Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism - Volume 13, 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 growing interest in mycotoxins, has led to the discovery of new toxic compounds of fungal origin. This review covers some emerging mycotoxins: enniatins (ENNs), beauvericin (BEA), sterigmatocystin (STC), moniliformin (MON), Alternaria spp toxins (ALT), citrinin (CTN). ENNs act as a ionophore, altering the functionality of cell channels, they generate oxidative stress and induce apoptosis. Cereals and cereal-derived foods are the most contaminated items. BEA is quite similar to ENN and like this molecule has ionophoric and pro-oxidant properties. The most contaminated food group is cereals. STC, a precursor of aflatoxin B1, can generate DNA adducts and promote ROS…generation. The higher levels of STC are found in grains. Toxins produced by ALT, inhibit protein synthesis, disrupt sphingolipid synthesis and induce DNA breaks. Tomato and tomato-derived products are the food groups in which it is easiest to find ALT. MON toxicity is based on the inhibition of thiamin-containing enzymes and the induction of oxidative stress. Grains are the matrix with the highest levels of MON. CTN is produced during food storage and is common in supplements containing red mould rice used to lower blood cholesterol. Generation of oxidative stress is the main way used to exert toxicity.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: A healthy diet reflects other healthy behaviours and contributes to better health outcomes. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to describe the diet quality of Portuguese adolescents and its associations with physical activity, screen-time, sleep duration, and socioeconomic status, considering body composition and maturity. METHODS: A cross-sectional study included 669 participants aged 10–17 years from four state schools in the Lisbon area, Portugal. The diet quality was obtained through the Diet Quality Index-International (DQI-I), adapted for the Mediterranean diet. The lifestyle variables (physical activity, screen-time, sleep duration, and socioeconomic status) were reported in the Biosocial and Life…Routine Questionnaire (RAPIL II). The fat mass (FM) was estimated from skinfolds thickness and body mass index (BMI) was calculated using the World Health Organization criteria. Maturity indicators were predicted and objectively measured. Analyses were stratified by sex. RESULTS: Participants showed a mean DQI-I of 50.0% and a high compliance with protein, iron, vitamin C, and cholesterol recommendations. More than 50% exhibit low vegetables and fruit consumption and high saturated fat, sodium and “empty calorie foods” intakes. Fruit, grain, fibre, iron, calcium, cholesterol, sodium, “empty calorie foods”, and fatty acid ratio showed significant sex differences (p < 0.05), mainly due to age and physical activity. CONCLUSIONS: Overall adolescents showed low diet quality. Most participants reported not to meet vegetable, fruit, grain, and fibre recommendations. Both, the older boys and with the lowest FM showed better adequacy for grain and fibre intakes, whereas worse compliance for cholesterol. Among girls, higher grain and calcium intake reflect higher levels of physical activity.
Keywords: Food and nutrition, physical activity, public health
Abstract: Nowadays the current global food model is becoming unsustainable mainly due to the world human population exponential growth and the consequent overexploitation of natural resources used for agriculture and livestock. Therefore, an urgent rethinking of the relationship we have with food resources is needed. Since 2008, FAO has indicated edible insects as food of the future, capable of contributing through its use to the resolution of problems relating to the current global model of food consumption. The use of insects as food and feed on a global scale has health, environmental, economic and social benefits because they have…characteristics that make them nutritious, accessible and reared with low environmental impact. From the entry into force in 2018 of the EU regulation n. 2283/2015 concerning novel foods, edible insects have gone from being a probable food of the future to already being part of the present in European countries. Currently there are numerous companies that produce insect-based foods for distribution on the market and entrepreneurial realities and professional figures involved in this trade multiply exponentially. Thus, Westerners will have to begin to familiarize themselves with the idea of insects in general, breaking down prejudices and therefore also undermine the food taboo.
Keywords: Edible insects, insects as food, food of the future, low environmental impact food, unsustainable global food model, novel foods, food resources
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Low calorie diets are often poorly sustainable in the long term. Soluble Fiber (SF) slows gastric emptying, diminishes meal energy content and increases satiety. Adding SF to popular foods as pasta could be a good solution to improve diet adherence and metabolic parameters of obese patients. OBJECTIVE: to evaluate the effects of low – calorie diets including SF-enriched pasta in obese subjects on self-referred satiety, weight and metabolic parameters (glucose, insulin, glycated haemoglobin- HbA1c, plasma lipids) in a 3-months follow up. METHODS: 30 obese patients (6M/24F, aged 43,4±10.3 years; BMI 33.4±1.56) were randomized into 2…groups; two isocaloric diets were prescribed: a diet with a serving of SF (chicory inulin 2%) enriched and lignin extruded pasta was given to the 1st group (A) every day; the 2nd group (B) had common semolina pasta. Five follow up visits with anthropometric and metabolic measurements were planned. Plasma OGTT (glucose, insulin), HbA1c, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides were determined at baseline (T0) and at the end of the study (T1, after 3 months). Overall weight loss and drop out were evaluated. Subjects were asked to report their feeling of satiety and appetite at every visit using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS 10 CM). Treatment satisfaction had been evaluated by a questionnaire about the characteristics of SF pasta (appearance, colour, texture, stickiness, flavour and taste) with another VAS. RESULTS: The weight loss was kg 6.29±3.62 in group A and kg 1.87±1.66 in group B (p < 0.0002); one patient dropped out in group A, 3 in group B. The satiety and appetite VAS score were 7.6±1.1 (t1) in group A and 5.0±1.0 in group B. Group A was more satisfied of the diet plan taste (score of 8,66±0,97 vs. 1.09 (p < 0.01); 9,14±0.86 of patients of the A group and 6.07±2.05 (p < 0.01) of the B group declared they have eaten “enough”. HbA1c (p < 0.0001) and insulin level after glucose load (at 120’) decreased significantly more in the group A than in group B (p < 0.002). The diet did not affect lipid profile either in Group A and Group B after three months. CONCLUSION: SF enrichment and lignine extrusion of pasta increase satiety and diet adherence, and improve metabolic parameters.
