Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Editorial

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Editorial
Diet and Immune Function
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1933; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11081933 - 16 Aug 2019
Cited by 87
Abstract
A well-functioning immune system is critical for survival. The immune system must be constantly alert, monitoring for signs of invasion or danger. Cells of the immune system must be able to distinguish self from non-self and furthermore discriminate between non-self molecules which are [...] Read more.
A well-functioning immune system is critical for survival. The immune system must be constantly alert, monitoring for signs of invasion or danger. Cells of the immune system must be able to distinguish self from non-self and furthermore discriminate between non-self molecules which are harmful (e.g., those from pathogens) and innocuous non-self molecules (e.g., from food). This Special Issue of Nutrients explores the relationship between diet and nutrients and immune function. In this preface, we outline the key functions of the immune system, and how it interacts with nutrients across the life course, highlighting the work included within this Special Issue. This includes the role of macronutrients, micronutrients, and the gut microbiome in mediating immunological effects. Nutritional modulation of the immune system has applications within the clinical setting, but can also have a role in healthy populations, acting to reduce or delay the onset of immune-mediated chronic diseases. Ongoing research in this field will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the role of diet and nutrients in immune function and will facilitate the use of bespoke nutrition to improve human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Immune Function)

Research

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Article
The Impact of COVID-19 on Health Behavior, Stress, Financial and Food Security among Middle to High Income Canadian Families with Young Children
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2352; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12082352 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 82
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of daily life. The purpose of this study was to identify how health behaviors, level of stress, financial and food security have been impacted by the pandemic among Canadian families with young children. Parents (mothers, n [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of daily life. The purpose of this study was to identify how health behaviors, level of stress, financial and food security have been impacted by the pandemic among Canadian families with young children. Parents (mothers, n = 235 and fathers, n = 126) from 254 families participating in an ongoing study completed an online survey that included close and open-ended questions. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the quantitative data and qualitative responses were analyzed using thematic analysis. More than half of our sample reported that their eating and meal routines have changed since COVID-19; most commonly reported changes were eating more snack foods and spending more time cooking. Screen time increased among 74% of mothers, 61% of fathers, and 87% of children and physical activity decreased among 59% of mothers, 52% of fathers, and 52% of children. Key factors influencing family stress include balancing work with childcare/homeschooling and financial instability. While some unhealthful behaviors appeared to have been exacerbated, other more healthful behaviors also emerged since COVID-19. Research is needed to determine the longer-term impact of the pandemic on behaviors and to identify effective strategies to support families in the post-COVID-19 context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
COVID-19 Lockdown and Changes of the Dietary Pattern and Physical Activity Habits in a Cohort of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2327; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12082327 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 54
Abstract
The COVID-19 lockdown clearly affected the lifestyle of the population and entailed changes in their daily habits, which involved potential health consequences, especially on patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). We aimed to examine the impact of the lockdown caused by COVID-19 [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 lockdown clearly affected the lifestyle of the population and entailed changes in their daily habits, which involved potential health consequences, especially on patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). We aimed to examine the impact of the lockdown caused by COVID-19 pandemic on both nutrition and exercise habits, as well as the psychological effects in patients with T2DM, compared to their usual diet and physical activity level previous to the complete home confinement. We also intended to analyse any potential variables that may have influenced these lifestyle modifications. A Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), Food Craving Questionnaire-State (FCQ-S) and Food Craving Questionnaire-Trait (FCQ-T) were used. Our results showed an increase in vegetable, sugary food and snack consumption. An association between levels of foods cravings and snack consumption was also found. Data also showed a high percentage of physical inactivity before the COVID-19 lockdown, which was exacerbated during the home confinement. These findings emphasise the great importance to do further research with larger study samples to analyse and explore dietary habits and to develop public health policies to promote a healthy lifestyle in terms of diet and physical activity in these patients, especially after this strict period of lockdown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
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Article
Dietary and Lifestyle Changes During COVID-19 and the Subsequent Lockdowns among Polish Adults: A Cross-Sectional Online Survey PLifeCOVID-19 Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2324; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12082324 - 03 Aug 2020
Cited by 91
Abstract
The present study aimed to identify patterns of dietary changes during the COVID-19 pandemic and their associations with sociodemographics, body mass index (BMI) before pandemic, and lifestyle changes in Polish adults and to examine the effects of lockdowns on dietary–lifestyle changes. This study [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to identify patterns of dietary changes during the COVID-19 pandemic and their associations with sociodemographics, body mass index (BMI) before pandemic, and lifestyle changes in Polish adults and to examine the effects of lockdowns on dietary–lifestyle changes. This study used a cross-sectional online survey to collect data. The k-means algorithm was used to determine of patterns of dietary changes, and logistic regression analyses were performed. During the study period, 43% of respondents decreased physical activity (PA), 49%—increased screen time, and 34%—increased food consumption. Among the three dietary changes patterns, two opposite patterns were found: Prohealthy (28% participants) and Unhealthy (19% participants).The adherence to the Prohealthy pattern was negatively associated with age, but positively with being overweight (aOR 1.31) or obese before pandemic (aOR 1.64). Residing in a macroeconomic region with GDP > 100% decreased adherence to the Prohealthy (aOR 0.73) but increased adherence to the Unhealthy pattern (aOR 1.47). Adults over 40 years old, those living with children, unemployed, those living in a region with a higher GDP, and those not consuming homemade meals could be more exposed to unhealthy behaviors. From a public health perspective, enhancing the message “to be active” during the compulsory isolation period should be prioritized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Psychological Aspects and Eating Habits during COVID-19 Home Confinement: Results of EHLC-COVID-19 Italian Online Survey
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2152; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12072152 - 19 Jul 2020
Cited by 84
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the population with consequences on lifestyles. The aim of the study was to analyse the relationship between eating habits, mental and emotional mood. A survey was conducted online during social isolation, from 24 April [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the population with consequences on lifestyles. The aim of the study was to analyse the relationship between eating habits, mental and emotional mood. A survey was conducted online during social isolation, from 24 April to 18 May 2020, among the Italian population. A total of 602 interviewees were included in the data analysis. A high percentage of respondents experienced a depressed mood, anxious feelings, hypochondria and insomnia (61.3%, 70.4%, 46.2% and 52.2%). Almost half of the respondents felt anxious due to the fact of their eating habits, consumed comfort food and were inclined to increase food intake to feel better. Age was inversely related to dietary control (OR = 0.971, p = 0.005). Females were more anxious and disposed to comfort food than males (p < 0.001; p < 0.001). A strength of our study was represented by the fact that the survey was conducted quickly during the most critical period of the Italian epidemic lockdown. As the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, our data need to be confirmed and investigated in the future with larger population studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Selenium Deficiency Is Associated with Mortality Risk from COVID-19
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2098; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12072098 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 76
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 infections underlie the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and are causative for a high death toll particularly among elderly subjects and those with comorbidities. Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element of high importance for human health and particularly for a well-balanced [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 infections underlie the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and are causative for a high death toll particularly among elderly subjects and those with comorbidities. Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element of high importance for human health and particularly for a well-balanced immune response. The mortality risk from a severe disease like sepsis or polytrauma is inversely related to Se status. We hypothesized that this relation also applies to COVID-19. Serum samples (n = 166) from COVID-19 patients (n = 33) were collected consecutively and analyzed for total Se by X-ray fluorescence and selenoprotein P (SELENOP) by a validated ELISA. Both biomarkers showed the expected strong correlation (r = 0.7758, p < 0.001), pointing to an insufficient Se availability for optimal selenoprotein expression. In comparison with reference data from a European cross-sectional analysis (EPIC, n = 1915), the patients showed a pronounced deficit in total serum Se (mean ± SD, 50.8 ± 15.7 vs. 84.4 ± 23.4 µg/L) and SELENOP (3.0 ± 1.4 vs. 4.3 ± 1.0 mg/L) concentrations. A Se status below the 2.5th percentile of the reference population, i.e., [Se] < 45.7 µg/L and [SELENOP] < 2.56 mg/L, was present in 43.4% and 39.2% of COVID samples, respectively. The Se status was significantly higher in samples from surviving COVID patients as compared with non-survivors (Se; 53.3 ± 16.2 vs. 40.8 ± 8.1 µg/L, SELENOP; 3.3 ± 1.3 vs. 2.1 ± 0.9 mg/L), recovering with time in survivors while remaining low or even declining in non-survivors. We conclude that Se status analysis in COVID patients provides diagnostic information. However, causality remains unknown due to the observational nature of this study. Nevertheless, the findings strengthen the notion of a relevant role of Se for COVID convalescence and support the discussion on adjuvant Se supplementation in severely diseased and Se-deficient patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Minerals and Human Health)
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Article
The Early Food Insecurity Impacts of COVID-19
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2096; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12072096 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 73
Abstract
COVID-19 has disrupted food access and impacted food insecurity, which is associated with numerous adverse individual and public health outcomes. To assess these challenges and understand their impact on food security, we conducted a statewide population-level survey using a convenience sample in Vermont [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has disrupted food access and impacted food insecurity, which is associated with numerous adverse individual and public health outcomes. To assess these challenges and understand their impact on food security, we conducted a statewide population-level survey using a convenience sample in Vermont from 29 March to 12 April 2020, during the beginning of a statewide stay-at-home order. We utilized the United States Department of Agriculture six-item validated food security module to measure food insecurity before COVID-19 and since COVID-19. We assessed food insecurity prevalence and reported food access challenges, coping strategies, and perceived helpful interventions among food secure, consistently food insecure (pre-and post-COVID-19), and newly food insecure (post COVID-19) respondents. Among 3219 respondents, there was nearly a one-third increase (32.3%) in household food insecurity since COVID-19 (p < 0.001), with 35.5% of food insecure households classified as newly food insecure. Respondents experiencing a job loss were at higher odds of experiencing food insecurity (OR 3.06; 95% CI, 2.114–0.46). We report multiple physical and economic barriers, as well as concerns related to food access during COVID-19. Respondents experiencing household food insecurity had higher odds of facing access challenges and utilizing coping strategies, including two-thirds of households eating less since COVID-19 (p < 0.001). Significant differences in coping strategies were documented between respondents in newly food insecure vs. consistently insecure households. These findings have important potential impacts on individual health, including mental health and malnutrition, as well as on future healthcare costs. We suggest proactive strategies to address food insecurity during this crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Changes in Weight and Nutritional Habits in Adults with Obesity during the “Lockdown” Period Caused by the COVID-19 Virus Emergency
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2016; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12072016 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 128
Abstract
Our aim is evaluating the changes in weight and dietary habits in a sample of outpatients with obesity after 1 month of enforced lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Italy. In this observational retrospective study, the patients of our Obesity Unit were [...] Read more.
Our aim is evaluating the changes in weight and dietary habits in a sample of outpatients with obesity after 1 month of enforced lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Italy. In this observational retrospective study, the patients of our Obesity Unit were invited to answer to a 12-question multiple-choice questionnaire relative to weight changes, working activity, exercise, dietary habits, and conditions potentially impacting on nutritional choices. A multivariate regression analysis was performed to evaluate the associations among weight/BMI changes and the analyzed variables. A total of 150 subjects (91.5%) completed the questionnaire. Mean self-reported weight gain was ≈1.5 kg (p < 0.001). Lower exercise, self-reported boredom/solitude, anxiety/depression, enhanced eating, consumption of snacks, unhealthy foods, cereals, and sweets were correlated with a significantly higher weight gain. Multiple regression analyses showed that increased education (inversely, β = −1.15; 95%CI −2.13, −0.17, p = 0.022), self-reported anxiety/depression (β = 1.61; 0.53, 2.69, p = 0.004), and not consuming healthy foods (β = 1.48; 0.19, 2.77, p = 0.026) were significantly associated with increased weight gain. The estimated direct effect of self-reported anxiety/depression on weight was 2.07 kg (1.07, 3.07, p < 0.001). Individuals with obesity significantly gained weight 1 month after the beginning of the quarantine. The adverse mental burden linked to the COVID-19 pandemic was greatly associated with increased weight gain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
Article
The Impact of Isolation Measures Due to COVID-19 on Energy Intake and Physical Activity Levels in Australian University Students
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1865; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12061865 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 55
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in physical isolation measures in many parts of the world. In Australia, nationwide restrictions included staying at home, unless seeking medical care, providing care, purchasing food, undertaking exercise, or attending work in an essential service. All [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in physical isolation measures in many parts of the world. In Australia, nationwide restrictions included staying at home, unless seeking medical care, providing care, purchasing food, undertaking exercise, or attending work in an essential service. All undergraduate university classes transitioned to online, mostly home-based learning. We, therefore, examined the effect of isolation measures during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia (March/April) on diet (24-h recall) and physical activity (Active Australia Survey) patterns in third-year biomedical students. Findings were compared with students enrolled in the same course in the previous two years. In females, but not males, energy intake was ~20% greater during the pandemic, and snacking frequency and energy density of consumed snacks also increased compared with 2018 and 2019. Physical activity was impacted for both sexes during the pandemic with ~30% fewer students achieving “sufficient” levels of activity, defined by at least 150 min over at least five sessions, compared with the previous two years. In a follow-up study six to eight weeks later (14–18% response rate), during gradual easing of nationwide restrictions albeit continued gym closures and online learning, higher energy intake in females and reduced physical activity levels in both sexes persisted. These data demonstrate the health impacts of isolation measures, with the potential to affect long-term diet and activity behaviours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutritional Epidemiology)
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Article
Covid-19 Confinement and Changes of Adolescent’s Dietary Trends in Italy, Spain, Chile, Colombia and Brazil
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1807; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12061807 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 100
Abstract
Confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic can influence dietary profiles, especially those of adolescents, who are highly susceptible to acquiring bad eating habits. Adolescents’ poor dietary habits increase their subsequent risk of degenerative diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular pathologies, etc. Our aim [...] Read more.
Confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic can influence dietary profiles, especially those of adolescents, who are highly susceptible to acquiring bad eating habits. Adolescents’ poor dietary habits increase their subsequent risk of degenerative diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular pathologies, etc. Our aim was to study nutritional modifications during COVID-19 confinement in adolescents aged 10 to 19 years, compare them with their usual diet and dietary guidelines, and identify variables that may have influenced changes. Data were collected by an anonymous online questionnaire on food intake among 820 adolescents from Spain, Italy, Brazil, Colombia, and Chile. The results show that COVID-19 confinement did influence their dietary habits. In particular, we recorded modified consumption of fried food, sweet food, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. Moreover, gender, family members at home, watching TV during mealtime, country of residence, and maternal education were diversely correlated with adequate nutrition during COVID-19 confinement. Understanding the adolescents’ nutrition behavior during COVID-19 lockdown will help public health authorities reshape future policies on their nutritional recommendations, in preparation for future pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Changes in Dietary Behaviours during the COVID-19 Outbreak Confinement in the Spanish COVIDiet Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1730; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12061730 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 129
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether dietary behaviours of the Spanish adult population were changed during the COVID-19 outbreak confinement. For that purpose, an online questionnaire, based on 44 items including socio-demographic data, Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) Adherence Screener (MEDAS) as [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether dietary behaviours of the Spanish adult population were changed during the COVID-19 outbreak confinement. For that purpose, an online questionnaire, based on 44 items including socio-demographic data, Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) Adherence Screener (MEDAS) as a reference of a healthy diet, processed foods intake, changes in their usual food choices and weight gain was distributed using social media and snowball sampling. A total of 7514 participants (37% aged below 35 years, 70.6% female, 77.9% university-level education or higher) from all the Spanish territory completed the questionnaire. Results outlined healthier dietary behaviours during the confinement when compared to previous habits. Overall, the MEDAS score (ranging from 0 to 14, whereby higher a scoring reflects greater adherence to the MedDiet) increased significantly from 6.53 ± 2 to 7.34 ± 1.93 during the confinement. Multivariate logistic regression models, adjusted for age, gender, region and other variables, showed a statistically significant higher likelihood of changing the adherence to the MedDiet (towards an increase in adherence) in those persons who decreased the intake of fried foods, snacks, fast foods, red meat, pastries or sweet beverages, but increased MedDiet-related foods such as olive oil, vegetables, fruits or legumes during the confinement. COVID-19 confinement in Spain has led to the adoption of healthier dietary habits/behaviours in the studied population, as reflected by a higher adherence to the MedDiet. This improvement, if sustained in the long-term, could have a positive impact on the prevention of chronic diseases and COVID-19-related complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutritional Epidemiology)
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Article
Dietary Choices and Habits during COVID-19 Lockdown: Experience from Poland
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1657; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12061657 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 231
Abstract
The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in late December 2019 in China, which later developed into a pandemic, has forced different countries to implement strict sanitary regimes and social distancing measures. Globally, at least four billion people were under lockdown, working remotely, homeschooling [...] Read more.
