased. CoPP reversed these effects and markedly increased HO-1 and the Wnt signaling pathway. The high fructose diet increased heme levels in adipose tissue and increased circulating isoprostane levels (P < 0.05 versus control). Fructose diets decreased HO-1 and adiponectin levels in adipose tissue. Induction of HO-1 by CoPP decreased isoprostane synthesis (P < 0.05 versus fructose). Conclusion. Fructose treatment resulted in increased isoprostane production and adipocyte dysfunction, which was reversed by the increased expression of HO-1.
PMCID: PMC4175747  PMID: 25295182
18.  Trigonella Foenum-Graecum Seeds Lowers Postprandial Blood Glucose in Overweight and Obese Individuals 
This study determined the effects of fenugreek on postprandial plasma glucose (PPG) and satiety among overweight and obese individuals. Fourteen subjects were studied in the morning after overnight fasts on four separate occasions. Glycaemic responses elicited by 50 g carbohydrate portions of white bread and jam with or without 5.5 g of fenugreek and fried rice with or without 5.5 g fenugreek were determined over 2 h. The primary endpoint was the incremental area under the plasma glucose response curve (IAUC). Adding fenugreek to both foods significantly reduced the IAUC compared to the food alone: white bread and jam, 180 ± 22 versus 271 ± 23 mmol × min/L (P = 0.001); fried rice, 176 ± 20 versus 249 ± 25 mmol × min/L (P = 0.001). Fenugreek also significantly reduced the area under the satiety curve for white bread with jam (134 ± 27 versus 232 ± 33 mm × hr, P = 0.01) and fried rice (280 ± 37 versus 379 ± 36 mm × hr, P = 0.01). It is concluded that fenugreek significantly decreased the PPG response and increased satiety among overweight and obese individuals.
PMCID: PMC4167814  PMID: 25276421
19.  Accuracy of Self-Reported Physical Activity Levels in Obese Adolescents 
Introduction. Self-reported measures of habitual physical activity rely completely on the respondent's ability to provide accurate information on their own physical activity behaviours. Our aim was to investigate if obese adolescents could accurately report their physical activity levels (PAL) using self-reported diaries. Methods. Total energy expenditure (TEE) was measured using doubly labelled water (DLW) and resting energy expenditure (REE) was measured via indirect calorimetry. Activity energy expenditure (AEE) and PAL values were derived from measured TEE and REE. Self-reported, four-day activity diaries were used to calculate daily MET values and averaged to give an estimated PAL value (ePAL). Results. Twenty-two obese adolescents, mean age 13.2 ± 1.8 years, mean BMI 31.3 ± 4.6 kg/m2, completed the study. No significant differences between mean measured and estimated PAL values were observed (1.37 ± 0.13 versus 1.40 ± 0.34, P = 0.74). Bland Altman analysis illustrated a significant relationship (r = −0.76, P < 0.05) between the two methods; thus the bias was not consistent across a range of physical activity levels, with the more inactive overreporting their physical activity. Conclusion. At an individual level, obese adolescents are unlikely to be able to provide an accurate estimation of their own activity.
PMCID: PMC4160648  PMID: 25247095
20.  The Relationship between the Neighborhood Safety and Nutritional Status of Children in Baghdad City, Iraq 
Introduction. The neighborhoods where the children live play an important role in their development physically and mentally. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between neighborhood safety and child nutritional status in Baghdad city, Iraq. Methods. A cross-sectional study was carried out in Baghdad city, Iraq, among 400 primary school children from 4 schools. BMI-for-age Z score was used to assess the nutritional status of the children. Newly developed questionnaires on neighborhood safety were distributed to the parents to answer them. Results. In this study, males were more predominant than females with 215 participants compared to 185 females. A total of 49% were normal weight, 38.8% either overweight or obese, and only 12.2% underweight. There was a significant relationship between father education, father and mother working status, family income, and children nutritional status (P = 0.10, 0.009, <0.001, 0.37), respectively. The association between neighborhood safety variables and child nutritional status was significant except for worrying about child safety and thinking of leaving the neighborhood (P = 0.082, 0.084), respectively. Conclusion. Nutritional status of school children continues to be a public health issue in Iraq especially Baghdad city. There was a significant association between neighborhood safety and children nutritional status.
PMCID: PMC4158565  PMID: 25243083
21.  Vitamin D Supplementation in Australia: Implications for the Development of Supplementation Guidelines 
High rates of vitamin D deficiency and testing have been reported in Australia, yet there are few reports regarding vitamin D supplement use. Australian wholesale sales data was obtained for vitamin D supplements for the period 2000–2011. There has been a threefold increase in supplement sales over the past decade, whereby over A$94 million supplements containing vitamin D in Australia were sold during the year 2010. There were eighty-nine manufacturers that produce a variety of 195 vitamin D products. The amount of vitamin D in these products varies considerably, from 40 to 1000 IU per unit, although supplements containing only vitamin D had the highest amount of vitamin D. There was a trend for sales to increase in winter months. Given the potential public health benefits of vitamin D, there is an urgent need for a better understanding of supplementation use and for the development of supplementation.
