Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism - Volume 2, issue 2
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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: High-density lipoproteins (HDL) plasma levels are inversely correlated with the risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. The protective effect of HDL has been related to their role in the cholesterol reverse transport and to their ability to inhibit oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Several lines of evidence suggest that the protective effect of HDL is at least partially related to the enzyme paraoxonase (PON1), a calcium-dependent esterase associated with the HDL surface. It has been hypothesised that PON1 may have two independent antiatherogenic roles: (a) by preventing the accumulation of oxidised lipids from oxidised lipoproteins (LDL and HDL) and…thereby inhibiting the atherogenic and inflammatory response induced by lipid peroxidation products; (b) by detoxifying homocysteine thiolactone (HTL), a toxic metabolite of homocysteine. Recently, it has been reported that HDL-associated PON1 could also play a regulatory role in HDL binding to cell membranes and in HDL-mediated cholesterol efflux in macrophages. Several papers have reported that HDL are also able to protect and/or repair oxidative damage of cell membranes and we have recently demonstrated that the protective role of HDL is related to PON1 activity.
Abstract: In the context of the EURRECA project (EURopean micronutrient RECommendations Aligned), we have estimated the micronutrient content of traditional Greek foods in relation to international recommendations. Many of these foods showed a rich micronutrient profile and a file was developed listing a total of 137 traditional Greek foods and dishes. This work indicates that in order to meet micronutrient requirements, a simple solution would be to adhere to traditional dietary patterns, at least for the Mediterranean populations, and reinstate traditional foods into the daily diet.
Keywords: Traditional foods, Micronutrients, Recommended Dietary Allowance
Abstract: There is increasing evidence of a relationship between periodontitis and several nutrition-linked chronic conditions, such as obesity, dyslipidaemia and metabolic syndrome, with a putative bidirectional influence between periodontal disease and each condition. An association between several dietary factors and the progression of periodontitis is relevant to this relationship. Thus, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, lactic acid foods, soy products and a diet rich in vegetables and fresh food appear to be favourable for better periodontal health, whereas a lipid-rich diet may be detrimental to periodontal tissues.
Abstract: Type 2 diabetes has become the most frequently encountered metabolic disorder in the world and obesity, meaning visceral adiposity, is the core problem. In the abdominal adipose tissue, insulin resistance (IR) reduces the antilipolytic effect of insulin, which in turn leads to reduced glucose uptake and increased release of free fatty acids (FFAs) and glycerol. Chronic exposure of beta cells to elevated FFA levels causes detrimental consequences such as increased insulin secretion at low glucose concentrations, decreased proinsulin biosynthesis, depletion of insulin reserves and reduced response to concentrations of glucose stimulus. Adipose peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR)-γ appears to be an…essential mediator for the maintenance of whole-body insulin sensitivity that protects non-adipose tissue against lipid overload. Current data suggest that PPAR-γ-activating ligands improve adipose tissue function, and may prevent the progression of IR to diabetes and also endothelial dysfunction to atherosclerosis. Links between environmental influences, the layout of visceral fat, the PPARs, the adiponectin and the adipocytokines still need to be completely clarified.
Abstract: The aim of our work was to assess the level of fruit and vegetable consumption in the meal provided by the school canteen, also assessing the degree of appreciation for the different fruit and vegetable types. Our focus was on school children in grades 1 (6 year olds) and 5 (10 year olds) so as to cover a broad age range and to assess how tastes and fruit and vegetable intake vary as a function of age. The children's liking of fruit was not homogeneous; oranges were the most appreciated fruits among 6 year olds while apples and kiwis were…the least appreciated. The 10-year-old school children showed no statistically significant differences in their liking of certain fruit types. Fruit intake during the school meals was enough to meet a considerable amount of the vitamin C requirements, above all when oranges, kiwis and strawberries were eaten. Eating apples makes it possible to cover more than 10% of the fibre requirements. This is of great importance given its fundamental role. Although to a lower extent than vitamin C, fruit intake also allows a considerable percentage of the K nutritional requirements to be met, covering up to 28% in the case of bananas. As far as vegetables are concerned, tomatoes are the most popular among 10 year olds; given their high vitamin C content they make it possible to significantly cover the vitamin C requirements (24.5–34.1%). An important role is also played by the intake of carrots in relation to covering the retinol requirements (43.45% in grade 1 and 66.58% in grade 5).