The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in late December 2019 in China, which later developed into a pandemic, has forced different countries to implement strict sanitary regimes and social distancing measures. Globally, at least four billion people were under lockdown, working remotely, homeschooling children, and facing challenges coping with quarantine and the stressful events. The present cross-sectional online survey of adult Poles (n = 1097), conducted during a nationwide quarantine, aimed to assess whether nutritional and consumer habits have been affected under these conditions. Over 43.0% and nearly 52% reported eating and snacking more, respectively, and these tendencies were more frequent in overweight and obese individuals. Almost 30% and over 18% experienced weight gain (mean ± SD 3.0 ± 1.6 kg) and loss (−2.9 ± 1.5 kg), respectively. Overweight, obese, and older subjects (aged 36–45 and >45) tended to gain weight more frequently, whereas those with underweight tended to lose it further. Increased BMI was associated with less frequent consumption of vegetables, fruit, and legumes during quarantine, and higher adherence to meat, dairy, and fast-foods. An increase in alcohol consumption was seen in 14.6%, with a higher tendency to drink more found among alcohol addicts. Over 45% of smokers experienced a rise in smoking frequency during the quarantine. The study highlights that lockdown imposed to contain an infectious agent may affect eating behaviors and dietary habits, and advocates for organized nutritional support during future epidemic-related quarantines, particularly for the most vulnerable groups, including overweight and obese subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition within and beyond Corona Virus)
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Article
Food Insecurity and COVID-19: Disparities in Early Effects for US Adults
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1648; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12061648 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 104
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased food insecurity in the United States (US). The objective of this study was to understand the early effects of the COVID-19 pandemic among low-income adults in the US as social distancing measures began to be implemented. On [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased food insecurity in the United States (US). The objective of this study was to understand the early effects of the COVID-19 pandemic among low-income adults in the US as social distancing measures began to be implemented. On 19–24 March 2020 we fielded a national, web-based survey (53% response rate) among adults with <250% of the federal poverty line in the US (N = 1478). Measures included household food security status and COVID-19-related basic needs challenges. Overall, 36% of low-income adults in the US were food secure, 20% had marginal food security, and 44% were food insecure. Less than one in five (18.8%) of adults with very low food security reported being able to comply with public health recommendations to purchase two weeks of food at a time. For every basic needs challenge, food-insecure adults were significantly more likely to report facing that challenge, with a clear gradient effect based on severity of food security. The short-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are magnifying existing disparities and disproportionately affecting low-income, food-insecure households that already struggle to meet basic needs. A robust, comprehensive policy response is needed to mitigate food insecurity as the pandemic progresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition among Vulnerable Populations)
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Article
Effects of COVID-19 Home Confinement on Eating Behaviour and Physical Activity: Results of the ECLB-COVID19 International Online Survey
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1583; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12061583 - 28 May 2020
Cited by 420
Abstract
Background: Public health recommendations and governmental measures during the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in numerous restrictions on daily living including social distancing, isolation and home confinement. While these measures are imperative to abate the spreading of COVID-19, the impact of these restrictions on [...] Read more.
Background: Public health recommendations and governmental measures during the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in numerous restrictions on daily living including social distancing, isolation and home confinement. While these measures are imperative to abate the spreading of COVID-19, the impact of these restrictions on health behaviours and lifestyles at home is undefined. Therefore, an international online survey was launched in April 2020, in seven languages, to elucidate the behavioural and lifestyle consequences of COVID-19 restrictions. This report presents the results from the first thousand responders on physical activity (PA) and nutrition behaviours. Methods: Following a structured review of the literature, the “Effects of home Confinement on multiple Lifestyle Behaviours during the COVID-19 outbreak (ECLB-COVID19)” Electronic survey was designed by a steering group of multidisciplinary scientists and academics. The survey was uploaded and shared on the Google online survey platform. Thirty-five research organisations from Europe, North-Africa, Western Asia and the Americas promoted the survey in English, German, French, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and Slovenian languages. Questions were presented in a differential format, with questions related to responses “before” and “during” confinement conditions. Results: 1047 replies (54% women) from Asia (36%), Africa (40%), Europe (21%) and other (3%) were included in the analysis. The COVID-19 home confinement had a negative effect on all PA intensity levels (vigorous, moderate, walking and overall). Additionally, daily sitting time increased from 5 to 8 h per day. Food consumption and meal patterns (the type of food, eating out of control, snacks between meals, number of main meals) were more unhealthy during confinement, with only alcohol binge drinking decreasing significantly. Conclusion: While isolation is a necessary measure to protect public health, results indicate that it alters physical activity and eating behaviours in a health compromising direction. A more detailed analysis of survey data will allow for a segregation of these responses in different age groups, countries and other subgroups, which will help develop interventions to mitigate the negative lifestyle behaviours that have manifested during the COVID-19 confinement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eating Behaviors and Human Health)
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Assessment of Vitamin C and Antioxidant Profiles in Saliva and Serum in Patients with Periodontitis and Ischemic Heart Disease
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2956; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11122956 - 04 Dec 2019
Cited by 49
Abstract
Vitamin C and antioxidants play a crucial role in endothelial function and may be a link for the known interaction of periodontitis and ischemic heart disease (CAD). This pilot study evaluates the association of gingival health, periodontitis, CAD, or both conditions with salivary [...] Read more.
Vitamin C and antioxidants play a crucial role in endothelial function and may be a link for the known interaction of periodontitis and ischemic heart disease (CAD). This pilot study evaluates the association of gingival health, periodontitis, CAD, or both conditions with salivary and serum vitamin C and antioxidant levels. The clinical and periodontal characteristics, serum, and saliva samples were collected from 36 patients with periodontitis, 35 patients with CAD, 36 patients with periodontitis plus CAD, and 36 healthy controls. Levels of vitamin C, antioxidants, and C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were assessed with a commercially available kit. The median concentrations of salivary and serum vitamin C and antioxidants (α-tocopherol, β-carotene, lutein, and lycopene) were significantly lower in the CAD group (p < 0.001) and in the periodontitis plus CAD group (p < 0.001) compared to periodontitis patients and controls. In univariate models, periodontitis (p = 0.034), CAD (p < 0.001), and hs-CRP (p < 0.001) were significantly negatively associated with serum vitamin C; whereas, in a multivariate model, only hs-CRP remained a significant predictor of serum vitamin C (p < 0.001). In a multivariate model, the significant predictors of salivary vitamin C levels were triglycerides (p = 0.028) and hs-CRP (p < 0.001). Patients with CAD and periodontitis plus CAD presented lower levels of salivary and serum vitamin C compared to healthy subjects and periodontitis patients. hs-CRP was a significant predictor of decreased salivary and serum vitamin C levels. Full article
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Malnutrition as a Strong Predictor of the Onset of Sarcopenia
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2883; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11122883 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 52
Abstract
This study aims to explore the association between malnutrition diagnosed according to both the Global Leadership Initiative of Malnutrition (GLIM) and the European Society of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) criteria and the onset of sarcopenia/severe sarcopenia, diagnosed according to the European Working [...] Read more.
This study aims to explore the association between malnutrition diagnosed according to both the Global Leadership Initiative of Malnutrition (GLIM) and the European Society of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) criteria and the onset of sarcopenia/severe sarcopenia, diagnosed according to the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2 (EWGSOP2) criterion, in the sarcopenia and physical impairment with advancing age (SarcoPhAge) cohort during a four-year follow-up. Adjusted Cox-regression and Kaplan-Meier curves were performed. Among the 534 community-dwelling participants recruited in the SarcoPhAge study, 510 were free from sarcopenia at baseline, of whom 336 had complete data (186 women and 150 men, mean age of 72.5 ± 5.8 years) to apply the GLIM and ESPEN criteria. A significantly higher risk of developing sarcopenia/severe sarcopenia during the four-year follow-up based on the GLIM [sarcopenia: Adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 3.23 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.73–6.05); severe sarcopenia: Adjusted HR = 2.87 (95% CI 1.25–6.56)] and ESPEN [sarcopenia: Adjusted HR = 4.28 (95% CI 1.86–9.86); severe sarcopenia: Adjusted HR = 3.86 (95% CI 1.29–11.54)] criteria was observed. Kaplan-Meier curves confirmed this relationship (log rank p < 0.001 for all). These results highlighted the importance of malnutrition since it has been shown to be associated with an approximately fourfold higher risk of developing sarcopenia/severe sarcopenia during a four-year follow-up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Musculoskeletal Health)
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GLIM Criteria Using Hand Grip Strength Adequately Predict Six-Month Mortality in Cancer Inpatients
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2043; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11092043 - 01 Sep 2019
Cited by 52
Abstract
Protein-calorie malnutrition is very frequent in cancer patients and is associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality. Recently, the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) criteria were proposed to standardize the diagnosis of malnutrition. Nevertheless, these criteria were not validated in prospective [...] Read more.
Protein-calorie malnutrition is very frequent in cancer patients and is associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality. Recently, the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) criteria were proposed to standardize the diagnosis of malnutrition. Nevertheless, these criteria were not validated in prospective studies. Our objective is to determine the prevalence of malnutrition in cancer inpatients using different diagnostic classifications, including GLIM criteria, and to establish their association with length of stay and mortality. Hence, we designed a prospective study. Within the first 24 hours of admission to the Inpatient Oncology Unit, subjective global assessment (SGA) was carried out, and anthropometric data (body mass index (BMI), mid-arm circumference (MAC), arm muscle circumference (AMC), fat-free mass index (FFMI)) and hand grip strength (HGS) were obtained to assess the reduction of muscle mass according to GLIM criteria. Length of stay, biomarkers (albumin, prealbumin, C-reactive protein (CRP)), and in-hospital and six-month mortality were evaluated. Regarding the 282 patients evaluated, their mean age was 60.4 ± 12.6 years, 55.7% of them were male, and 92.9% had an advanced-stage tumor (17.7% stage III, 75.2% stage IV). According to SGA, 81.6% of the patients suffered from malnutrition (25.5% moderate malnutrition, and 56.1% severe malnutrition), and, based on GLIM criteria, malnutrition rate was between 72.2 and 80.0% depending on the used tool. Malnourished patients (regardless of the tool used) showed significantly worse values concerning BMI, length of stay, and levels of CRP/albumin, albumin, and prealbumin than normally nourished patients. In logistic regression, adjusted for confounding variables, the odds ratio of death at six months was significantly associated with malnutrition by SGA (odds ratio 2.73, confidence interval (CI) 1.35–5.52, p = 0.002), and by GLIM criteria calculating muscle mass with HGS (odds ratio 2.72, CI 1.37–5.40, p = 0.004) and FFMI (odds ratio 1.87, CI 1.01–3.48, p = 0.047), but not by MAC or AMC. The prevalence of malnutrition in advanced-stage cancer inpatients is very high. SGA and GLIM criteria, especially with HGS, are useful tools to diagnose malnutrition and have a similar predictive value regarding six-month mortality in cancer inpatients. Full article
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Communication
Dietary Fructose and the Metabolic Syndrome
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 1987; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11091987 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 57
Abstract
Consumption of fructose, the sweetest of all naturally occurring carbohydrates, has increased dramatically in the last 40 years and is today commonly used commercially in soft drinks, juice, and baked goods. These products comprise a large proportion of the modern diet, in particular [...] Read more.
Consumption of fructose, the sweetest of all naturally occurring carbohydrates, has increased dramatically in the last 40 years and is today commonly used commercially in soft drinks, juice, and baked goods. These products comprise a large proportion of the modern diet, in particular in children, adolescents, and young adults. A large body of evidence associate consumption of fructose and other sugar-sweetened beverages with insulin resistance, intrahepatic lipid accumulation, and hypertriglyceridemia. In the long term, these risk factors may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Fructose is absorbed in the small intestine and metabolized in the liver where it stimulates fructolysis, glycolysis, lipogenesis, and glucose production. This may result in hypertriglyceridemia and fatty liver. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms underlying intestinal and hepatic fructose metabolism is important. Here we review recent evidence linking excessive fructose consumption to health risk markers and development of components of the Metabolic Syndrome. Full article
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Communication
Curcumin and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Prevention and Treatment
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1837; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11081837 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 61
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is an ensemble of metabolic diseases that has reached pandemic dimensions all over the world. The multifactorial nature of the pathology makes patient management, which includes lifelong drug therapy and lifestyle modification, extremely challenging. It is well known [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is an ensemble of metabolic diseases that has reached pandemic dimensions all over the world. The multifactorial nature of the pathology makes patient management, which includes lifelong drug therapy and lifestyle modification, extremely challenging. It is well known that T2DM is a preventable disease, therefore lowering the incidence of new T2DM cases could be a key strategy to reduce the global impact of diabetes. Currently, there is growing evidence on the efficacy of the use of medicinal plants supplements for T2DM prevention and management. Among these medicinal plants, curcumin is gaining a growing interest in the scientific community. Curcumin is a bioactive molecule present in the rhizome of the Curcuma longa plant, also known as turmeric. Curcumin has different pharmacological and biological effects that have been described by both in vitro and in vivo studies, and include antioxidant, cardio-protective, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, nephro-protective, anti-neoplastic, hepato-protective, immunomodulatory, hypoglycaemic and anti-rheumatic effects. In animal models, curcumin extract delays diabetes development, improves β-cell functions, prevents β-cell death, and decreases insulin resistance. The present review focuses on pre-clinical and clinical trials on curcumin supplementation in T2DM and discusses the peculiar mechanisms by which curcumin might ameliorate diabetes management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Curcumin and Human Health)
Article
Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves 24-Hour Glucose Levels and Affects Markers of the Circadian Clock, Aging, and Autophagy in Humans
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1234; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11061234 - 30 May 2019
Cited by 109
Abstract
Time-restricted feeding (TRF) is a form of intermittent fasting that involves having a longer daily fasting period. Preliminary studies report that TRF improves cardiometabolic health in rodents and humans. Here, we performed the first study to determine how TRF affects gene expression, circulating [...] Read more.
Time-restricted feeding (TRF) is a form of intermittent fasting that involves having a longer daily fasting period. Preliminary studies report that TRF improves cardiometabolic health in rodents and humans. Here, we performed the first study to determine how TRF affects gene expression, circulating hormones, and diurnal patterns in cardiometabolic risk factors in humans. Eleven overweight adults participated in a 4-day randomized crossover study where they ate between 8 am and 2 pm (early TRF (eTRF)) and between 8 am and 8 pm (control schedule). Participants underwent continuous glucose monitoring, and blood was drawn to assess cardiometabolic risk factors, hormones, and gene expression in whole blood cells. Relative to the control schedule, eTRF decreased mean 24-hour glucose levels by 4 ± 1 mg/dl (p = 0.0003) and glycemic excursions by 12 ± 3 mg/dl (p = 0.001). In the morning before breakfast, eTRF increased ketones, cholesterol, and the expression of the stress response and aging gene SIRT1 and the autophagy gene LC3A (all p < 0.04), while in the evening, it tended to increase brain-derived neurotropic factor (BNDF; p = 0.10) and also increased the expression of MTOR (p = 0.007), a major nutrient-sensing protein that regulates cell growth. eTRF also altered the diurnal patterns in cortisol and the expression of several circadian clock genes (p < 0.05). eTRF improves 24-hour glucose levels, alters lipid metabolism and circadian clock gene expression, and may also increase autophagy and have anti-aging effects in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Effects of Intermittent Fasting: How Broad are the Benefits?)
