Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism - Volume 1, issue 1
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Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism publishes original scientific papers on metabolism, including diabesity and eating disorders; nutrition (epidemiological, basic, clinical and artificial); dietary and nutritional practices and management and their impact on health from prevention to treatment.
The journal hosts the proceedings of relevant congresses and presents shorter notices focused on the original character of the Mediterranean nutritional civilisation. In addition, this journal is intended as a platform for scientific debate and knowledge-sharing among students and clinical practitioners, and between them and the broader scientific community, and finally as a tool for promoting and enhancing scientific cooperation.
Abstract: The metabolic syndrome is a complex condition characterized by dyslipidaemia, high blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance and abdominal fat accumulation. Subjects with the metabolic syndrome are at high risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. A comprehensive approach is required for patients suffering this cluster of clinical manifestations. Indeed, subjects with the metabolic syndrome could benefit from life-style modifications, particularly through exercise and diet. In this article, the evidence regarding the role of diet, in particular the role of food patterns based on the Mediterranean-style diet, in preventing and treating the metabolic syndrome are reviewed.
Abstract: Thickeners are knowing a period of technological development and growing popularity mainly due to their low cost and widely flexible use. This increasingly use of thickeners in the clinical practice has not been paralleled by an adequate understanding of the features of the products available on the market. Our review points out a confounding scenario characterized by the lack of agreement on relevant points affecting the final prescribing decision making process. This should encourage the scientific community to propose common language and standards in order to define shared practical guidelines with the aim to fit the wide spreading offer of…different products to the peculiar needs of each patient.
Abstract: Objective: To determine the oxidative balance and plasma fatty acid composition of overweight and obese women. Design: Comparative, descriptive study on 60 overweight or obese (BMI 25–33 kg/m2 ), normotensive, nondiabetic women and 60 age-matched lean healthy women (BMI < 25 kg/m2 ). Measurements: Plasma lipid, hydroperoxide, and antioxidants levels, fatty acid composition and the susceptibility of lipoproteins to peroxidation. Results: Compared to the lean control group, the patient group had higher susceptibility of lipoproteins to peroxidation and higher peroxide levels. In contrast, the polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular the ω-3 species, and the antioxidants were lower in the patient…group. Conclusions: The present study shows that overweight and obese people have oxidative balance impairment. The higher susceptibility of lipoproteins to peroxidation is the probable molecular mechanism that promotes a reduction in high unsaturated (and in particular ω-3) fatty acids, as well as antioxidants in the plasma of the overweight and obese subjects.
Keywords: Over weight, Obesity, Oxidative stress, Lipid peroxidation
Abstract: Background and aim: Epidemiological studies suggest that regular consumption of foods and beverages rich in flavonoids is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular mortality. Cocoa, the main ingredient of chocolate, is rich in polyphenols. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of consumption of 50 g daily for 3 weeks of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate on lipoprotein oxidative stress in vitro and in vivo. In particular, levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), conjugated dienes, lipoperoxide and hydroperoxide in HDL and LDL before and after consumption of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate were assessed. The serum lipid profile was also…studied. Methods and results: Ten healthy Italian-Caucasian volunteers were recruited without restriction as to age, gender, or socioeconomic status. Their BMI was between 21 and 26 kg/m2 , and the subjects included men and premenopausal women. The study protocol was conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki as revised in 2001, and all subjects gave written informed consent. TBARs concentrations, lipid hydroperoxides as determined using the FOX assay, and conjugate formation in HDL and in LDL were significantly decreased after 3 weeks of dark chocolate consumption with respect to the baseline values. To summarize, the present study showed favourable effects of chocolate consumption both on HDL cholesterol, and on some of the lipid peroxidation markers such as conjugated dienes, lipid hydroperoxides (FOX assay) and TBARS. Similar results were obtained with regard to LDL fractions. Our study also showed that 3 weeks consumption of dark chocolate might improve endothelial function in healthy humans and might exert a protective effect on the cardiovascular system.