Keywords: School children, Fruit, Vegetables, Vitamin C, Index of appreciation
Abstract: Background: Cancer chemo- and radiotherapy are constantly associated with unwanted side effects at least partially ascribable to oxidative stress, an imbalance between pro-oxidant and antioxidant factors. However, the possible indication and efficacy of antioxidant supplementations – including glutathione-based formulas – aimed to restore the oxidative balance should be, respectively, evaluated and monitored carefully with reliable analytical tools. Aim: Because previous studies on cystic fibrosis and athletes showed that high-cysteine-content, whey-based formulas were able to improve glutathione levels in cystic fibrosis and in healthy exercising people, the aim of this preliminary study was to evaluate the impact on oxidative balance of…a new antioxidant supplementation, based on a high-cysteine formula containing a protein mimicking breast milk, on women conventionally treated for breast cancer. Subjects and methods: Twenty women suffering from breast cancer under ambulatory conventional antineoplastic treatment were supplemented for 12 consecutive months with 10 g u.i.d. of an oral nutraceutical lipid- and lactose-free formula containing a mix of peptides from cow's milk whey having a high content of cysteine and glutamic acid as the main biochemical precursor of glutathione (Prother® , DMF Limbiate, MI, Italy). During the study period the recruited subjects underwent a periodical (bimonthly) clinical visit, during which they were tested for oxidative balance (BAP test and d-ROMs). Before and at the end of the study the women were invited to complete the Spitzer Questionnaire. Results: Plasma antioxidant capacity, as detected by the BAP test, showed a marked early trend towards a progressive increase, reaching statistical significance at the end of the treatment (2319.5 ± 288.7 vs. 1894.5 ± 362.5 μmol/l reduced iron, respectively; p = 0.007). Plasma oxidant status, as measured by means of the d-ROMs test, after an irregular time-course, increased significantly at the 12th month, compared to the baseline value (350.29 ± 39.29 vs. 407.00 ± 58.54 CARR U, respectively; p = 0.0017). The treatment was well tolerated. Discussion: The breast milk-mimicking protein formula intake was associated with a restoration of biological antioxidant potential, maybe by increasing the bioavailability of antioxidant components, and reduced glutathione, with no apparent interference with the intrinsic pharmacological/chemical mechanism (oxidant species generation) of the current treatment (chemo/radiotherapy). Conclusions: This preliminary study indicates that 12 months of regular oral intake of a high-content cysteine nutraceutic formula is associated with increased plasma antioxidant capacity in women conventionally treated for breast cancer. Moreover, the data from oxidative status assessment suggest that the above supplement did not interfere with oxidant production, the increase of which is related to the cancer and antineoplastic treatment itself. Finally, the d-ROMs and BAP tests were shown to be very reliable tools to monitor ambulatory oxidative balance in this kind of patient.
Abstract: The Czech Republic ranks among the countries with the highest prevalence of dyslipoproteinaemia and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). As a valid tool in the primary prevention of these the authors consider the monitoring of selected components (including metal ions and vitamins) of the antioxidant system in the organism. Oxidative damage of cells and tissues plays an important role in the aetiology of most so-called civilisation diseases. Endogen anti-oxidative protection of the human organism, e.g., in the form of superoxide dismutase, enzymes and selenium (Se), which abolish peroxide hydrogen, or in the form of proteins-binding metals, is insufficient taking into consideration the…contemporary way of life in advanced countries. The objective of the present work was to determine total Se in the serum of 386 healthy volunteers from the Rescue Fire Brigades from selected areas of the Czech Republic. The serum Se concentration was determined by the direct electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry method. The mean serum Se concentration was determined between 0.67 and 0.93 μmol/l. There were no significant differences in values between gender, age and body mass index categories. The low levels of the element in the blood are probably due to its deficiency in the diet.
Abstract: The role of general practitioners (GPs) and family paediatricians (FPs) in nutrition education and counselling for the general population is crucial. However, time constraints, insufficient knowledge and lack of suitable educational instruments have so far prevented family doctors from having an active role in this respect. In this paper the project “Osservatorio Nutrizionale Grana Padano (ON-GP)”, launched in 2005, an innovative and powerful tool for nutritional education and epidemiological monitoring by GPs and FPs, is described. GPs and FPs agreed to participate on a voluntary basis and were from all Italian regions. So far, since 2005, over 17,250 subjects (6306…children and 10,944 adults) have been surveyed by 346 GPs and 207 paediatricians. In addition to the possibility of free use of the software for clinical and educational purposes, GPs and FPs are also invited to take part in epidemiological research in order to build a nationwide database. The results of the survey are disseminated on an annual basis to family doctors and as a press release to the media, together with messages of nutrition education targeted to the general population. The success of the project so far – beyond all expectations – has prompted the planning of further improvements.