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Communication
Dietary Fiber, Atherosclerosis, and Cardiovascular Disease
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1155; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11051155 - 23 May 2019
Cited by 65
Abstract
Observational studies have shown that dietary fiber intake is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Dietary fiber is a non-digestible form of carbohydrates, due to the lack of the digestive enzyme in humans required to digest fiber. Dietary fibers and lignin are [...] Read more.
Observational studies have shown that dietary fiber intake is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Dietary fiber is a non-digestible form of carbohydrates, due to the lack of the digestive enzyme in humans required to digest fiber. Dietary fibers and lignin are intrinsic to plants and are classified according to their water solubility properties as either soluble or insoluble fibers. Water-soluble fibers include pectin, gums, mucilage, fructans, and some resistant starches. They are present in some fruits, vegetables, oats, and barley. Soluble fibers have been shown to lower blood cholesterol by several mechanisms. On the other hand, water-insoluble fibers mainly include lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose; whole-grain foods, bran, nuts, and seeds are rich in these fibers. Water-insoluble fibers have rapid gastric emptying, and as such may decrease the intestinal transit time and increase fecal bulk, thus promoting digestive regularity. In addition to dietary fiber, isolated and extracted fibers are known as functional fiber and have been shown to induce beneficial health effects when added to food during processing. The recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for total fiber intake for men and women aged 19–50 are 38 gram/day and 25 gram/day, respectively. It is worth noting that the RDA recommendations are for healthy people and do not apply to individuals with some chronic diseases. Studies have shown that most Americans do not consume the recommended intake of fiber. This review will summarize the current knowledge regarding dietary fiber, sources of food containing fiber, atherosclerosis, and heart disease risk reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients and Atherosclerosis)
Article
Vitamin C Can Shorten the Length of Stay in the ICU: A Meta-Analysis
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 708; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11040708 - 27 Mar 2019
Cited by 90
Abstract
A number of controlled trials have previously found that in some contexts, vitamin C can have beneficial effects on blood pressure, infections, bronchoconstriction, atrial fibrillation, and acute kidney injury. However, the practical significance of these effects is not clear. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
A number of controlled trials have previously found that in some contexts, vitamin C can have beneficial effects on blood pressure, infections, bronchoconstriction, atrial fibrillation, and acute kidney injury. However, the practical significance of these effects is not clear. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate whether vitamin C has an effect on the practical outcomes: length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) and duration of mechanical ventilation. We identified 18 relevant controlled trials with a total of 2004 patients, 13 of which investigated patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery. We carried out the meta-analysis using the inverse variance, fixed effect options, using the ratio of means scale. In 12 trials with 1766 patients, vitamin C reduced the length of ICU stay on average by 7.8% (95% CI: 4.2% to 11.2%; p = 0.00003). In six trials, orally administered vitamin C in doses of 1–3 g/day (weighted mean 2.0 g/day) reduced the length of ICU stay by 8.6% (p = 0.003). In three trials in which patients needed mechanical ventilation for over 24 hours, vitamin C shortened the duration of mechanical ventilation by 18.2% (95% CI 7.7% to 27%; p = 0.001). Given the insignificant cost of vitamin C, even an 8% reduction in ICU stay is worth exploring. The effects of vitamin C on ICU patients should be investigated in more detail. Full article
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Article
Hesperetin, a Citrus Flavonoid, Attenuates LPS-Induced Neuroinflammation, Apoptosis and Memory Impairments by Modulating TLR4/NF-κB Signaling
Nutrients 2019, 11(3), 648; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11030648 - 17 Mar 2019
Cited by 91
Abstract
Glial activation and neuroinflammation play significant roles in apoptosis as well as in the development of cognitive and memory deficits. Neuroinflammation is also a critical feature in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases. Previously, hesperetin has been shown [...] Read more.
Glial activation and neuroinflammation play significant roles in apoptosis as well as in the development of cognitive and memory deficits. Neuroinflammation is also a critical feature in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases. Previously, hesperetin has been shown to be an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. In the present study, in vivo and in vitro analyses were performed to evaluate the neuroprotective effects of hesperetin in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, neuronal apoptosis and memory impairments. Based on our findings, LPS treatment resulted in microglial activation and astrocytosis and elevated the expression of inflammatory mediators such as phosphorylated-Nuclear factor-κB (p-NF-κB), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in the cortical and hippocampal regions and in BV2 cells. However, hesperetin cotreatment markedly reduced the expression of inflammatory cytokines by ameliorating Toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4)-mediated ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1/glial fibrillary acidic protein (Iba-1/GFAP) expression. Similarly, hesperetin attenuated LPS-induced generation of reactive oxygen species/lipid per oxidation (ROS/LPO) and improved the antioxidant protein level such as nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and Haem-oxygenase (HO-1) in the mouse brain. Additionally, hesperetin ameliorated cytotoxicity and ROS/LPO induced by LPS in HT-22 cells. Moreover, hesperetin rescued LPS-induced neuronal apoptosis by reducing the expression of phosphorylated-c-Jun N-terminal kinases (p-JNK), B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2)-associated X protein (Bax), and Caspase-3 protein and promoting the Bcl-2 protein level. Furthermore, hesperetin enhanced synaptic integrity, cognition, and memory processes by enhancing the phosphorylated-cAMP response element binding protein (p-CREB), postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95), and Syntaxin. Overall, our preclinical study suggests that hesperetin conferred neuroprotection by regulating the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway against the detrimental effects of LPS. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research, Other

Review
Immunologic Effects of Vitamin D on Human Health and Disease
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2097; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12072097 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 83
Abstract
Vitamin D is responsible for regulation of calcium and phosphate metabolism and maintaining a healthy mineralized skeleton. It is also known as an immunomodulatory hormone. Experimental studies have shown that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, the active form of vitamin D, exerts immunologic activities on multiple [...] Read more.
Vitamin D is responsible for regulation of calcium and phosphate metabolism and maintaining a healthy mineralized skeleton. It is also known as an immunomodulatory hormone. Experimental studies have shown that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, the active form of vitamin D, exerts immunologic activities on multiple components of the innate and adaptive immune system as well as endothelial membrane stability. Association between low levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and increased risk of developing several immune-related diseases and disorders, including psoriasis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, sepsis, respiratory infection, and COVID-19, has been observed. Accordingly, a number of clinical trials aiming to determine the efficacy of administration of vitamin D and its metabolites for treatment of these diseases have been conducted with variable outcomes. Interestingly, recent evidence suggests that some individuals might benefit from vitamin D more or less than others as high inter-individual difference in broad gene expression in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells in response to vitamin D supplementation has been observed. Although it is still debatable what level of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is optimal, it is advisable to increase vitamin D intake and have sensible sunlight exposure to maintain serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D at least 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L), and preferably at 40–60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L) to achieve the optimal overall health benefits of vitamin D. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D on Immune Function)
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Review
Diet Supplementation, Probiotics, and Nutraceuticals in SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Scoping Review
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1718; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12061718 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 65
Abstract
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (Sars-CoV-2) global pandemic is a devastating event that is causing thousands of victims every day around the world. One of the main reasons of the great impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on society is its [...] Read more.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (Sars-CoV-2) global pandemic is a devastating event that is causing thousands of victims every day around the world. One of the main reasons of the great impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on society is its unexpected spread, which has not allowed an adequate preparation. The scientific community is fighting against time for the production of a vaccine, but it is difficult to place a safe and effective product on the market as fast as the virus is spreading. Similarly, for drugs that can directly interfere with viral pathways, their production times are long, despite the great efforts made. For these reasons, we analyzed the possible role of non-pharmacological substances such as supplements, probiotics, and nutraceuticals in reducing the risk of Sars-CoV-2 infection or mitigating the symptoms of COVID-19. These substances could have numerous advantages in the current circumstances, are generally easily available, and have negligible side effects if administered at the already used and tested dosages. Large scientific evidence supports the benefits that some bacterial and molecular products may exert on the immune response to respiratory viruses. These could also have a regulatory role in systemic inflammation or endothelial damage, which are two crucial aspects of COVID-19. However, there are no specific data available, and rigorous clinical trials should be conducted to confirm the putative benefits of diet supplementation, probiotics, and nutraceuticals in the current pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet, Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Disorders)
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Review
Strengthening the Immune System and Reducing Inflammation and Oxidative Stress through Diet and Nutrition: Considerations during the COVID-19 Crisis
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1562; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12061562 - 27 May 2020
Cited by 155
Abstract
The coronavirus-disease 2019 (COVID-19) was announced as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Challenges arise concerning how to optimally support the immune system in the general population, especially under self-confinement. An optimal immune response depends on an adequate diet and nutrition [...] Read more.
The coronavirus-disease 2019 (COVID-19) was announced as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Challenges arise concerning how to optimally support the immune system in the general population, especially under self-confinement. An optimal immune response depends on an adequate diet and nutrition in order to keep infection at bay. For example, sufficient protein intake is crucial for optimal antibody production. Low micronutrient status, such as of vitamin A or zinc, has been associated with increased infection risk. Frequently, poor nutrient status is associated with inflammation and oxidative stress, which in turn can impact the immune system. Dietary constituents with especially high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacity include vitamin C, vitamin E, and phytochemicals such as carotenoids and polyphenols. Several of these can interact with transcription factors such as NF-kB and Nrf-2, related to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, respectively. Vitamin D in particular may perturb viral cellular infection via interacting with cell entry receptors (angiotensin converting enzyme 2), ACE2. Dietary fiber, fermented by the gut microbiota into short-chain fatty acids, has also been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects. In this review, we highlight the importance of an optimal status of relevant nutrients to effectively reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, thereby strengthening the immune system during the COVID-19 crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
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Review
Metabolic Impacts of Confinement during the COVID-19 Pandemic Due to Modified Diet and Physical Activity Habits
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1549; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12061549 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 89
Abstract
While the detrimental effects of a chronic positive energy balance due to a sedentary lifestyle have been well established, the impacts of a short period of abruptly reduced physical activity and overeating arising from strict confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic will soon [...] Read more.
While the detrimental effects of a chronic positive energy balance due to a sedentary lifestyle have been well established, the impacts of a short period of abruptly reduced physical activity and overeating arising from strict confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic will soon start to emerge. To reasonably anticipate major consequences according to the available evidence, we hereby review the literature for studies that have explored the health impacts of several weeks of a reduction in physical activity and daily step-count combined with modified eating habits. These studies identify as main metabolic consequences increases in insulin resistance, total body fat, abdominal fat and inflammatory cytokines. All these factors have been strongly associated with the development of metabolic syndrome, which in turn increases the risk of multiple chronic diseases. A plausible mechanism involved in these impacts could be a positive energy balance promoted by maintaining usual dietary intake while reducing energy expenditure. This means that just as calorie intake restriction could help mitigate the deleterious impacts of a bout of physical inactivity, overeating under conditions of home confinement is very likely to exacerbate these consequences. Moreover, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease have been identified as potential risk factors for more severely ill patients with COVID-19. Thus, adequate control of metabolic disorders could be important to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers and Nutrients in Musculoskeletal Disorders)
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Review
COVID-19: The Inflammation Link and the Role of Nutrition in Potential Mitigation
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1466; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12051466 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 158
Abstract
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has engulfed the world, affecting more than 180 countries. As a result, there has been considerable economic distress globally and a significant loss of life. Sadly, the vulnerable [...] Read more.
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has engulfed the world, affecting more than 180 countries. As a result, there has been considerable economic distress globally and a significant loss of life. Sadly, the vulnerable and immunocompromised in our societies seem to be more susceptible to severe COVID-19 complications. Global public health bodies and governments have ignited strategies and issued advisories on various handwashing and hygiene guidelines, social distancing strategies, and, in the most extreme cases, some countries have adopted “stay in place” or lockdown protocols to prevent COVID-19 spread. Notably, there are several significant risk factors for severe COVID-19 infection. These include the presence of poor nutritional status and pre-existing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes mellitus, chronic lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), obesity, and various other diseases that render the patient immunocompromised. These diseases are characterized by systemic inflammation, which may be a common feature of these NCDs, affecting patient outcomes against COVID-19. In this review, we discuss some of the anti-inflammatory therapies that are currently under investigation intended to dampen the cytokine storm of severe COVID-19 infections. Furthermore, nutritional status and the role of diet and lifestyle is considered, as it is known to affect patient outcomes in other severe infections and may play a role in COVID-19 infection. This review speculates the importance of nutrition as a mitigation strategy to support immune function amid the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying food groups and key nutrients of importance that may affect the outcomes of respiratory infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Micronutrients and Human Health)
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Review
The Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes Ratio: A Relevant Marker of Gut Dysbiosis in Obese Patients?
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1474; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12051474 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 130
Abstract
The gut microbiota is emerging as a promising target for the management or prevention of inflammatory and metabolic disorders in humans. Many of the current research efforts are focused on the identification of specific microbial signatures, more particularly for those associated with obesity, [...] Read more.
The gut microbiota is emerging as a promising target for the management or prevention of inflammatory and metabolic disorders in humans. Many of the current research efforts are focused on the identification of specific microbial signatures, more particularly for those associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Some studies have described that the gut microbiota of obese animals and humans exhibits a higher Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio compared with normal-weight individuals, proposing this ratio as an eventual biomarker. Accordingly, the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio is frequently cited in the scientific literature as a hallmark of obesity. The aim of the present review was to discuss the validity of this potential marker, based on the great amount of contradictory results reported in the literature. Such discrepancies might be explained by the existence of interpretative bias generated by methodological differences in sample processing and DNA sequence analysis, or by the generally poor characterization of the recruited subjects and, more particularly, the lack of consideration of lifestyle-associated factors known to affect microbiota composition and/or diversity. For these reasons, it is currently difficult to associate the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio with a determined health status and more specifically to consider it as a hallmark of obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Link between Diet, Gut Microbes and Health)
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Review
Optimal Nutritional Status for a Well-Functioning Immune System Is an Important Factor to Protect against Viral Infections
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 1181; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12041181 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 238
Abstract
Public health practices including handwashing and vaccinations help reduce the spread and impact of infections. Nevertheless, the global burden of infection is high, and additional measures are necessary. Acute respiratory tract infections, for example, were responsible for approximately 2.38 million deaths worldwide in [...] Read more.
Public health practices including handwashing and vaccinations help reduce the spread and impact of infections. Nevertheless, the global burden of infection is high, and additional measures are necessary. Acute respiratory tract infections, for example, were responsible for approximately 2.38 million deaths worldwide in 2016. The role nutrition plays in supporting the immune system is well-established. A wealth of mechanistic and clinical data show that vitamins, including vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate; trace elements, including zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, and copper; and the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid play important and complementary roles in supporting the immune system. Inadequate intake and status of these nutrients are widespread, leading to a decrease in resistance to infections and as a consequence an increase in disease burden. Against this background the following conclusions are made: (1) supplementation with the above micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids is a safe, effective, and low-cost strategy to help support optimal immune function; (2) supplementation above the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), but within recommended upper safety limits, for specific nutrients such as vitamins C and D is warranted; and (3) public health officials are encouraged to include nutritional strategies in their recommendations to improve public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamins C and D: Global and Population Health Perspectives)
Review
The Effect of Probiotics on the Production of Short-Chain Fatty Acids by Human Intestinal Microbiome
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 1107; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12041107 - 16 Apr 2020
Cited by 60
Abstract
The relationship between diet and the diversity and function of the intestinal microbiome and its importance for human health is currently the subject of many studies. The type and proportion of microorganisms found in the intestines can determine the energy balance of the [...] Read more.