PMCID: PMC4152924  PMID: 25210624
22.  Low-Salt Intake during Mating or Gestation in Rats Is Associated with Low Birth and Survival Rates of Babies 
We investigated the influence of maternal salt restriction during mating or gestation on birth rate and offspring growth in Dahl salt-sensitive rats (DS). DS were divided into 5 groups: DS fed a low-salt (0.3% NaCl, w/w) (DS-low) or high-salt (4% NaCl, w/w) diet (DS-high) during mating and DS-high or DS-low during gestation, and DS fed regular chow (0.75% NaCl, w/w) (DS-regular) throughout mating and gestation. During the unspecified periods, the rats were given regular chow. DS-low during mating delivered fewer infants than high-salt mothers (P < 0.05). The birth rate on regular chow was 87%. Six out of 11 DS-low rats during pregnancy produced pups while the rats fed a high-salt diet all delivered pups (P < 0.025). The pup survival rate was 67% for high-salt mothers during mating and 54% for mothers on a low-salt diet. The pup survival rate was 95% for mothers on a high-salt diet during pregnancy and 64% for mothers on a low-salt diet (P < 0.0001). Seven out of 8 DS-regular rats during mating delivered 59 neonates. However, 66% of the neonates survived. A low-salt diet during mating or pregnancy lowers birth rate and the neonates from low-salt mothers during pregnancy were more likely to die than those from high-salt mothers.
PMCID: PMC4150484  PMID: 25197564
23.  A Modern Cohort of Duodenal Obstruction Patients: Predictors of Delayed Transition to Full Enteral Nutrition 
Background. A common site for neonatal intestinal obstruction is the duodenum. Delayed establishment of enteral nutritional autonomy continues to challenge surgeons and, since early institution of nutritional support is critical in postoperative newborns, identification of patients likely to require alternative nutritional support may improve their outcomes. Therefore, we aimed to investigate risk factors leading to delayed establishment of full enteral nutrition in these patients. Methods. 87 patients who were surgically treated for intrinsic duodenal obstructions from 1998 to 2012 were reviewed. Variables were tested as potential risk factors. Median time to full enteral nutrition was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Independent risk factors of delayed transition were identified using the multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression model. Results. Median time to transition to full enteral nutrition was 12 days (interquartile range: 9–17 days). Multivariate Cox analysis identified three significant risk factors for delayed enteral nutrition: gestational age (GA) ≤ 35 weeks (P < .001), congenital heart disease (CHD) (P = .02), and malrotation (P = .03). Conclusions. CHD and Prematurity are most commonly associated with delayed transition to full enteral nutrition. Thus, in these patients, supportive nutrition should strongly be considered pending enteral nutritional autonomy.
PMCID: PMC4150512  PMID: 25210625
24.  Anthropometry and Dietary Intake before and during a Competition in Mountain Runners 
Mountain running is a non-Olympic sport consisting of uphill or up- and downhill races at moderate-to-high altitude. Special nutritional requirements are anticipated, but no nutritional data of mountain runners are available. In three studies, physique of elite and recreational athletes (N = 62), maximum oxygen uptake (N = 3), and prerace and race day dietary intake (N = 6) were measured (mean ± SD). Mean oxygen uptake was 68.7 ± 5.2 mL/kg/min. Energy and carbohydrate intake before a race (29 ± 15 km, 1596 ± 556 m HD) was 3199 ± 701 kcal/d (13.4 ± 2.9 MJ/d) and 497 ± 128 g/d (8.3 ± 1.8 g/kg/d) in German national team members. Fluid intake was calculated as 2783 ± 1543 mL/d. During the race, athletes consumed 336 ± 364 kcal and 927 ± 705 mL of fluids. Substrate intake per hour was calculated as 23 ± 22 g of carbohydrates and 4.0 ± 3.2 g of proteins. In conclusion, anthropometric and oxygen uptake characteristics of mountain runners were similar to those reported for elite distance runners. Carbohydrate intake before and during the race was below recommendations for endurance athletes. This is of concern when considering the increased reliance on carbohydrates at altitude.
PMCID: PMC4142283  PMID: 25177498
25.  Effects of Astrocaryum aculeatum Meyer (Tucumã) on Diet-Induced Dyslipidemic Rats 
An in vivo study was conducted to assess the effects of the consumption of Astrocaryum aculeatum Amazon Meyer (tucumã) in the treatment of diet-induced dyslipidemia in sedentary and exercised Wistar rats. With an average weight of 350 grams, 40 male rats were divided into 4 subgroups of 10. The sedentary control group (SCG) was fed with commercial feed, while the sedentary treatment group (STG) was fed with a ration of tucumã. In addition to the sedentary groups, two exercise groups were formed. The Exercised control group (ECG) was fed with commercial food and the exercised treatment group (ETG) was fed with a ration of tucumã. Body weight gain and food intake were monitored during the experiment. Plasma was analyzed for cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-C, LDL-C, VLDL, total protein, glucose, insulin, and leptin concentrations. Our results show that the ECG group tended to consume more food, while the groups that were fed with tucumã pulp (STG and ETG) presented a greater tendency to gain body mass. ECG group showed a tendency towards a higher concentration of cholesterol in plasma, while STG and ETG presented higher absolute values for triglycerides and VLDL. No hypolipiemic effect was observed related to tucuma ingestion.
PMCID: PMC4137598  PMID: 25165578

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