Keywords: Dark chocolate, Lipoprotein, Lipid peroxidation, Conjugate diene, TBARs, FOX
Abstract: This study was aimed at evaluating the tolerability of a nutraceutical combination with anticholesterolaemic action in patients intolerant of statin treatment. A total of 32 hypercholesterolaemic patients, all intolerant to at least two statin treatments, were enrolled in the ambulatory service. None of the enrolled patients was diabetic or undergoing secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Patients consumed one yoghurt with 2 g of added phytosterols each morning (Pro-Activ, Unilever, Milan, Italy) and one tablet of a registered combined nutraceutical (Armolipid Plus, Rottapharm, Monza, Italy). We tested the efficacy of the treatment after 4 and 6 months. One tablet of Armolipid…Plus contains: berberine 500 mg, monacolin 3 mg, and policosanol 10 mg. After 3 months of treatment the patients showed a significant decrease in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, and a significant increase in the plasma level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. These results were maintained after 6 months of treatment without a significant change in the mean values.
Abstract: Background and aim: Anorexia/cachexia syndrome is frequently correlated with increased oxidative stress (OS). A fermented wheat-germ extract with a standardized benzoquinone content (brand name Avemar) has been shown to exert an intense antioxidant activity with no side effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Avemar in patients affected by head and neck cancer, correlating the variations with OS with the quality of life as assessed by the Spitzer's index. Patients and methods: A cohort of 60 patients affected by head and neck tumours (stage IIIa, IIIb, IV) were enrolled in the study following an open-label…protocol. The patients were assigned to two subgroups, A or B. Group A was treated with conventional oncological therapy alone, and group B was treated with Avemar in addition to standard therapy. After 2 months only 55 patients survived and could be evaluated (29 in the control group and 26 in the Avemar group). Each patient was checked for circulating concentrations of hydroperoxides using the FRAS III test. Results: The levels of OS significantly decreased after 2 months in the group receiving Avemar (group). The value of Spitzer's index was significantly higher in group B, attesting to an improved quality of life. Conclusion: Although the specific active substance in Avemar has not yet been identified, the reduction in free oxygen radicals induced by it is correlated with a clinically significant improvement in the quality of life in patients with advanced cancer.
Keywords: Fermented wheat germ extract, Head and neck cancer, Quality of life, Oxidative stress, D-ROMs test
Abstract: Background and aim: A number of studies have investigated the nutritional habits of elderly people, but few studies have analysed either the nutritional habits or the physical activity of very old healthy people. Thus, in this study we investigated the dietary habits and the physical activity of a group of selected very old healthy Italian people. Methods and results: We studied 182 selected healthy subjects (70 men, 112 women) aged 75 to 85 years. The subject were visited by a multispecialist team to exclude any chronic and/or acute diseases. ECG, blood pressure, body mass index, tricipital skin-fold thickness and arm…muscle diameter were evaluated. Total and HDL/LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, glycaemia, C-reactive protein and fibrinogen were measured. The EPIC questionnaire was used to evaluate nutritional habits and the Laval questionnaire to quantify energy expenditure during leisure time. ECG and blood variables were within normal ranges. The average risk score was very low. The anthropometric data showed both men and women to be slightly overweight. We found a high intake of saturated fats, β-carotene and vitamin C, and a reduced intake of calcium, potassium and vitamin E. The women had a high intake of proteins. Interestingly, the mean daily energy intake was in balance with energy expenditure from physical activity in both men and women on week days and as well as on Sundays. Conclusion: We hypothesize that genetic factors, antioxidant intake and, mainly, constant adequate physical activity are important to maintain a healthy life-style in very old people.
Abstract: As a further elaboration of our systematic definition of nutritional therapy in diabetic patients, this booklet looks at the delicate but very important question of the diabetic woman's diet during pregnancy. The recommendations were drafted by diabetologists and nutritionists who have specifically studied the problems of nutrition in pregnancy, and are backed by the Italian Association for Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition (ADI), the Association of Medical Diabetologists (AMD), and the Italian Society for Diabetology (SID). The synergism of this joint effort has produced a document that we sincerely hope will help all members of teams who tackle this vital issue…in diabetes in their daily work.