The relationship between diet and the diversity and function of the intestinal microbiome and its importance for human health is currently the subject of many studies. The type and proportion of microorganisms found in the intestines can determine the energy balance of the host. Intestinal microorganisms perform many important functions, one of which is participation in metabolic processes, e.g., in the production of short-chain fatty acids—SCFAs (also called volatile fatty acids). These acids represent the main carbon flow from the diet to the host microbiome. Maintaining intestinal balance is necessary to maintain the host’s normal health and prevent many diseases. The results of many studies confirm the beneficial effect of probiotic microorganisms on the balance of the intestinal microbiome and produced metabolites, including SCFAs. The aim of this review is to summarize what is known on the effects of probiotics on the production of short-chain fatty acids by gut microbes. In addition, the mechanism of formation and properties of these metabolites is discussed and verified test results confirming the effectiveness of probiotics in human nutrition by modulating SCFAs production by intestinal microbiome is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Prebiotics and Probiotics)
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Review
Evidence that Vitamin D Supplementation Could Reduce Risk of Influenza and COVID-19 Infections and Deaths
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 988; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12040988 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 685
Abstract
The world is in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health measures that can reduce the risk of infection and death in addition to quarantines are desperately needed. This article reviews the roles of vitamin D in reducing the risk of respiratory [...] Read more.
The world is in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health measures that can reduce the risk of infection and death in addition to quarantines are desperately needed. This article reviews the roles of vitamin D in reducing the risk of respiratory tract infections, knowledge about the epidemiology of influenza and COVID-19, and how vitamin D supplementation might be a useful measure to reduce risk. Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Several observational studies and clinical trials reported that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of influenza, whereas others did not. Evidence supporting the role of vitamin D in reducing risk of COVID-19 includes that the outbreak occurred in winter, a time when 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations are lowest; that the number of cases in the Southern Hemisphere near the end of summer are low; that vitamin D deficiency has been found to contribute to acute respiratory distress syndrome; and that case-fatality rates increase with age and with chronic disease comorbidity, both of which are associated with lower 25(OH)D concentration. To reduce the risk of infection, it is recommended that people at risk of influenza and/or COVID-19 consider taking 10,000 IU/d of vitamin D3 for a few weeks to rapidly raise 25(OH)D concentrations, followed by 5000 IU/d. The goal should be to raise 25(OH)D concentrations above 40–60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L). For treatment of people who become infected with COVID-19, higher vitamin D3 doses might be useful. Randomized controlled trials and large population studies should be conducted to evaluate these recommendations. Full article
Review
Chemical Constituents and Pharmacological Activities of Garlic (Allium sativum L.): A Review
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 872; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12030872 - 24 Mar 2020
Cited by 66
Abstract
Medicinal plants have been used from ancient times for human healthcare as in the form of traditional medicines, spices, and other food components. Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is an aromatic herbaceous plant that is consumed worldwide as food and traditional remedy for [...] Read more.
Medicinal plants have been used from ancient times for human healthcare as in the form of traditional medicines, spices, and other food components. Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is an aromatic herbaceous plant that is consumed worldwide as food and traditional remedy for various diseases. It has been reported to possess several biological properties including anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, antidiabetic, renoprotective, anti-atherosclerotic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antihypertensive activities in traditional medicines. A. sativum is rich in several sulfur-containing phytoconstituents such as alliin, allicin, ajoenes, vinyldithiins, and flavonoids such as quercetin. Extracts and isolated compounds of A. sativum have been evaluated for various biological activities including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities among others. This review examines the phytochemical composition, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacological activities of A. sativum extracts as well as its main active constituent, allicin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary (Poly)Phenols and Health)
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Review
Flavonoids as Anticancer Agents
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 457; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12020457 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 80
Abstract
Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds subdivided into 6 groups: isoflavonoids, flavanones, flavanols, flavonols, flavones and anthocyanidins found in a variety of plants. Fruits, vegetables, plant-derived beverages such as green tea, wine and cocoa-based products are the main dietary sources of flavonoids. Flavonoids have been [...] Read more.
Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds subdivided into 6 groups: isoflavonoids, flavanones, flavanols, flavonols, flavones and anthocyanidins found in a variety of plants. Fruits, vegetables, plant-derived beverages such as green tea, wine and cocoa-based products are the main dietary sources of flavonoids. Flavonoids have been shown to possess a wide variety of anticancer effects: they modulate reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging enzyme activities, participate in arresting the cell cycle, induce apoptosis, autophagy, and suppress cancer cell proliferation and invasiveness. Flavonoids have dual action regarding ROS homeostasis—they act as antioxidants under normal conditions and are potent pro-oxidants in cancer cells triggering the apoptotic pathways and downregulating pro-inflammatory signaling pathways. This article reviews the biochemical properties and bioavailability of flavonoids, their anticancer activity and its mechanisms of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flavonoids and Cancer Prevention)
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Review
Defining a Healthy Diet: Evidence for the Role of Contemporary Dietary Patterns in Health and Disease
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 334; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12020334 - 27 Jan 2020
Cited by 76
Abstract
The definition of what constitutes a healthy diet is continually shifting to reflect the evolving understanding of the roles that different foods, essential nutrients, and other food components play in health and disease. A large and growing body of evidence supports that intake [...] Read more.
The definition of what constitutes a healthy diet is continually shifting to reflect the evolving understanding of the roles that different foods, essential nutrients, and other food components play in health and disease. A large and growing body of evidence supports that intake of certain types of nutrients, specific food groups, or overarching dietary patterns positively influences health and promotes the prevention of common non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Greater consumption of health-promoting foods and limited intake of unhealthier options are intrinsic to the eating habits of certain regional diets such as the Mediterranean diet or have been constructed as part of dietary patterns designed to reduce disease risk, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) or Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diets. In comparison with a more traditional Western diet, these healthier alternatives are higher in plant-based foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts and lower in animal-based foods, particularly fatty and processed meats. To better understand the current concept of a “healthy diet,” this review describes the features and supporting clinical and epidemiologic data for diets that have been shown to prevent disease and/or positively influence health. In total, evidence from epidemiological studies and clinical trials indicates that these types of dietary patterns reduce risks of NCDs including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Full article
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Review
A Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System–Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 236; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12010236 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 214
Abstract
Immune support by micronutrients is historically based on vitamin C deficiency and supplementation in scurvy in early times. It has since been established that the complex, integrated immune system needs multiple specific micronutrients, including vitamins A, D, C, E, B6, and B12, folate, [...] Read more.
Immune support by micronutrients is historically based on vitamin C deficiency and supplementation in scurvy in early times. It has since been established that the complex, integrated immune system needs multiple specific micronutrients, including vitamins A, D, C, E, B6, and B12, folate, zinc, iron, copper, and selenium, which play vital, often synergistic roles at every stage of the immune response. Adequate amounts are essential to ensure the proper function of physical barriers and immune cells; however, daily micronutrient intakes necessary to support immune function may be higher than current recommended dietary allowances. Certain populations have inadequate dietary micronutrient intakes, and situations with increased requirements (e.g., infection, stress, and pollution) further decrease stores within the body. Several micronutrients may be deficient, and even marginal deficiency may impair immunity. Although contradictory data exist, available evidence indicates that supplementation with multiple micronutrients with immune-supporting roles may modulate immune function and reduce the risk of infection. Micronutrients with the strongest evidence for immune support are vitamins C and D and zinc. Better design of human clinical studies addressing dosage and combinations of micronutrients in different populations are required to substantiate the benefits of micronutrient supplementation against infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Immunonutrient in Human Health and Disease)
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Review
The Secrets of the Mediterranean Diet. Does [Only] Olive Oil Matter?
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2941; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11122941 - 03 Dec 2019
Cited by 48
Abstract
Diet plays a key role in the maintenance and optimal functioning of immune cells. The Mediterranean dietary pattern is an example of a prudent choice of lifestyle and scientifically accepted to help preserve human health by protecting against major chronic and inflammatory diseases. [...] Read more.
Diet plays a key role in the maintenance and optimal functioning of immune cells. The Mediterranean dietary pattern is an example of a prudent choice of lifestyle and scientifically accepted to help preserve human health by protecting against major chronic and inflammatory diseases. Mediterranean diets (MedDiets) are characteristically high in the consumption of fruits, vegetables and salad, bread and whole grain cereals, potatoes, legumes/beans, nuts, and seeds. Their common central feature is the usage of olive oil as the main source of fat. The health benefits attributed to olive oil are specifically related to extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) intake with its high nutritional quality and multiple positive effects on health. Overall, MedDiets have direct (mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), tocopherols, polyphenols) and indirect (low saturated fats, well-balanced linoleic/alpha linolenic acid) effects on the immune system and inflammatory responses. In the present paper, we summarize the current knowledge on the effect of olive oil per se and MedDiets generally on immune-mediated and inflammatory diseases, such as coronary heart disease (CHD)/cardiovascular diseases (CVD), obesity, type-2 diabetes, cancer, asthma, and allergies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunomodulation and Nutrition)
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Review
Effect of Diet on the Gut Microbiota: Rethinking Intervention Duration
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2862; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11122862 - 22 Nov 2019
Cited by 79
Abstract
The human gut is inhabited by trillions of microorganisms composing a dynamic ecosystem implicated in health and disease. The composition of the gut microbiota is unique to each individual and tends to remain relatively stable throughout life, yet daily transient fluctuations are observed. [...] Read more.
The human gut is inhabited by trillions of microorganisms composing a dynamic ecosystem implicated in health and disease. The composition of the gut microbiota is unique to each individual and tends to remain relatively stable throughout life, yet daily transient fluctuations are observed. Diet is a key modifiable factor influencing the composition of the gut microbiota, indicating the potential for therapeutic dietary strategies to manipulate microbial diversity, composition, and stability. While diet can induce a shift in the gut microbiota, these changes appear to be temporary. Whether prolonged dietary changes can induce permanent alterations in the gut microbiota is unknown, mainly due to a lack of long-term human dietary interventions, or long-term follow-ups of short-term dietary interventions. It is possible that habitual diets have a greater influence on the gut microbiota than acute dietary strategies. This review presents the current knowledge around the response of the gut microbiota to short-term and long-term dietary interventions and identifies major factors that contribute to microbiota response to diet. Overall, further research on long-term diets that include health and microbiome measures is required before clinical recommendations can be made for dietary modulation of the gut microbiota for health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Compounds Impact on Human Gut Microbiome and Gut Health)
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Review
Vitamin D Deficiency and Sarcopenia in Older Persons
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2861; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11122861 - 21 Nov 2019
Cited by 54
Abstract
Vitamin D deficiency is a common health problem worldwide, in particular among older people. Vitamin D regulates and modulates the physiology and function of multiple human systems, including the skeletal muscle. The effect of vitamin D on the muscle has been widely investigated, [...] Read more.
Vitamin D deficiency is a common health problem worldwide, in particular among older people. Vitamin D regulates and modulates the physiology and function of multiple human systems, including the skeletal muscle. The effect of vitamin D on the muscle has been widely investigated, suggesting that this hormone can stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of skeletal muscle fibers, maintaining and improving muscle strength and physical performance. Older persons have a higher prevalence of low Vitamin D levels as a consequence of low dietary intake and reduced ultraviolet irradiation of the skin. Therefore, older people with vitamin D deficiency might be at risk of sarcopenia, a geriatric syndrome characterized by the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength often complicated by adverse events, such as falls, disability hospitalization and death. Several randomized clinical trials have been conducted to investigate the effect of oral vitamin D supplementation in older patients to prevent or treat sarcopenia, but results are still controversial. In this narrative review we summarize the biological, clinical and epidemiological evidence supporting the hypothesis of a causal association between Vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of sarcopenia in older people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sarcopenia and Nutritional Status)
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Review
Leptin, Obesity, and Leptin Resistance: Where Are We 25 Years Later?
Nutrients 2019, 11(11), 2704; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11112704 - 08 Nov 2019
Cited by 57
Abstract
Leptin, a hormone that is capable of effectively reducing food intake and body weight, was initially considered for use in the treatment of obesity. However, obese subjects have since been found to have high levels of circulating leptin and to be insensitive to [...] Read more.
Leptin, a hormone that is capable of effectively reducing food intake and body weight, was initially considered for use in the treatment of obesity. However, obese subjects have since been found to have high levels of circulating leptin and to be insensitive to the exogenous administration of leptin. The inability of leptin to exert its anorexigenic effects in obese individuals, and therefore, the lack of clinical utility of leptin in obesity, is defined as leptin resistance. This phenomenon has not yet been adequately characterized. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying leptin resistance is of vital importance for the application of leptin as an effective treatment for obesity. Leptin must cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB) to reach the hypothalamus and exert its anorexigenic functions. The mechanisms involved in leptin transportation across the blood–brain barrier continue to be unclear, thereby preventing the clinical application of leptin in the treatment of obesity. In recent years, new strategies have been developed to recover the response to leptin in obesity. We have summarized these strategies in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptin)
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Review
Gut Microbiota and Obesity: A Role for Probiotics
Nutrients 2019, 11(11), 2690; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11112690 - 07 Nov 2019
Cited by 75
Abstract
Nowadays, obesity is one of the most prevalent human health problems. Research from the last 30 years has clarified the role of the imbalance between energy intake and expenditure, unhealthy lifestyle, and genetic variability in the development of obesity. More recently, the composition [...] Read more.
Nowadays, obesity is one of the most prevalent human health problems. Research from the last 30 years has clarified the role of the imbalance between energy intake and expenditure, unhealthy lifestyle, and genetic variability in the development of obesity. More recently, the composition and metabolic functions of gut microbiota have been proposed as being able to affect obesity development. Here, we will report the current knowledge on the definition, composition, and functions of intestinal microbiota. We have performed an extensive review of the literature, searching for the following keywords: metabolism, gut microbiota, dysbiosis, obesity. There is evidence for the association between gut bacteria and obesity both in infancy and in adults. There are several genetic, metabolic, and inflammatory pathophysiological mechanisms involved in the interplay between gut microbes and obesity. Microbial changes in the human gut can be considered a factor involved in obesity development in humans. The modulation of the bacterial strains in the digestive tract can help to reshape the metabolic profile in the human obese host as suggested by several data from animal and human studies. Thus, a deep revision of the evidence pertaining to the use probiotics, prebiotics, and antibiotics in obese patients is conceivable Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut Microbiota and Malnutrition)
Review
Relevance of Leptin and Other Adipokines in Obesity-Associated Cardiovascular Risk
Nutrients 2019, 11(11), 2664; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11112664 - 05 Nov 2019
Cited by 61
Abstract
Obesity, which is a worldwide epidemic, confers increased risk for multiple serious conditions including type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and cardiovascular diseases. Adipose tissue is considered one of the largest endocrine organs in the body as well as an active tissue [...] Read more.
Obesity, which is a worldwide epidemic, confers increased risk for multiple serious conditions including type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and cardiovascular diseases. Adipose tissue is considered one of the largest endocrine organs in the body as well as an active tissue for cellular reactions and metabolic homeostasis rather than an inert tissue only for energy storage. The functional pleiotropism of adipose tissue relies on its ability to synthesize and release a large number of hormones, cytokines, extracellular matrix proteins, and growth and vasoactive factors, which are collectively called adipokines known to influence a variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes. In the obese state, excessive visceral fat accumulation causes adipose tissue dysfunctionality that strongly contributes to the onset of obesity-related comorbidities. The mechanisms underlying adipose tissue dysfunction include adipocyte hypertrophy and hyperplasia, increased inflammation, impaired extracellular matrix remodeling, and fibrosis together with an altered secretion of adipokines. This review describes the relevance of specific adipokines in the obesity-associated cardiovascular disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptin)
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Review
Effectiveness of Intermittent Fasting and Time-Restricted Feeding Compared to Continuous Energy Restriction for Weight Loss
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2442; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11102442 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 59
Abstract
The current obesity epidemic is staggering in terms of its magnitude and public health impact. Current guidelines recommend continuous energy restriction (CER) along with a comprehensive lifestyle intervention as the cornerstone of obesity treatment, yet this approach produces modest weight loss on average. [...] Read more.
