Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism - Volume 3, issue 2
Purchase individual online access for 1 year to this journal.
Price: EUR 75.00
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 aim of the present study was to test the efficacy and safety of an oral amino acid functional cluster (AFC) supplementation in cachectic cancer patients. From April 2008 to March 2009, we carried out an open non-randomized phase II study on 25 cachectic advanced (all stage IV) cancer patients with tumor at different sites who received an oral AFC supplementation for 8 weeks. Efficacy was assessed on the basis of improvement of some nutritional/functional (weight, body mass index, lean body mass and grip strength), quality of life (fatigue) and laboratory (albumin, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein, proinflammatory cytokines, leptin and reactive…oxygen species) variables. Safety was evaluated according to the NCI-CTCAE version 3. Patients supplemented with the AFC achieved an increase in grip strength (P < 0.0001) and total serum albumin (P = 0.0003) and a decrease in ROS levels (P = 0.001). Moreover, our study showed a trend toward an increase in body weight and leptin and a decrease in CRP and IL-6. In conclusion, the results of the present study suggest that amino acid supplementation may be a significant rational tool for the treatment of cancer cachexia. Our preliminary data should be confirmed in a larger sample size and by a properly designed randomized clinical trial. According to our longstanding experience, a potential area of further research may be to integrate amino acid supplementation into a multi-dimensional approach based on diet, nutritional support and molecularly targeted drugs for the management of cancer cachexia.
Keywords: Amino acid functional cluster supplementation, Cancer cachexia, Reactive oxygen species, Fatigue, Albumin
Abstract: In the field of biology, free radicals which are derived from the incomplete reduction of oxygen take on great importance; they belong to the so called reactive oxygen species, whose production in the organism is an inevitable consequence of various external or internal factors to which it is exposed. Once free radicals are generated they are often capable of giving rise to chain reactions. A lot of biological molecules are susceptible to the attack by free radicals including lipids, proteins, carbohydrates and nucleic acids. Molecular alterations caused by the radical reactions have been frequently studied and are considered as pathogenetically…main passages in the development of many diseases and ageing. In order to face a radical attack, living organisms have developed several biological defensive systems against it: the main ones are represented by anti oxidizing molecules and by enzymatic anti oxidizing systems. Among the various defence systems, glutathione stands out as the principal guarantor of homoeostatic intra-cellular oxidation–reduction. One of glutathione's most important functions is to act as cysteine “tank”; this amino acid is extremely unstable in the extra-cellular environment and it rapidly auto-oxidates. Whey proteins (WP) are particularly rich in cysteine (cys) and in glutamine (glu) and therefore potentially capable of increasing the organism's antioxidant defences. It is thought that the principal mechanism which allows WPs to exert their properties is through the contribution of cys and glu, which is rich in these proteins and is used intra-cellularly for the synthesis of glutathione. A diet based on milk serum proteins which supplies a superior quantity of cys, allows for a greater synthesis of hepatic glutathione in oxidative stress conditions. The use of ultra-filtrated WP could represent a useful tool in the control of oxidative stress in numerous pathological situations.