Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism - Volume 3, 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: Milk is a food with a very high biological value, essential in the early stages of life, and has been used to produce ricotta and other cheeses in the Mediterranean area for at least for the last 6,000 years. From a nutritional point of view, in addition to a high water content, milk also contains glucids, proteins of a high biological quality, lipids, vitamins and minerals in highly absorbable forms. In terms of evolution, cholesterol also plays an important role in the activation and propagation of the hedgehog signaling cascade, which is responsible for the differentiation and development of the…central nervous system. Finally, the authors analyze its potential as a vector of alimentary supplements, making this food fundamental for human nutrition and the future of Homo sapiens.
Abstract: Probiotics represent a potential important therapy resource. Nevertheless, no clear-cut evidence about their use has yet been established. In fact, numerous studies exist on the application of probiotics in gastrointestinal disease but results are often controversial or produced from an inadequate study design. The aim of this review is to analyze the main experimental data regarding the use of probiotics. In particular, analyses have identified what probiotic strains could be used in acute diseases such as diarrhea and in chronic ones like inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, dysbiosis, Helicobacter pylori colonisation, and necrotizing enterocolitis. Finally, this review also provides…an observation about the actual need of efficient research on the safety of products containing probiotics, verifying the effects of probiotic therapy at short, medium, and long term. This information is very important and could ensure a safer and more conscious use of such therapeutic agents.
Abstract: Vitamin D and its biologically active metabolite, 1-alpha,25dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3], which is produced in the dermal skin layer after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, play a central role in calcium metabolism and bone homeostasis; besides this “classical” function, they hold also other important activities, such as the regulation and differentiation of normal and tumoral cellular proliferation, and a powerful immunomodulatory activity. The relationship between vitamin D and multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) with multifactorial pathogenesis, involves various aspects, including first of all the presence of an altered bone metabolism in subjects affected…by the disease. On the basis of epidemiological data of prevalence, vitamin D and sunlight exposure may play a protective role in MS development. Nevertheless, the possible disease-modifying effect of a supplementation with vitamin D and its analogues requires further investigation, as current evidence does not support its recommendation in the specific treatment of the disease.
Abstract: A study was carried out to determine the effects of use of rape seed oil in the production of ice cream. The basic ice cream, i.e., control (C) had 4.5% milk fat, 11.75% MSNF, 1.25% whey protein concentrate-70 (WPC-70), 15% sucrose, 0.2% sodium alginate, and 0.2% glycerol monostearate with a total solids content of 32.9%, vanilla flavored ice cream was prepared by partially replacing milk fat with rape seed oil. The rape seed oil was incorporated at three different levels, i.e., F1 (1% palm olein and 3.5% milk fat), F2 (2% rape seed oil and 2.5% milk fat) and F3…(3% rape seed oil and 1.5% milk fat), in mix formulation, other ingredients were same as that of basic ice cream mix (C). The effect of addition of rape seed oil on physicochemical and sensory characteristics of ice cream was determined. Incorporation of rape seed oil at F3 level did not have any adverse effect on the compositional attributes, pH and acidity of ice cream, flavor and melting quality scores and total score.
Abstract: The consumption and abuse of alcohol among young people is a matter of both national and international concern. According to ISTAT (http://www.istat.it/salastampa/comunicati/non_calendario/20080417_00/testointegrale20080417.pdf, 2007), the model of alcohol consumption in Italy is traditionally moderate, but in the last few years habits that pose health risks, such as drinking between meals at a young age and binge drinking, have been increasing constantly. The aim of this study was to investigate the ways in which alcohol is consumed by young people in Siena, focusing in particular on their habit of meeting for an aperitif. The sample comprised 467 students (mean age 17 ±…1.3 years). The results obtained show that the situation in Siena is similar to that in the rest of Italy, being characterised by frequent alcohol abuse, concentrated above all in the weekend. We found that meeting for an aperitif is seen as an opportunity to catch up with friends, relax and have fun.
Abstract: Subjects with type 2 diabetes are in a continuous catabolic state due to increased neoglycogensis during most of the fasting and the postprandial period. We compared the body cell mass index (BCMI) of 257 subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and 216 non-diabetic controls and found a statistically significant lower value in the diabetic subjects. This abnormality was reversed after 6 months of treatment with a diabetes-specific nutritional formula. Furthermore, in a population of 715 diabetic subjects without other diseases, we found that the BCMI was inversely correlated with the prevailing HbA1c and the duration of the disease.