The current obesity epidemic is staggering in terms of its magnitude and public health impact. Current guidelines recommend continuous energy restriction (CER) along with a comprehensive lifestyle intervention as the cornerstone of obesity treatment, yet this approach produces modest weight loss on average. Recently, there has been increased interest in identifying alternative dietary weight loss strategies that involve restricting energy intake to certain periods of the day or prolonging the fasting interval between meals (i.e., intermittent energy restriction, IER). These strategies include intermittent fasting (IMF; >60% energy restriction on 2–3 days per week, or on alternate days) and time-restricted feeding (TRF; limiting the daily period of food intake to 8–10 h or less on most days of the week). Here, we summarize the current evidence for IER regimens as treatments for overweight and obesity. Specifically, we review randomized trials of ≥8 weeks in duration performed in adults with overweight or obesity (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) in which an IER paradigm (IMF or TRF) was compared to CER, with the primary outcome being weight loss. Overall, the available evidence suggests that IER paradigms produce equivalent weight loss when compared to CER, with 9 out of 11 studies reviewed showing no differences between groups in weight or body fat loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Energy Metabolism)
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Review
Food Components and Dietary Habits: Keys for a Healthy Gut Microbiota Composition
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2393; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11102393 - 07 Oct 2019
Cited by 106
Abstract
The gut microbiota is a changing ecosystem, containing trillions of bacteria, continuously shaped by many factors, such as dietary habits, seasonality, lifestyle, stress, antibiotics use, or diseases. A healthy host–microorganisms balance must be respected in order to optimally maintain the intestinal barrier and [...] Read more.
The gut microbiota is a changing ecosystem, containing trillions of bacteria, continuously shaped by many factors, such as dietary habits, seasonality, lifestyle, stress, antibiotics use, or diseases. A healthy host–microorganisms balance must be respected in order to optimally maintain the intestinal barrier and immune system functions and, consequently, prevent disease development. In the past several decades, the adoption of modern dietary habits has become a growing health concern, as it is strongly associated with obesity and related metabolic diseases, promoting inflammation and both structural and behavioral changes in gut microbiota. In this context, novel dietary strategies are emerging to prevent diseases and maintain health. However, the consequences of these different diets on gut microbiota modulation are still largely unknown, and could potentially lead to alterations of gut microbiota, intestinal barrier, and the immune system. The present review aimed to focus on the impact of single food components (macronutrients and micronutrients), salt, food additives, and different dietary habits (i.e., vegan and vegetarian, gluten-free, ketogenic, high sugar, low FODMAP, Western-type, and Mediterranean diets) on gut microbiota composition in order to define the optimal diet for a healthy modulation of gut microbiota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients 2009–2019: The Present and the Future of Nutrition)
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Review
Curcumin and Cancer
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2376; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11102376 - 05 Oct 2019
Cited by 115
Abstract
Curcumin, a polyphenol extracted from Curcuma longa in 1815, has gained attention from scientists worldwide for its biological activities (e.g., antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral), among which its anticancer potential has been the most described and still remains under investigation. The present review focuses [...] Read more.
Curcumin, a polyphenol extracted from Curcuma longa in 1815, has gained attention from scientists worldwide for its biological activities (e.g., antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral), among which its anticancer potential has been the most described and still remains under investigation. The present review focuses on the cell signaling pathways involved in cancer development and proliferation, and which are targeted by curcumin. Curcumin has been reported to modulate growth factors, enzymes, transcription factors, kinase, inflammatory cytokines, and proapoptotic (by upregulation) and antiapoptotic (by downregulation) proteins. This polyphenol compound, alone or combined with other agents, could represent an effective drug for cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Curcumin and Human Health)
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Review
Dietary Quercetin and Kaempferol: Bioavailability and Potential Cardiovascular-Related Bioactivity in Humans
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2288; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11102288 - 25 Sep 2019
Cited by 105
Abstract
Fruit and vegetable intake has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Quercetin and kaempferol are among the most ubiquitous polyphenols in fruit and vegetables. Most of the quercetin and kaempferol in plants is attached to sugar moieties rather than in [...] Read more.
Fruit and vegetable intake has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Quercetin and kaempferol are among the most ubiquitous polyphenols in fruit and vegetables. Most of the quercetin and kaempferol in plants is attached to sugar moieties rather than in the free form. The types and attachments of sugars impact bioavailability, and thus bioactivity. This article aims to review the current literature on the bioavailability of quercetin and kaempferol from food sources and evaluate the potential cardiovascular effects in humans. Foods with the highest concentrations of quercetin and kaempferol in plants are not necessarily the most bioavailable sources. Glucoside conjugates which are found in onions appear to have the highest bioavailability in humans. The absorbed quercetin and kaempferol are rapidly metabolized in the liver and circulate as methyl, glucuronide, and sulfate metabolites. These metabolites can be measured in the blood and urine to assess bioactivity in human trials. The optimal effective dose of quercetin reported to have beneficial effect of lowering blood pressure and inflammation is 500 mg of the aglycone form. Few clinical studies have examined the potential cardiovascular effects of high intakes of quercetin- and kaempferol-rich plants. However, it is possible that a lower dosage from plant sources could be effective due to of its higher bioavailability compared to the aglycone form. Studies are needed to evaluate the potential cardiovascular benefits of plants rich in quercetin and kaempferol glycoside conjugates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Bioactive Compounds and Human Health and Disease)
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Review
Regulation of Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Endotoxemia with Dietary Factors
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2277; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11102277 - 23 Sep 2019
Cited by 50
Abstract
Metabolic endotoxemia is a condition in which blood lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels are elevated, regardless of the presence of obvious infection. It has been suggested to lead to chronic inflammation-related diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), pancreatitis, [...] Read more.
Metabolic endotoxemia is a condition in which blood lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels are elevated, regardless of the presence of obvious infection. It has been suggested to lead to chronic inflammation-related diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), pancreatitis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, it has attracted attention as a target for the prevention and treatment of these chronic diseases. As metabolic endotoxemia was first reported in mice that were fed a high-fat diet, research regarding its relationship with diets has been actively conducted in humans and animals. In this review, we summarize the relationship between fat intake and induction of metabolic endotoxemia, focusing on gut dysbiosis and the influx, kinetics, and metabolism of LPS. We also summarize the recent findings about dietary factors that attenuate metabolic endotoxemia, focusing on the regulation of gut microbiota. We hope that in the future, control of metabolic endotoxemia using dietary factors will help maintain human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Compounds Impact on Human Gut Microbiome and Gut Health)
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Review
Role of Zinc in Immune System and Anti-Cancer Defense Mechanisms
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2273; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11102273 - 22 Sep 2019
Cited by 50
Abstract
The human body cannot store zinc reserves, so a deficiency can arise relatively quickly, e.g., through an improper diet. Severe zinc deficiency is rare, but mild deficiencies are common around the world. Many epidemiological studies have shown a relationship between the zinc content [...] Read more.
The human body cannot store zinc reserves, so a deficiency can arise relatively quickly, e.g., through an improper diet. Severe zinc deficiency is rare, but mild deficiencies are common around the world. Many epidemiological studies have shown a relationship between the zinc content in the diet and the risk of cancer. The anti-cancer effect of zinc is most often associated with its antioxidant properties. However, this is just one of many possibilities, including the influence of zinc on the immune system, transcription factors, cell differentiation and proliferation, DNA and RNA synthesis and repair, enzyme activation or inhibition, the regulation of cellular signaling, and the stabilization of the cell structure and membranes. This study presents selected issues regarding the current knowledge of anti-cancer mechanisms involving this element. Full article
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Review
Equol: A Bacterial Metabolite from The Daidzein Isoflavone and Its Presumed Beneficial Health Effects
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2231; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11092231 - 16 Sep 2019
Cited by 61
Abstract
Epidemiological data suggest that regular intake of isoflavones from soy reduces the incidence of estrogen-dependent and aging-associated disorders, such as menopause symptoms in women, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Equol, produced from daidzein, is the isoflavone-derived metabolite with the greatest estrogenic and antioxidant [...] Read more.
Epidemiological data suggest that regular intake of isoflavones from soy reduces the incidence of estrogen-dependent and aging-associated disorders, such as menopause symptoms in women, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Equol, produced from daidzein, is the isoflavone-derived metabolite with the greatest estrogenic and antioxidant activity. Consequently, equol has been endorsed as having many beneficial effects on human health. The conversion of daidzein into equol takes place in the intestine via the action of reductase enzymes belonging to incompletely characterized members of the gut microbiota. While all animal species analyzed so far produce equol, only between one third and one half of human subjects (depending on the community) are able to do so, ostensibly those that harbor equol-producing microbes. Conceivably, these subjects might be the only ones who can fully benefit from soy or isoflavone consumption. This review summarizes current knowledge on the microorganisms involved in, the genetic background to, and the biochemical pathways of, equol biosynthesis. It also outlines the results of recent clinical trials and meta-analyses on the effects of equol on different areas of human health and discusses briefly its presumptive mode of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Bioactive Compounds and Human Health and Disease)
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Review
Beneficial Effects of Dietary Polyphenols on Gut Microbiota and Strategies to Improve Delivery Efficiency
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2216; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11092216 - 13 Sep 2019
Cited by 109
Abstract
The human intestine contains an intricate ecological community of dwelling bacteria, referred as gut microbiota (GM), which plays a pivotal role in host homeostasis. Multiple factors could interfere with this delicate balance, including genetics, age, antibiotics, as well as environmental factors, particularly diet, [...] Read more.
The human intestine contains an intricate ecological community of dwelling bacteria, referred as gut microbiota (GM), which plays a pivotal role in host homeostasis. Multiple factors could interfere with this delicate balance, including genetics, age, antibiotics, as well as environmental factors, particularly diet, thus causing a disruption of microbiota equilibrium (dysbiosis). Growing evidences support the involvement of GM dysbiosis in gastrointestinal (GI) and extra-intestinal cardiometabolic diseases, namely obesity and diabetes. This review firstly overviews the role of GM in health and disease, then critically reviews the evidences regarding the influence of dietary polyphenols in GM based on preclinical and clinical data, ending with strategies under development to improve efficiency of delivery. Although the precise mechanisms deserve further clarification, preclinical and clinical data suggest that dietary polyphenols present prebiotic properties and exert antimicrobial activities against pathogenic GM, having benefits in distinct disorders. Specifically, dietary polyphenols have been shown ability to modulate GM composition and function, interfering with bacterial quorum sensing, membrane permeability, as well as sensitizing bacteria to xenobiotics. In addition, can impact on gut metabolism and immunity and exert anti-inflammatory properties. In order to overcome the low bioavailability, several different approaches have been developed, aiming to improve solubility and transport of dietary polyphenols throughout the GI tract and deliver in the targeted intestinal regions. Although more research is still needed, particularly translational and clinical studies, the biotechnological progresses achieved during the last years open up good perspectives to, in a near future, be able to improve the use of dietary polyphenols modulating GM in a broad range of disorders characterized by a dysbiotic phenotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polyphenol-Rich Foods for Human Health and Disease)
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Review
Dietary Curcumin: Correlation between Bioavailability and Health Potential
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2147; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11092147 - 08 Sep 2019
Cited by 88
Abstract
The yellow pigment curcumin, extracted from turmeric, is a renowned polyphenol with a broad spectrum of health properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, anti-allergic, anti-dermatophyte, and neuroprotective. However, these properties are followed by a poor pharmacokinetic profile which compromises its therapeutic [...] Read more.
The yellow pigment curcumin, extracted from turmeric, is a renowned polyphenol with a broad spectrum of health properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, anti-allergic, anti-dermatophyte, and neuroprotective. However, these properties are followed by a poor pharmacokinetic profile which compromises its therapeutic potential. The association of low absorption by the small intestine and the extensive reductive and conjugative metabolism in the liver dramatically weakens the oral bioavailability. Several strategies such as inhibition of curcumin metabolism with adjuvants as well as novel solid and liquid oral delivery systems have been tried to counteract curcumin poor absorption and rapid elimination from the body. Some of these drug deliveries can successfully enhance the solubility, extending the residence in plasma, improving the pharmacokinetic profile and the cellular uptake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Curcumin and Human Health)
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Review
Selenium, Selenoproteins and Viral Infection
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2101; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11092101 - 04 Sep 2019
Cited by 108
Abstract
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are frequently produced during viral infections. Generation of these ROS can be both beneficial and detrimental for many cellular functions. When overwhelming the antioxidant defense system, the excess of ROS induces oxidative stress. Viral infections lead to diseases characterized [...] Read more.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are frequently produced during viral infections. Generation of these ROS can be both beneficial and detrimental for many cellular functions. When overwhelming the antioxidant defense system, the excess of ROS induces oxidative stress. Viral infections lead to diseases characterized by a broad spectrum of clinical symptoms, with oxidative stress being one of their hallmarks. In many cases, ROS can, in turn, enhance viral replication leading to an amplification loop. Another important parameter for viral replication and pathogenicity is the nutritional status of the host. Viral infection simultaneously increases the demand for micronutrients and causes their loss, which leads to a deficiency that can be compensated by micronutrient supplementation. Among the nutrients implicated in viral infection, selenium (Se) has an important role in antioxidant defense, redox signaling and redox homeostasis. Most of biological activities of selenium is performed through its incorporation as a rare amino acid selenocysteine in the essential family of selenoproteins. Selenium deficiency, which is the main regulator of selenoprotein expression, has been associated with the pathogenicity of several viruses. In addition, several selenoprotein members, including glutathione peroxidases (GPX), thioredoxin reductases (TXNRD) seemed important in different models of viral replication. Finally, the formal identification of viral selenoproteins in the genome of molluscum contagiosum and fowlpox viruses demonstrated the importance of selenoproteins in viral cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Selenium in Health and Disease)
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Review
Oxidative Stress in Cardiovascular Diseases: Still a Therapeutic Target?
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2090; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11092090 - 04 Sep 2019
Cited by 107
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are complex entities with heterogenous pathophysiologic mechanisms and increased oxidative stress has been viewed as one of the potential common etiologies. A fine balance between the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants is essential for the proper normal [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are complex entities with heterogenous pathophysiologic mechanisms and increased oxidative stress has been viewed as one of the potential common etiologies. A fine balance between the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants is essential for the proper normal functioning of the cell. A basal concentration of ROS is indispensable for the manifestation of cellular functions, whereas excessive levels of ROS cause damage to cellular macromolecules such as DNA, lipids and proteins, eventually leading to necrosis and apoptotic cell death. CVD is the main cause of death worldwide with several conditions being affected by oxidative stress. Increased ROS lead to decreased nitric oxide availability and vasoconstriction, promoting arterial hypertension. ROS also negatively influence myocardial calcium handling, causing arrhythmia, and augment cardiac remodeling by inducing hypertrophic signaling and apoptosis. Finally, ROS have also been shown to promote atherosclerotic plaque formation. This review aims at giving an introduction into oxidative stress in CVD, with special focus on endothelial dysfunction, and then examining in detail the role of oxidative stress in the most prevalent of these diseases. Finally, potential nutraceuticals and diets that might be beneficial in diminishing the burden of oxidative stress in CVD are presented. Full article
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Review
Cancer and Mediterranean Diet: A Review
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2059; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11092059 - 02 Sep 2019
Cited by 58
Abstract
The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the most worldwide healthy dietary patterns thanks to a combination of foods rich mainly in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Many studies have demonstrated a strong and inverse relationship between a high level of Mediterranean diet adherence [...] Read more.