Abstract: Studies on the bioaccessibility and bioavailability of phenolic compounds are becoming more popular as these compounds may show their health beneficial properties just if they are bioaccessible and bioavailable. It has been reported that there are several factors affecting the bioavailability of phenolics, and one of the most predominant one is the food matrix. In this paper, the effect of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, phenolics and vitamins on the bioaccessibility and bioavailability of phenolics and the fate of these molecular interactions are reviewed. These interactions are known to be influenced by temperature, pH, type and concentration of the food component and…the phenolic compounds. As a result, it is difficult to derive an exact conclusion and every food material and component should be evaluated individually with respect to its interacting phenolic. On the other hand, it will be helpful to increase the number of in vitro and in vivo studies on the bioavailability of phenolic substances in contact with various food components in order to guide the design of functional foods enriched with phenolic substances.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in which inflammatory factors are thought to play an important role. OBJECTIVE: This study examined the effects of Urtica dioica leaf extract on tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α ) and fecal calprotectin as inflammation markers and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. METHODS: This study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, clinical trial, conducted on 64 patients with IBD. The participants were divided into a Urtica Dioica group (n = 32) and a placebo group (n = 32) by permuted block randomization. Subjects received…three tablets daily for 12 weeks of either hydroalcoholic nettle extract (400 mg) or a placebo. Levels of TNF-α in serum, fecal calprotectin and ESR were assessed at baseline and at the end of study. RESULTS: 59 participants completed the trial. After 12 weeks, levels of TNF-α and fecal calprotectin showed a significant reduction in the Urtica Dioica group compared to the placebo group (p < 0.05). No significant difference was found in the level of ESR between the groups at the end of the study. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that supplementation with hydroalcoholic nettle extract can improve levels of TNF-α and fecal calprotectin as inflammatory factors in patients with IBD.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Moroccan diet incorporates olive oil as the primary source of fat and may reduce cancer risk. However, different olive oil varieties often have varying levels of anti-cancer polyphenols and thus have unique biologic effects. OBJECTIVE: The anti-cancer activity of five varieties of extra virgin Moroccan-cultivated olive oil on human cervical cancer cells was assessed in vitro . METHODS: The presence of phenolic compounds in five olive oil varieties cultivated in Morocco was analyzed using HPLC. Human cervical cancer cell lines (HeLa, SKG-II, and HCS-2) were incubated with the olive oils and cell viability was…measured by MTT assay, reactive oxygen species were measured using the CellRox assay, and gene expression was measured by RT-PCR. RESULTS: Each of the five Moroccan-cultivated olive oil varieties had a unique composition of phenolic compounds. Incubation with the olive oils reduced cell viability and reactive oxygen species in human cervical cancer cells. The expression of genes involved in cervical cancer carcinogenesis and cell cycle were also altered. All five olive oil varieties decreased expression of E6 , E7 , p16 , p63 , and NRP2 and increased expression of IVL and miR 331-3p . CONCLUSIONS: Use of Moroccan-cultivated olive oils could be a promising anti-cancer agent for cervical cancer.
Abstract: The Mediterranean diet (MDiet) is the most studied dietary pattern worldwide. For more than almost 60 years numerous studies have surveyed its association with human health revealing its beneficial properties, like anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant features, on multiple diseases and disorders thanks to its bioactive components. Changes in our lifestyle and dietary habits have provoked an increase of overweight and obesity and, consequently, the development and worsening of its correlated outcomes derived from inflammation and oxidative stress. Particularly, many observational studies have shown that the adhesion to MDiet is associated with the improvement of female infertility decreasing the incidence of metabolic…disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome among other related dysfunctions. Moreover, adhering to MDiet during the peri-conceptional and gestational period meliorates the health of the mother and her offspring decreasing the risk of developing pregnancy-associated complications, like gestational diabetes mellitus or hypertension conditions such as preeclampsia. Most of these disorders are correlated with obesity, thus it is essential to promote, through prevention and counseling, a change in women’s dietary routines and lifestyle in order to reduce the incidence of infertility and pregnancy-related complications. The adhesion to MDiet seems to be the best choice to overcome this challenge.