Abstract: Monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) has been implicated in the recruitment of monocytes to atheroma and of monocytes and macrophages to adipose tissue. The aim of the study was to examine whether MCP-1 levels are associated independently with the main thermogenetic hormones (serum TSH and thyroid hormones and 24-h urinary catecholamines) and insulin resistance in a population mainly represented by overweight and obese women. A cohort of 100 consecutive euthyroid women, aged 18–65 years, and with a wide range of BMI, was examined. Central fat accumulation (indirectly measured by waist circumference), fasting MCP-1 plasma levels, and TSH, FT3 , FT4…, insulin, glucose, and lipid (cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride) serum concentrations, and 24-h urinary catecholamines were measured. Insulin resistance was estimated by homeostasis model assessment (HOMAIR ). MCP-1 levels were directly associated with BMI (p < 0.001), waist circumference (p < 0.001), insulin (p < 0.001), HOMAIR (p < 0.001), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (p < 0.001), systolic blood pressure (SBP) (p < 0.001), triglycerides (TG) (p < 0.05), and 24-h urinary noradrenaline (p < 0.05), and negatively correlated with HDL-cholesterol (p < 0.01). When a multiple regression analysis was performed with MCP-1 as the dependent variable, and only parameters showing a significant univariate association with MCP-1 were considered as the independent variables, MCP-1 maintained an independent positive association with insulin (p < 0.01), and DBP (p < 0.05). When insulin was replaced by HOMAIR in the regression analysis, MCP-1 maintained an independent positive association with HOMAIR (p < 0.05), DBP (p < 0.05), and BMI (p < 0.05). In conclusion, this study suggests that insulin, BMI, and diastolic blood pressure cooperate independently in increasing MCP-1 levels, whereas thyroid hormones and catecholamines have no apparent influence on this chemokine.
Abstract: The objective of the study is to evaluate the effects of pulse consumption in women presenting at least two primary components of the metabolic syndrome (MS). One hundred and thirty-four women were randomly assigned to consume for a 16-week period either 750 ml of pulses weekly or control meals without pulses. Main outcomes measure were primary and secondary components of the MS and body fatness. A significant increase in dietary fibers and a significant decrease in dietary cholesterol were observed in the pulse group. For all components of the MS and body fatness, no significant differences were observed between the…group consuming pulses or in the control group; however, plasma fibrinogen concentration decreased significantly only in the pulse group. In conclusion, a nutritional intervention providing 750 ml of pulses weekly had no effect on primary and secondary components of the MS and on body fatness.
Keywords: Nutritional intervention, Pulses, Women, Metabolic syndrome, Body fatness
Abstract: This observational study aims to evaluate the eating habits of a population of high school students from Emilia Romagna. 492 students aged between 15 and 19 years (265 females and 227 males) were personally interviewed by a dietician regarding their dietary habits, used to assess the macro and micronutrient composition of the diet, the quality of the diet according to the Mediterranean diet quality index (M-DQI) and the total amounts of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) ingested daily. The analysis of macronutrients showed a deficit in carbohydrates and an excess in fat, particularly saturated fat, when compared to the recommended daily…intake (RDA), particularly evident in males (30.9 ± 7.5 vs. 23.9 ± 6.0, p < 0.001; RDA < 20 g). The analysis of micronutrients depicted a deficit in fibres, particularly in females (15.9 ± 4.0 vs. 18.5 ± 4.5, p < 0.001; RDA = 20–30 g), and in vitamin D (3.04 ± 1.80 μg/day; RDA = 10–15 μg/day). Most of the subjects analysed had M-DQI between medium-poor (280/492, 56.9%) and poor (208/492, 42.3%) while none had a very good score and only three females had a good score. Collectively, males had a worse M-DQI with respect to females. Finally, the total amount of AGEs ingested daily correlated significantly and positively with M-DQI (r = 0.283, p < 0.001) and, accordingly, it was significantly higher in males with respect to females. The evaluation of the M-DQI in this population of high school students indicates a loss of food traditions typical to Mediterranean countries, with a consequent imbalance in macro and micronutrients with respect to the guidelines for healthy nutrition. Consequently, there is an increase in the intake of AGEs that could be one of the causes of the increased incidence of cardiovascular and metabolic complications in Mediterranean countries.
Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant supplementation effect on antioxidant system in hemodialysis patients. The study group consisted of 38 patients undergoing hemodialysis and 72 healthy subjects. The patients orally received combination of vitamins C (250 mg/time) and E (200 IU/time) three times per week for 2 months. Both, enzymatic antioxidants [superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx)] activities and non-enzymatic (vitamins E and C) levels and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations as lipid peroxidation product in patients were measured before and after supplementation compared with control group. The levels of antioxidants (vitamin E, C and SOD) (P…< 0.0001) and GPx (P < 0.05) were significantly enhanced and MDA concentrations declined (P < 0.0001) during the supplementation period. The study demonstrates that combined supplementation of vitamins C and E can noticeably affect antioxidant status and protect against oxidative stress caused during hemodialysis.
Keywords: Hemodialysis, Combined supplementation, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Oxidative stress