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1.  Gut microbiota of healthy Canadian infants: profiles by mode of delivery and infant diet at 4 months 
Background:
The gut microbiota is essential to human health throughout life, yet the acquisition and development of this microbial community during infancy remains poorly understood. Meanwhile, there is increasing concern over rising rates of cesarean delivery and insufficient exclusive breastfeeding of infants in developed countries. In this article, we characterize the gut microbiota of healthy Canadian infants and describe the influence of cesarean delivery and formula feeding.
Methods:
We included a subset of 24 term infants from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) birth cohort. Mode of delivery was obtained from medical records, and mothers were asked to report on infant diet and medication use. Fecal samples were collected at 4 months of age, and we characterized the microbiota composition using high-throughput DNA sequencing.
Results:
We observed high variability in the profiles of fecal microbiota among the infants. The profiles were generally dominated by Actinobacteria (mainly the genus Bifidobacterium) and Firmicutes (with diverse representation from numerous genera). Compared with breastfed infants, formula-fed infants had increased richness of species, with overrepresentation of Clostridium difficile. Escherichia–Shigella and Bacteroides species were underrepresented in infants born by cesarean delivery. Infants born by elective cesarean delivery had particularly low bacterial richness and diversity.
Interpretation:
These findings advance our understanding of the gut microbiota in healthy infants. They also provide new evidence for the effects of delivery mode and infant diet as determinants of this essential microbial community in early life.
doi:10.1503/cmaj.121189
PMCID: PMC3602254  PMID: 23401405
2.  Vaccenic and Elaidic Acid Modify Plasma and Splenocyte Membrane Phospholipids and Mitogen-Stimulated Cytokine Production in Obese Insulin Resistant JCR: LA-cp Rats  
Nutrients  2010;2(2):181-197.
This study assessed the long-term effects of dietary vaccenic acid (VA) and elaidic acid (EA) on plasma and splenocyte phospholipid (PL) composition and related changes in inflammation and splenocyte phenotypes and cytokine responses in obese/insulin resistant JCR:LA-cp rats. Relative to lean control (Ctl), obese Ctl rats had higher serum haptoglobin and impaired T-cell-stimulated cytokine responses. VA and EA diets improved T-cell-stimulated cytokine production; but, only VA normalized serum haptoglobin. However, EA- and VA-fed rats had enhanced LPS-stimulated cytokine responses. The changes elicited by VA were likely due changes in essential fatty acid composition in PL; whereas EA-induced changes may due to direct incorporation into membrane PL.
doi:10.3390/nu2020181
PMCID: PMC3257632  PMID: 22254015
vaccenic acid; elaidic acid; phospholipid; obese; immune; inflammation; cytokines; trans fat
3.  The Modifying Effects of Galactomannan from Canadian-Grown Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) on the Glycemic and Lipidemic Status in Rats 
Using high sucrose-fed male Sprague-Dawley rats, a study was conducted to determine the effects of feeding Galactomannan (GAL), a soluble dietary fiber extracted from Canadian-grown fenugreek seeds, on blood lipid and glucose responses. Rats (n = 8, 175–200 g) were randomly assigned to one of three high sucrose diets containing 10% cellulose (control), 7.5% cellulose + 2.5% GAL, and 5% cellulose + 5% GAL, respectively for 4 weeks. After 3 weeks, an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed on each rat. A week later blood samples were collected to determine the effect on blood lipids. A significant reduction in glycemic response was observed only in 5% GAL group at 120 min following OGTT, when compared with that of control and 2.5% GAL groups. The plasma level of insulin was also significantly reduced (p<0.001) in 5% GAL-fed rats but at all times during OGTT. These animals also showed a reduction in body weight gain (p<0.05) in parallel with less food intake (p<0.05). All GAL-fed (2.5% and 5.0%) rats had significantly reduced plasma levels of triglycerides and total cholesterol in association with a reduction in epididymal adipose weight. Overall, this study demonstrated that feeding GAL from Canadian-grown fenugreek seeds has the potential to alter glycemic and lipidemic status and reduce abdominal fat in normal rats.
doi:10.3164/jcbn.2008060
PMCID: PMC2581758  PMID: 19015751
Canadian fenugreek seed; galactomannan; glycemic status; lipidemic status; epididymal tissue

Results 1-3 (3)