The Mediterranean diet is considered one of the most worldwide healthy dietary patterns thanks to a combination of foods rich mainly in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Many studies have demonstrated a strong and inverse relationship between a high level of Mediterranean diet adherence and some chronic diseases (such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc.) and cancer. Given its protective effects in reducing oxidative and inflammatory processes of cells and avoiding DNA damages, cell proliferation, and their survival, angiogenesis, inflammations and metastasis, the Mediterranean diet is considered a powerful and manageable method to fight cancer incidence. The aim of this narrative review was to determine the magnitude of interaction between the Mediterranean diet and more widespread types of cancer so as to give a first and useful overview on this relationship identifying, with a nutritional approach, those nutrients of Mediterranean diet able to reduce cancer incidence. Full article
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Review
Sodium Intake and Hypertension
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 1970; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11091970 - 21 Aug 2019
Cited by 71
Abstract
The close relationship between hypertension and dietary sodium intake is widely recognized and supported by several studies. A reduction in dietary sodium not only decreases the blood pressure and the incidence of hypertension, but is also associated with a reduction in morbidity and [...] Read more.
The close relationship between hypertension and dietary sodium intake is widely recognized and supported by several studies. A reduction in dietary sodium not only decreases the blood pressure and the incidence of hypertension, but is also associated with a reduction in morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Prolonged modest reduction in salt intake induces a relevant fall in blood pressure in both hypertensive and normotensive individuals, irrespective of sex and ethnic group, with larger falls in systolic blood pressure for larger reductions in dietary salt. The high sodium intake and the increase in blood pressure levels are related to water retention, increase in systemic peripheral resistance, alterations in the endothelial function, changes in the structure and function of large elastic arteries, modification in sympathetic activity, and in the autonomic neuronal modulation of the cardiovascular system. In this review, we have focused on the effects of sodium intake on vascular hemodynamics and their implication in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients Intake and Hypertension)
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Review
The Short-Chain Fatty Acid Acetate in Body Weight Control and Insulin Sensitivity
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1943; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11081943 - 18 Aug 2019
Cited by 76
Abstract
The interplay of gut microbiota, host metabolism, and metabolic health has gained increased attention. Gut microbiota may play a regulatory role in gastrointestinal health, substrate metabolism, and peripheral tissues including adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, liver, and pancreas via its metabolites short-chain fatty acids [...] Read more.
The interplay of gut microbiota, host metabolism, and metabolic health has gained increased attention. Gut microbiota may play a regulatory role in gastrointestinal health, substrate metabolism, and peripheral tissues including adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, liver, and pancreas via its metabolites short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). Animal and human data demonstrated that, in particular, acetate beneficially affects host energy and substrate metabolism via secretion of the gut hormones like glucagon-like peptide-1 and peptide YY, which, thereby, affects appetite, via a reduction in whole-body lipolysis, systemic pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, and via an increase in energy expenditure and fat oxidation. Thus, potential therapies to increase gut microbial fermentation and acetate production have been under vigorous scientific scrutiny. In this review, the relevance of the colonically and systemically most abundant SCFA acetate and its effects on the previously mentioned tissues will be discussed in relation to body weight control and glucose homeostasis. We discuss in detail the differential effects of oral acetate administration (vinegar intake), colonic acetate infusions, acetogenic fiber, and acetogenic probiotic administrations as approaches to combat obesity and comorbidities. Notably, human data are scarce, which highlights the necessity for further human research to investigate acetate’s role in host physiology, metabolic, and cardiovascular health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Fiber and Human Health)
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Review
Dietary Inflammatory Index and Non-Communicable Disease Risk: A Narrative Review
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1873; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11081873 - 12 Aug 2019
Cited by 62
Abstract
There are over 1,000,000 publications on diet and health and over 480,000 references on inflammation in the National Library of Medicine database. In addition, there have now been over 30,000 peer-reviewed articles published on the relationship between diet, inflammation, and health outcomes. Based [...] Read more.
There are over 1,000,000 publications on diet and health and over 480,000 references on inflammation in the National Library of Medicine database. In addition, there have now been over 30,000 peer-reviewed articles published on the relationship between diet, inflammation, and health outcomes. Based on this voluminous literature, it is now recognized that low-grade, chronic systemic inflammation is associated with most non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancers, respiratory and musculoskeletal disorders, as well as impaired neurodevelopment and adverse mental health outcomes. Dietary components modulate inflammatory status. In recent years, the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII®), a literature-derived dietary index, was developed to characterize the inflammatory potential of habitual diet. Subsequently, a large and rapidly growing body of research investigating associations between dietary inflammatory potential, determined by the DII, and risk of a wide range of NCDs has emerged. In this narrative review, we examine the current state of the science regarding relationships between the DII and cancer, cardiometabolic, respiratory and musculoskeletal diseases, neurodevelopment, and adverse mental health outcomes. We synthesize the findings from recent studies, discuss potential underlying mechanisms, and look to the future regarding novel applications of the adult and children’s DII (C-DII) scores and new avenues of investigation in this field of nutritional research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Inflammatory Indices in Human Health and Disease)
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Review
Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Cardiometabolic Health: An Update of the Evidence
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1840; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11081840 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 58
Abstract
Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) have little nutritional value and a robust body of evidence has linked the intake of SSBs to weight gain and risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and some cancers. Metabolic Syndrome (MetSyn) is a clustering of risk [...] Read more.
Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) have little nutritional value and a robust body of evidence has linked the intake of SSBs to weight gain and risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and some cancers. Metabolic Syndrome (MetSyn) is a clustering of risk factors that precedes the development of T2D and CVD; however, evidence linking SSBs to MetSyn is not clear. To make informed recommendations about SSBs, new evidence needs to be considered against existing literature. This review provides an update on the evidence linking SSBs and cardiometabolic outcomes including MetSyn. Findings from prospective cohort studies support a strong positive association between SSBs and weight gain and risk of T2D and coronary heart disease (CHD), independent of adiposity. Associations with MetSyn are less consistent, and there appears to be a sex difference with stroke with greater risk in women. Findings from short-term trials on metabolic risk factors provide mechanistic support for associations with T2D and CHD. Conclusive evidence from cohort studies and trials on risk factors support an etiologic role of SSB in relation to weight gain and risk of T2D and CHD. Continued efforts to reduce intake of SSB should be encouraged to improve the cardiometabolic health of individuals and populations. Full article
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Review
The Role of the Anabolic Properties of Plant- versus Animal-Based Protein Sources in Supporting Muscle Mass Maintenance: A Critical Review
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1825; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11081825 - 07 Aug 2019
Cited by 60
Abstract
Plant-sourced proteins offer environmental and health benefits, and research increasingly includes them in study formulas. However, plant-based proteins have less of an anabolic effect than animal proteins due to their lower digestibility, lower essential amino acid content (especially leucine), and deficiency in other [...] Read more.
Plant-sourced proteins offer environmental and health benefits, and research increasingly includes them in study formulas. However, plant-based proteins have less of an anabolic effect than animal proteins due to their lower digestibility, lower essential amino acid content (especially leucine), and deficiency in other essential amino acids, such as sulfur amino acids or lysine. Thus, plant amino acids are directed toward oxidation rather than used for muscle protein synthesis. In this review, we evaluate the ability of plant- versus animal-based proteins to help maintain skeletal muscle mass in healthy and especially older people and examine different nutritional strategies for improving the anabolic properties of plant-based proteins. Among these strategies, increasing protein intake has led to a positive acute postprandial muscle protein synthesis response and even positive long-term improvement in lean mass. Increasing the quality of protein intake by improving amino acid composition could also compensate for the lower anabolic potential of plant-based proteins. We evaluated and discussed four nutritional strategies for improving the amino acid composition of plant-based proteins: fortifying plant-based proteins with specific essential amino acids, selective breeding, blending several plant protein sources, and blending plant with animal-based protein sources. These nutritional approaches need to be profoundly examined in older individuals in order to optimize protein intake for this population who require a high-quality food protein intake to mitigate age-related muscle loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frailty: Role of Nutrition and Exercise)
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Review
Fermented Foods: Definitions and Characteristics, Impact on the Gut Microbiota and Effects on Gastrointestinal Health and Disease
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1806; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11081806 - 05 Aug 2019
Cited by 72
Abstract
Fermented foods are defined as foods or beverages produced through controlled microbial growth, and the conversion of food components through enzymatic action. In recent years, fermented foods have undergone a surge in popularity, mainly due to their proposed health benefits. The aim of [...] Read more.
Fermented foods are defined as foods or beverages produced through controlled microbial growth, and the conversion of food components through enzymatic action. In recent years, fermented foods have undergone a surge in popularity, mainly due to their proposed health benefits. The aim of this review is to define and characterise common fermented foods (kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, natto, miso, kimchi, sourdough bread), their mechanisms of action (including impact on the microbiota), and the evidence for effects on gastrointestinal health and disease in humans. Putative mechanisms for the impact of fermented foods on health include the potential probiotic effect of their constituent microorganisms, the fermentation-derived production of bioactive peptides, biogenic amines, and conversion of phenolic compounds to biologically active compounds, as well as the reduction of anti-nutrients. Fermented foods that have been tested in at least one randomised controlled trial (RCT) for their gastrointestinal effects were kefir, sauerkraut, natto, and sourdough bread. Despite extensive in vitro studies, there are no RCTs investigating the impact of kombucha, miso, kimchi or tempeh in gastrointestinal health. The most widely investigated fermented food is kefir, with evidence from at least one RCT suggesting beneficial effects in both lactose malabsorption and Helicobacter pylori eradication. In summary, there is very limited clinical evidence for the effectiveness of most fermented foods in gastrointestinal health and disease. Given the convincing in vitro findings, clinical high-quality trials investigating the health benefits of fermented foods are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food and Diet for Gut Function and Dysfunction)
Review
Health Effects of Phenolic Compounds Found in Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, By-Products, and Leaf of Olea europaea L.
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1776; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11081776 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 82
Abstract
Olea europaea L. fruit is a peculiar vegetal matrix containing high levels of fatty acids (98–99% of the total weight of extra-virgin olive oil, EVOO) and low quantities (1–2%) of phenolics, phytosterols, tocopherols, and squalene. Among these minor components, phenolics are relevant molecules [...] Read more.
Olea europaea L. fruit is a peculiar vegetal matrix containing high levels of fatty acids (98–99% of the total weight of extra-virgin olive oil, EVOO) and low quantities (1–2%) of phenolics, phytosterols, tocopherols, and squalene. Among these minor components, phenolics are relevant molecules for human health. This review is focused on their beneficial activity, in particular of hydroxytyrosol (HT), oleuropein (OLE), oleocanthal (OLC), and lignans found in EVOO, olive oil by-products and leaves. Specifically, the cardioprotective properties of the Mediterranean diet (MD) related to olive oil consumption, and the biological activities of polyphenols recovered from olive oil by-products and leaves were described. Recent European projects such as EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) and EPICOR (long-term follow-up of antithrombotic management patterns in acute coronary syndrome patients) have demonstrated the functional and preventive activities of EVOO showing the relation both between cancer and nutrition and between consumption of EVOO, vegetables, and fruit and the incidence of coronary heart disease. The data reported in this review demonstrate that EVOO, one of the pillars of the MD, is the main product of Olea europaea L. fruits; leaves and by-products are secondary but precious products from which bioactive compounds can be recovered by green technologies and reused for food, agronomic, nutraceutical, and biomedical applications according to the circular economy strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preventive Nutrition)
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Review
Physical Activity, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and the Metabolic Syndrome
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1652; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11071652 - 19 Jul 2019
Cited by 66
Abstract
Both observational and interventional studies suggest an important role for physical activity and higher fitness in mitigating the metabolic syndrome. Each component of the metabolic syndrome is, to a certain extent, favorably influenced by interventions that include physical activity. Given that the prevalence [...] Read more.
Both observational and interventional studies suggest an important role for physical activity and higher fitness in mitigating the metabolic syndrome. Each component of the metabolic syndrome is, to a certain extent, favorably influenced by interventions that include physical activity. Given that the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its individual components (particularly obesity and insulin resistance) has increased significantly in recent decades, guidelines from various professional organizations have called for greater efforts to reduce the incidence of this condition and its components. While physical activity interventions that lead to improved fitness cannot be expected to normalize insulin resistance, lipid disorders, or obesity, the combined effect of increasing activity on these risk markers, an improvement in fitness, or both, has been shown to have a major impact on health outcomes related to the metabolic syndrome. Exercise therapy is a cost-effective intervention to both prevent and mitigate the impact of the metabolic syndrome, but it remains underutilized. In the current article, an overview of the effects of physical activity and higher fitness on the metabolic syndrome is provided, along with a discussion of the mechanisms underlying the benefits of being more fit or more physically active in the prevention and treatment of the metabolic syndrome. Full article
Review
Gut Microbiota, Muscle Mass and Function in Aging: A Focus on Physical Frailty and Sarcopenia
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1633; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11071633 - 17 Jul 2019
Cited by 57
Abstract
Human gut microbiota is able to influence the host physiology by regulating multiple processes, including nutrient absorption, inflammation, oxidative stress, immune function, and anabolic balance. Aging is associated with reduced microbiota biodiversity, increased inter-individual variability, and over-representation of pathobionts, and these phenomena may [...] Read more.
Human gut microbiota is able to influence the host physiology by regulating multiple processes, including nutrient absorption, inflammation, oxidative stress, immune function, and anabolic balance. Aging is associated with reduced microbiota biodiversity, increased inter-individual variability, and over-representation of pathobionts, and these phenomena may have great relevance for skeletal muscle mass and function. For this reason, the presence of a gut-muscle axis regulating the onset and progression of age-related physical frailty and sarcopenia has been recently hypothesized. In this narrative review, we summarize the studies supporting a possible association between gut microbiota-related parameters with measures of muscle mass, muscle function, and physical performance in animal models and humans. Reduced muscle mass has been associated with distinct microbiota composition and reduced fermentative capacity in mice, and the administration of probiotics or butyrate to mouse models of muscle wasting has been associated with improved muscle mass. However, no studies have targeted the human microbiome associated with sarcopenia. Limited evidence from human studies shows an association between microbiota composition, involving key taxa such as Faecalibacterium and Bifidobacterium, and grip strength. Similarly, few studies conducted on patients with parkinsonism showed a trend towards a different microbiota composition in those with reduced gait speed. No studies have assessed the association of fecal microbiota with other measures of physical performance. However, several studies, mainly with a cross-sectional design, suggest an association between microbiota composition and frailty, mostly assessed according to the deficit accumulation model. Namely, frailty was associated with reduced microbiota biodiversity, and lower representation of butyrate-producing bacteria. Therefore, we conclude that the causal link between microbiota and physical fitness is still uncertain due to the lack of targeted studies and the influence of a large number of covariates, including diet, exercise, multimorbidity, and polypharmacy, on both microbiota composition and physical function in older age. However, the relationship between gut microbiota and physical function remains a very promising area of research for the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frailty: Role of Nutrition and Exercise)
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Review
Gut Microbiome: Profound Implications for Diet and Disease
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1613; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11071613 - 16 Jul 2019
Cited by 168
Abstract
The gut microbiome plays an important role in human health and influences the development of chronic diseases ranging from metabolic disease to gastrointestinal disorders and colorectal cancer. Of increasing prevalence in Western societies, these conditions carry a high burden of care. Dietary patterns [...] Read more.
The gut microbiome plays an important role in human health and influences the development of chronic diseases ranging from metabolic disease to gastrointestinal disorders and colorectal cancer. Of increasing prevalence in Western societies, these conditions carry a high burden of care. Dietary patterns and environmental factors have a profound effect on shaping gut microbiota in real time. Diverse populations of intestinal bacteria mediate their beneficial effects through the fermentation of dietary fiber to produce short-chain fatty acids, endogenous signals with important roles in lipid homeostasis and reducing inflammation. Recent progress shows that an individual’s starting microbial profile is a key determinant in predicting their response to intervention with live probiotics. The gut microbiota is complex and challenging to characterize. Enterotypes have been proposed using metrics such as alpha species diversity, the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes phyla, and the relative abundance of beneficial genera (e.g., Bifidobacterium, Akkermansia) versus facultative anaerobes (E. coli), pro-inflammatory Ruminococcus, or nonbacterial microbes. Microbiota composition and relative populations of bacterial species are linked to physiologic health along different axes. We review the role of diet quality, carbohydrate intake, fermentable FODMAPs, and prebiotic fiber in maintaining healthy gut flora. The implications are discussed for various conditions including obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and cardiovascular disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Microbiota and Noncommunicable Diseases)
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Review
Probiotics in Food Systems: Significance and Emerging Strategies Towards Improved Viability and Delivery of Enhanced Beneficial Value
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1591; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11071591 - 13 Jul 2019
Cited by 124
Abstract
Preserving the efficacy of probiotic bacteria exhibits paramount challenges that need to be addressed during the development of functional food products. Several factors have been claimed to be responsible for reducing the viability of probiotics including matrix acidity, level of oxygen in products, [...] Read more.
Preserving the efficacy of probiotic bacteria exhibits paramount challenges that need to be addressed during the development of functional food products. Several factors have been claimed to be responsible for reducing the viability of probiotics including matrix acidity, level of oxygen in products, presence of other lactic acid bacteria, and sensitivity to metabolites produced by other competing bacteria. Several approaches are undertaken to improve and sustain microbial cell viability, like strain selection, immobilization technologies, synbiotics development etc. Among them, cell immobilization in various carriers, including composite carrier matrix systems has recently attracted interest targeting to protect probiotics from different types of environmental stress (e.g., pH and heat treatments). Likewise, to successfully deliver the probiotics in the large intestine, cells must survive food processing and storage, and withstand the stress conditions encountered in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Hence, the appropriate selection of probiotics and their effective delivery remains a technological challenge with special focus on sustaining the viability of the probiotic culture in the formulated product. Development of synbiotic combinations exhibits another approach of functional food to stimulate the growth of probiotics. The aim of the current review is to summarize the strategies and the novel techniques adopted to enhance the viability of probiotics. Full article
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Review
Systematic Review on Polyphenol Intake and Health Outcomes: Is there Sufficient Evidence to Define a Health-Promoting Polyphenol-Rich Dietary Pattern?
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1355; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11061355 - 16 Jun 2019
Cited by 97
Abstract
Growing evidence support association between polyphenol intake and reduced risk for chronic diseases, even if there is a broad debate about the effective amount of polyphenols able to exert such protective effect. The present systematic review provides an overview of the last 10-year [...] Read more.
Growing evidence support association between polyphenol intake and reduced risk for chronic diseases, even if there is a broad debate about the effective amount of polyphenols able to exert such protective effect. The present systematic review provides an overview of the last 10-year literature on the evaluation of polyphenol intake and its association with specific disease markers and/or endpoints. An estimation of the mean total polyphenol intake has been performed despite the large heterogeneity of data reviewed. In addition, the contribution of dietary sources was considered, suggesting tea, coffee, red wine, fruit and vegetables as the main products providing polyphenols. Total flavonoids and specific subclasses, but not total polyphenols, have been apparently associated with a low risk of diabetes, cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality. However, large variability in terms of methods for the evaluation and quantification of polyphenol intake, markers and endpoints considered, makes it still difficult to establish an evidence-based reference intake for the whole class and subclass of compounds. Nevertheless, the critical mass of data available seem to strongly suggest the protective effect of a polyphenol-rich dietary pattern even if further well targeted and methodologically sound research should be encouraged in order to define specific recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Food, Nutrition and Human Health)
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Review
Glycine Metabolism and Its Alterations in Obesity and Metabolic Diseases
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1356; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11061356 - 16 Jun 2019
Cited by 56
Abstract
Glycine is the proteinogenic amino-acid of lowest molecular weight, harboring a hydrogen atom as a side-chain. In addition to being a building-block for proteins, glycine is also required for multiple metabolic pathways, such as glutathione synthesis and regulation of one-carbon metabolism. Although generally [...] Read more.
Glycine is the proteinogenic amino-acid of lowest molecular weight, harboring a hydrogen atom as a side-chain. In addition to being a building-block for proteins, glycine is also required for multiple metabolic pathways, such as glutathione synthesis and regulation of one-carbon metabolism. Although generally viewed as a non-essential amino-acid, because it can be endogenously synthesized to a certain extent, glycine has also been suggested as a conditionally essential amino acid. In metabolic disorders associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2DM), and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLDs), lower circulating glycine levels have been consistently observed, and clinical studies suggest the existence of beneficial effects induced by glycine supplementation. The present review aims at synthesizing the recent advances in glycine metabolism, pinpointing its main metabolic pathways, identifying the causes leading to glycine deficiency—especially in obesity and associated metabolic disorders—and evaluating the potential benefits of increasing glycine availability to curb the progression of obesity and obesity-related metabolic disturbances. This study focuses on the importance of diet, gut microbiota, and liver metabolism in determining glycine availability in obesity and associated metabolic disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Metabolism and Glucose Homeostasis)
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Review
A Review of Bioactive Factors in Human Breastmilk: A Focus on Prematurity
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1307; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11061307 - 10 Jun 2019
Cited by 52
Abstract
Preterm birth is an increasing worldwide problem. Prematurity is the second most common cause of death in children under 5 years of age. It is associated with a higher risk of several pathologies in the perinatal period and adulthood. Maternal milk, a complex [...] Read more.
Preterm birth is an increasing worldwide problem. Prematurity is the second most common cause of death in children under 5 years of age. It is associated with a higher risk of several pathologies in the perinatal period and adulthood. Maternal milk, a complex fluid with several bioactive factors, is the best option for the newborn. Its dynamic composition is influenced by diverse factors such as maternal age, lactation period, and health status. The aim of the present review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding some bioactive factors present in breastmilk, namely antioxidants, growth factors, adipokines, and cytokines, paying specific attention to prematurity. The revised literature reveals that the highest levels of these bioactive factors are found in the colostrum and they decrease along the lactation period; bioactive factors are found in higher levels in preterm as compared to full-term milk, they are lacking in formula milk, and decreased in donated milk. However, there are still some gaps and inconclusive data, and further research in this field is needed. Given the fact that many preterm mothers are unable to complete breastfeeding, new information could be important to develop infant supplements that best match preterm human milk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Milk and Lactation)
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Review
Dietary Glycemic Index and Load and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Updated Meta-Analyses of Prospective Cohort Studies
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1280; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11061280 - 05 Jun 2019
Cited by 63
Abstract
Published meta-analyses indicate significant but inconsistent incident type-2 diabetes (T2D)-dietary glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) risk ratios or risk relations (RR). It is now over a decade ago that a published meta-analysis used a predefined standard to identify valid studies. Considering [...] Read more.
Published meta-analyses indicate significant but inconsistent incident type-2 diabetes (T2D)-dietary glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) risk ratios or risk relations (RR). It is now over a decade ago that a published meta-analysis used a predefined standard to identify valid studies. Considering valid studies only, and using random effects dose–response meta-analysis (DRM) while withdrawing spurious results (p < 0.05), we ascertained whether these relations would support nutrition guidance, specifically for an RR > 1.20 with a lower 95% confidence limit >1.10 across typical intakes (approximately 10th to 90th percentiles of population intakes). The combined T2D–GI RR was 1.27 (1.15–1.40) (p < 0.001, n = 10 studies) per 10 units GI, while that for the T2D–GL RR was 1.26 (1.15–1.37) (p < 0.001, n = 15) per 80 g/d GL in a 2000 kcal (8400 kJ) diet. The corresponding global DRM using restricted cubic splines were 1.87 (1.56–2.25) (p < 0.001, n = 10) and 1.89 (1.66–2.16) (p < 0.001, n = 15) from 47.6 to 76.1 units GI and 73 to 257 g/d GL in a 2000 kcal diet, respectively. In conclusion, among adults initially in good health, diets higher in GI or GL were robustly associated with incident T2D. Together with mechanistic and other data, this supports that consideration should be given to these dietary risk factors in nutrition advice. Concerning the public health relevance at the global level, our evidence indicates that GI and GL are substantial food markers predicting the development of T2D worldwide, for persons of European ancestry and of East Asian ancestry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Relationship between Glycemic Index and Human Health)
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Mung Bean (Vigna radiata L.): Bioactive Polyphenols, Polysaccharides, Peptides, and Health Benefits
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1238; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11061238 - 31 May 2019
Cited by 60
Abstract
Mung bean (Vigna radiata L.) is an important pulse consumed all over the world, especially in Asian countries, and has a long history of usage as traditional medicine. It has been known to be an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, minerals, [...] Read more.
Mung bean (Vigna radiata L.) is an important pulse consumed all over the world, especially in Asian countries, and has a long history of usage as traditional medicine. It has been known to be an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and significant amounts of bioactive compounds, including polyphenols, polysaccharides, and peptides, therefore, becoming a popular functional food in promoting good health. The mung bean has been documented to ameliorate hyperglycemia, hyperlipemia, and hypertension, and prevent cancer and melanogenesis, as well as possess hepatoprotective and immunomodulatory activities. These health benefits derive primarily from the concentration and properties of those active compounds present in the mung bean. Vitexin and isovitexin are identified as the major polyphenols, and peptides containing hydrophobic amino acid residues with small molecular weight show higher bioactivity in the mung bean. Considering the recent surge in interest in the use of grain legumes, we hope this review will provide a blueprint to better utilize the mung bean in food products to improve human nutrition and further encourage advancement in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Bean Consumption and Human Health)
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Microalgal Derivatives as Potential Nutraceutical and Food Supplements for Human Health: A Focus on Cancer Prevention and Interception
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1226; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11061226 - 29 May 2019
Cited by 56
Abstract
Epidemiological studies are providing strong evidence on beneficial health effects from dietary measures, leading scientists to actively investigate which foods and which specific agents in the diet can prevent diseases. Public health officers and medical experts should collaborate toward the design of disease [...] Read more.
Epidemiological studies are providing strong evidence on beneficial health effects from dietary measures, leading scientists to actively investigate which foods and which specific agents in the diet can prevent diseases. Public health officers and medical experts should collaborate toward the design of disease prevention diets for nutritional intervention. Functional foods are emerging as an instrument for dietary intervention in disease prevention. Functional food products are technologically developed ingredients with specific health benefits. Among promising sources of functional foods and chemopreventive diets of interest, microalgae are gaining worldwide attention, based on their richness in high-value products, including carotenoids, proteins, vitamins, essential amino acids, omega-rich oils and, in general, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Beneficial effects of microalgae on human health and/or wellness could in the future be useful in preventing or delaying the onset of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. During the past decades, microalgal biomass was predominately used in the health food market, with more than 75% of the annual microalgal biomass production being employed for the manufacture of powders, tablets, capsules or pastilles. In this review, we report and discuss the present and future role of microalgae as marine sources of functional foods/beverages for human wellbeing, focusing on perspectives in chemoprevention. We dissected this topic by analyzing the different classes of microalgal compounds with health outputs (based on their potential chemoprevention activities), the biodiversity of microalgal species and how to improve their cultivation, exploring the perspective of sustainable food from the sea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Bioactives and Human Health)
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Review
Epidemiology of Cow’s Milk Allergy
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1051; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11051051 - 10 May 2019
Cited by 51
Abstract
Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated cow’s milk allergy (CMA) is one of the most common food allergies in infants and young children. CMA can result in anaphylactic reactions, and has long term implications on growth and nutrition. There are several studies in diverse populations assessing [...] Read more.
Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated cow’s milk allergy (CMA) is one of the most common food allergies in infants and young children. CMA can result in anaphylactic reactions, and has long term implications on growth and nutrition. There are several studies in diverse populations assessing the epidemiology of CMA. However, assessment is complicated by the presence of other immune-mediated reactions to cow’s milk. These include non-IgE and mixed (IgE and non-IgE) reactions and common non-immune mediated reactions, such as lactose intolerance. Estimates of prevalence and population-level patterns are further complicated by the natural history of CMA (given its relatively high rate of resolution) and variation in phenotype (with a large proportion of patients able to tolerate baked cow’s milk). Prevalence, natural history, demographic patterns, and long-term outcomes of CMA have been explored in several disparate populations over the past 30 to 40 years, with differences seen based on the method of outcome assessment, study population, time period, and geographic region. The primary aim of this review is to describe the epidemiology of CMA. The review also briefly discusses topics related to prevalence studies and specific implications of CMA, including severity, natural course, nutritional impact, and risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cow's Milk and Allergy)
Review
Dietary Polyphenols—Important Non-Nutrients in the Prevention of Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases. A Systematic Review
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1039; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11051039 - 09 May 2019
Cited by 57
Abstract
The improvement of the social and economic conditions of society has eliminated the threat of death from the majority of infectious diseases. However, the rapid progress of civilization has created new possibilities for the appearance of factors with adverse effects for the health [...] Read more.
The improvement of the social and economic conditions of society has eliminated the threat of death from the majority of infectious diseases. However, the rapid progress of civilization has created new possibilities for the appearance of factors with adverse effects for the health of society. This has led to increased morbidity from certain diseases, the presence of which had not been observed several centuries ago. Chronic noncommunicable diseases (e.g., cancers, cardio-vascular disorders, diabetes, obesity, neurodegenerative diseases) result from an inappropriate relationship between people and their environment. The common characteristic for all chronic diseases is a “new” form of inflammation, very often called metaflammation, which is considered as a subclinical, permanent inflammation. As a result, metabolic cascade, including cellular oxidative stress, atherosclerotic process, and insulin resistance, occurs, which slowly generates significant deterioration in the organism. Polyphenols are the major group of non-nutrients, considering their diversity, food occurrence, and biological properties. The current review aims to present a wide spectrum of literature data, including the molecular mechanism of their activity and experimental model used, and summarize the recent findings on the multitude of physiological effects of dietary polyphenols towards the prevention of several chronic diseases. However, despite several studies, the estimation of their dietary intake is troublesome and inconclusive, which will be also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Polyphenols and Cardiometabolic Diseases)
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Review
The Role of Vitamin D in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Mechanism to Management
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1019; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11051019 - 07 May 2019
Cited by 48
Abstract
Vitamin D has been linked to human health benefits that extend far beyond its established actions on calcium homeostasis and bone metabolism. One of the most well studied facets of extra-skeletal vitamin D is its activity as an immuno-modulator, in particular its potent [...] Read more.
Vitamin D has been linked to human health benefits that extend far beyond its established actions on calcium homeostasis and bone metabolism. One of the most well studied facets of extra-skeletal vitamin D is its activity as an immuno-modulator, in particular its potent anti-inflammatory effects. As a consequence, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with inflammatory diseases including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Low serum levels of the major circulating form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) are significantly more prevalent in patients with IBD, particularly in the winter and spring months when UV-induced synthesis of vitamin D is lower. Dietary malabsorption of vitamin D may also contribute to low serum 25(OH)D in IBD. The benefits of supplementation with vitamin D for IBD patients are still unclear, and improved vitamin D status may help to prevent the onset of IBD as well as ameliorating disease severity. Beneficial effects of vitamin D in IBD are supported by pre-clinical studies, notably with mouse models, where the active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25-(OH)2D) has been shown to regulate gastrointestinal microbiota function, and promote anti-inflammatory, tolerogenic immune responses. The current narrative review aims to summarise the different strands of data linking vitamin D and IBD, whilst also outlining the possible beneficial effects of vitamin D supplementation in managing IBD in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD))
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Review
Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 962; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11050962 - 26 Apr 2019
Cited by 52
Abstract
Low-carb and ketogenic diets are popular among clinicians and patients, but the appropriateness of reducing carbohydrates intake in obese patients and in patients with diabetes is still debated. Studies in the literature are indeed controversial, possibly because these diets are generally poorly defined; [...] Read more.
Low-carb and ketogenic diets are popular among clinicians and patients, but the appropriateness of reducing carbohydrates intake in obese patients and in patients with diabetes is still debated. Studies in the literature are indeed controversial, possibly because these diets are generally poorly defined; this, together with the intrinsic complexity of dietary interventions, makes it difficult to compare results from different studies. Despite the evidence that reducing carbohydrates intake lowers body weight and, in patients with type 2 diabetes, improves glucose control, few data are available about sustainability, safety and efficacy in the long-term. In this review we explored the possible role of low-carb and ketogenic diets in the pathogenesis and management of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Furthermore, we also reviewed evidence of carbohydrates restriction in both pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, through gut microbiota modification, and treatment of type 1 diabetes, addressing the legitimate concerns about the use of such diets in patients who are ketosis-prone and often have not completed their growth. Full article
Review
Influence of Resveratrol on the Immune Response
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 946; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11050946 - 26 Apr 2019
Cited by 102
Abstract
Resveratrol is the most well-known polyphenolic stilbenoid, present in grapes, mulberries, peanuts, rhubarb, and in several other plants. Resveratrol can play a beneficial role in the prevention and in the progression of chronic diseases related to inflammation such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, [...] Read more.
Resveratrol is the most well-known polyphenolic stilbenoid, present in grapes, mulberries, peanuts, rhubarb, and in several other plants. Resveratrol can play a beneficial role in the prevention and in the progression of chronic diseases related to inflammation such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration, and cancers among other conditions. Moreover, resveratrol regulates immunity by interfering with immune cell regulation, proinflammatory cytokines’ synthesis, and gene expression. At the molecular level, it targets sirtuin, adenosine monophosphate kinase, nuclear factor-κB, inflammatory cytokines, anti-oxidant enzymes along with cellular processes such as gluconeogenesis, lipid metabolism, mitochondrial biogenesis, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. Resveratrol can suppress the toll-like receptor (TLR) and pro-inflammatory genes’ expression. The antioxidant activity of resveratrol and the ability to inhibit enzymes involved in the production of eicosanoids contribute to its anti-inflammation properties. The effects of this biologically active compound on the immune system are associated with widespread health benefits for different autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases. This review offers a systematic understanding of how resveratrol targets multiple inflammatory components and exerts immune-regulatory effects on immune cells. Full article
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Review
Precision Nutrition and the Microbiome, Part I: Current State of the Science
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 923; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11040923 - 24 Apr 2019
Cited by 72
Abstract
The gut microbiota is a highly complex community which evolves and adapts to its host over a lifetime. It has been described as a virtual organ owing to the myriad of functions it performs, including the production of bioactive metabolites, regulation of immunity, [...] Read more.
The gut microbiota is a highly complex community which evolves and adapts to its host over a lifetime. It has been described as a virtual organ owing to the myriad of functions it performs, including the production of bioactive metabolites, regulation of immunity, energy homeostasis and protection against pathogens. These activities are dependent on the quantity and quality of the microbiota alongside its metabolic potential, which are dictated by a number of factors, including diet and host genetics. In this regard, the gut microbiome is malleable and varies significantly from host to host. These two features render the gut microbiome a candidate ‘organ’ for the possibility of precision microbiomics—the use of the gut microbiome as a biomarker to predict responsiveness to specific dietary constituents to generate precision diets and interventions for optimal health. With this in mind, this two-part review investigates the current state of the science in terms of the influence of diet and specific dietary components on the gut microbiota and subsequent consequences for health status, along with opportunities to modulate the microbiota for improved health and the potential of the microbiome as a biomarker to predict responsiveness to dietary components. In particular, in Part I, we examine the development of the microbiota from birth and its role in health. We investigate the consequences of poor-quality diet in relation to infection and inflammation and discuss diet-derived microbial metabolites which negatively impact health. We look at the role of diet in shaping the microbiome and the influence of specific dietary components, namely protein, fat and carbohydrates, on gut microbiota composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Nutrition and Metabolic Disease)
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Review
Food Marketing Influences Children’s Attitudes, Preferences and Consumption: A Systematic Critical Review
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 875; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11040875 - 18 Apr 2019
Cited by 75
Abstract
Exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages is a widely acknowledged risk factor for the development of childhood obesity and noncommunicable diseases. Food marketing involves the use of numerous persuasive techniques to influence children’s food attitudes, preferences and consumption. This systematic [...] Read more.
Exposure to the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages is a widely acknowledged risk factor for the development of childhood obesity and noncommunicable diseases. Food marketing involves the use of numerous persuasive techniques to influence children’s food attitudes, preferences and consumption. This systematic review provides a comprehensive contemporary account of the impact of these marketing techniques on children aged 0–18 years and critically evaluates the methodologies used. Five electronic academic databases were searched using key terms for primary studies (both quantitative and qualitative) published up to September 2018; 71 eligible articles were identified. Significant detrimental effects of food marketing, including enhanced attitudes, preferences and increased consumption of marketed foods were documented for a wide range of marketing techniques, particularly those used in television/movies and product packaging. Together, these studies contribute strong evidence to support the restriction of food marketing to children. However, the review also signposted distinct gaps: Firstly, there is a lack of use of qualitative and physiological methodologies. Secondly, contemporary and sophisticated marketing techniques used in new media warrant increased research attention. Finally, more research is needed to evaluate the longer-term effects of food marketing on children’s weight. Full article
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Review
Oxidative Stress and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 872; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11040872 - 18 Apr 2019
Cited by 60
Abstract
Aging is a complex phenomenon characterized by the progressive loss of tissue and organ function. The oxidative-stress theory of aging postulates that age-associated functional losses are due to the accumulation of ROS-induced damage. Liver function impairment and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are [...] Read more.
Aging is a complex phenomenon characterized by the progressive loss of tissue and organ function. The oxidative-stress theory of aging postulates that age-associated functional losses are due to the accumulation of ROS-induced damage. Liver function impairment and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are common among the elderly. NAFLD can progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and evolve to hepatic cirrhosis or hepatic carcinoma. Oxidative stress, lipotoxicity, and inflammation play a key role in the progression of NAFLD. A growing body of evidence supports the therapeutic potential of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), mainly docosahaexenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), on metabolic diseases based on their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Here, we performed a systematic review of clinical trials analyzing the efficacy of n-3 PUFA on both systemic oxidative stress and on NAFLD/NASH features in adults. As a matter of fact, it remains controversial whether n-3 PUFA are effective to counteract oxidative stress. On the other hand, data suggest that n-3 PUFA supplementation may be effective in the early stages of NAFLD, but not in patients with more severe NAFLD or NASH. Future perspectives and relevant aspects that should be considered when planning new randomized controlled trials are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidant Intake in Older Adults and Elderly People)
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Review
Analysis of Association between Vitamin D Deficiency and Insulin Resistance
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 794; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11040794 - 06 Apr 2019
Cited by 66
Abstract
Recent evidence revealed extra skeleton activity of vitamin D, including prevention from cardiometabolic diseases and cancer development as well as anti-inflammatory properties. It is worth noting that vitamin D deficiency is very common and may be associated with the pathogenesis of insulin-resistance-related diseases, [...] Read more.
Recent evidence revealed extra skeleton activity of vitamin D, including prevention from cardiometabolic diseases and cancer development as well as anti-inflammatory properties. It is worth noting that vitamin D deficiency is very common and may be associated with the pathogenesis of insulin-resistance-related diseases, including obesity and diabetes. This review aims to provide molecular mechanisms showing how vitamin D deficiency may be involved in the insulin resistance formation. The PUBMED database and published reference lists were searched to find studies published between 1980 and 2019. It was identified that molecular action of vitamin D is involved in maintaining the normal resting levels of ROS and Ca2+, not only in pancreatic β-cells, but also in insulin responsive tissues. Both genomic and non-genomic action of vitamin D is directed towards insulin signaling. Thereby, vitamin D reduces the extent of pathologies associated with insulin resistance such as oxidative stress and inflammation. More recently, it was also shown that vitamin D prevents epigenetic alterations associated with insulin resistance and diabetes. In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency is one of the factors accelerating insulin resistance formation. The results of basic and clinical research support beneficial action of vitamin D in the reduction of insulin resistance and related pathologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Insulin Resistance–Beyond Energy Metabolism)
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Review
Dietary Patterns, Skeletal Muscle Health, and Sarcopenia in Older Adults
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 745; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11040745 - 30 Mar 2019
Cited by 56
Abstract
In recent decades, the significance of diet and dietary patterns (DPs) for skeletal muscle health has been gaining attention in ageing and nutritional research. Sarcopenia, a muscle disease characterised by low muscle strength, mass, and function is associated with an increased risk of [...] Read more.
In recent decades, the significance of diet and dietary patterns (DPs) for skeletal muscle health has been gaining attention in ageing and nutritional research. Sarcopenia, a muscle disease characterised by low muscle strength, mass, and function is associated with an increased risk of functional decline, frailty, hospitalization, and death. The prevalence of sarcopenia increases with age and leads to high personal, social, and economic costs. Finding adequate nutritional measures to maintain muscle health, preserve function, and independence for the growing population of older adults would have important scientific and societal implications. Two main approaches have been employed to study the role of diet/DPs as a modifiable lifestyle factor in sarcopenia. An a priori or hypothesis-driven approach examines the adherence to pre-defined dietary indices such as the Mediterranean diet (MED) and Healthy Eating Index (HEI)—measures of diet quality—in relation to muscle health outcomes. A posteriori or data-driven approaches have used statistical tools—dimension reduction methods or clustering—to study DP-muscle health relationships. Both approaches recognise the importance of the whole diet and potential cumulative, synergistic, and antagonistic effects of foods and nutrients on ageing muscle. In this review, we have aimed to (i) summarise nutritional epidemiology evidence from four recent systematic reviews with updates from new primary studies about the role of DPs in muscle health, sarcopenia, and its components; (ii) hypothesise about the potential mechanisms of ‘myoprotective’ diets, with the MED as an example, and (iii) discuss the challenges facing nutritional epidemiology to produce the higher level evidence needed to understand the relationships between whole diets and healthy muscle ageing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Patterns and Human Health)
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Review
Lipid Accumulation and Chronic Kidney Disease
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 722; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11040722 - 28 Mar 2019
Cited by 58
Abstract
Obesity and hyperlipidemia are the most prevalent independent risk factors of chronic kidney disease (CKD), suggesting that lipid accumulation in the renal parenchyma is detrimental to renal function. Non-esterified fatty acids (also known as free fatty acids, FFA) are especially harmful to the [...] Read more.
Obesity and hyperlipidemia are the most prevalent independent risk factors of chronic kidney disease (CKD), suggesting that lipid accumulation in the renal parenchyma is detrimental to renal function. Non-esterified fatty acids (also known as free fatty acids, FFA) are especially harmful to the kidneys. A concerted, increased FFA uptake due to high fat diets, overexpression of fatty acid uptake systems such as the CD36 scavenger receptor and the fatty acid transport proteins, and a reduced β-oxidation rate underlie the intracellular lipid accumulation in non-adipose tissues. FFAs in excess can damage podocytes, proximal tubular epithelial cells and the tubulointerstitial tissue through various mechanisms, in particular by boosting the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation, promoting mitochondrial damage and tissue inflammation, which result in glomerular and tubular lesions. Not all lipids are bad for the kidneys: polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) seem to help lag the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Lifestyle interventions, especially dietary adjustments, and lipid-lowering drugs can contribute to improve the clinical outcome of patients with CKD. Full article
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Review
The Influence of Meal Frequency and Timing on Health in Humans: The Role of Fasting
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 719; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11040719 - 28 Mar 2019
Cited by 66
Abstract
The influence of meal frequency and timing on health and disease has been a topic of interest for many years. While epidemiological evidence indicates an association between higher meal frequencies and lower disease risk, experimental trials have shown conflicting results. Furthermore, recent prospective [...] Read more.
The influence of meal frequency and timing on health and disease has been a topic of interest for many years. While epidemiological evidence indicates an association between higher meal frequencies and lower disease risk, experimental trials have shown conflicting results. Furthermore, recent prospective research has demonstrated a significant increase in disease risk with a high meal frequency (≥6 meals/day) as compared to a low meal frequency (1–2 meals/day). Apart from meal frequency and timing we also have to consider breakfast consumption and the distribution of daily energy intake, caloric restriction, and night-time eating. A central role in this complex scenario is played by the fasting period length between two meals. The physiological underpinning of these interconnected variables may be through internal circadian clocks, and food consumption that is asynchronous with natural circadian rhythms may exert adverse health effects and increase disease risk. Additionally, alterations in meal frequency and meal timing have the potential to influence energy and macronutrient intake.A regular meal pattern including breakfast consumption, consuming a higher proportion of energy early in the day, reduced meal frequency (i.e., 2–3 meals/day), and regular fasting periods may provide physiological benefits such as reduced inflammation, improved circadian rhythmicity, increased autophagy and stress resistance, and modulation of the gut microbiota Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Effects of Intermittent Fasting: How Broad are the Benefits?)
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Review
The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health
Nutrients 2019, 11(3), 684; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11030684 - 22 Mar 2019
Cited by 70
Abstract
Egg is an encapsulated source of macro and micronutrients that meet all requirements to support embryonic development until hatching. The perfect balance and diversity in its nutrients along with its high digestibility and its affordable price has put the egg in the spotlight [...] Read more.
Egg is an encapsulated source of macro and micronutrients that meet all requirements to support embryonic development until hatching. The perfect balance and diversity in its nutrients along with its high digestibility and its affordable price has put the egg in the spotlight as a basic food for humans. However, egg still has to face many years of nutritionist recommendations aiming at restricting egg consumption to limit cardiovascular diseases incidence. Most experimental, clinical, and epidemiologic studies concluded that there was no evidence of a correlation between dietary cholesterol brought by eggs and an increase in plasma total-cholesterol. Egg remains a food product of high nutritional quality for adults including elderly people and children and is extensively consumed worldwide. In parallel, there is compelling evidence that egg also contains many and still-unexplored bioactive compounds, which may be of high interest in preventing/curing diseases. This review will give an overview of (1) the main nutritional characteristics of chicken egg, (2) emerging data related to egg bioactive compounds, and (3) some factors affecting egg composition including a comparison of nutritional value between eggs from various domestic species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Egg Intake and Human Health)
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Review
Intermittent Fasting in Cardiovascular Disorders—An Overview
Nutrients 2019, 11(3), 673; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11030673 - 20 Mar 2019
Cited by 54
Abstract
Intermittent fasting is a form of time restricted eating (typically 16 h fasting and 8 h eating), which has gained popularity in recent years and shows promise as a possible new paradigm in the approach to weight loss and the reduction of inflammation, [...] Read more.
Intermittent fasting is a form of time restricted eating (typically 16 h fasting and 8 h eating), which has gained popularity in recent years and shows promise as a possible new paradigm in the approach to weight loss and the reduction of inflammation, and has many potential long term health benefits. In this review, the authors will incorporate many aspects of fasting, mainly focusing on its effects on the cardiovascular system, involving atherosclerosis progression, benefits for diabetes mellitus type 2, lowering of blood pressure, and exploring other cardiovascular risk factors (such as lipid profile and inflammation). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Effects of Intermittent Fasting: How Broad are the Benefits?)
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Review
The Role of Probiotics and Prebiotics in the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity