Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism - Volume 4, 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: Natural vitamin E is a mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols synthesized only by plants. It is very difficult to determine the optimal dietary intake of vitamin E, but there is a general agreement indicating a level of 8 mg/day (12–15 IU). This value seems to be sufficient only to prevent deficiency syndromes of vitamin E. In humans, vitamin E is absorbed together with nutritional lipids in the proximal part of the intestine and released in the lymph within chylomicrons. Vitamin E supplementation, as other minerals and vitamins, is able to participate in the decrease of oxidative stress in diabetic patients…by improving glycemic control and/or by other mechanisms related to its antioxidant activity, therefore cooperating to the control of diabetic complications. Many interventional trials evaluating the effect of antioxidant supplementation on insulin resistance, plasma glucose levels and risk of T2D give inconsistent results. At present, a controversial hypothesis about the role played by vitamin E supplementation still exists. In fact, while laboratory data report great cellular and biochemical beneficial actions, clinical trials have failed to support these claims. Concerning clinical trials, the discrepancies have been attributed to differences in selection of individuals, dosage, chemical forms of vitamin E, duration of treatment, stage of the disease and geographical area. Because of these variables, further studies aimed to clarify the relationship between diabetes, cardiovascular risk factors and vitamin E are necessary.
Keywords: Vitamin E, Type 2 diabetes, Cardiovascular complications, Antioxidants
Abstract: The indiscriminate usage of synthetic chemicals and pesticides has led to a widespread contamination of land, water and air with harmful xenobiotics. The exposure to these toxicants results in severe health effects on organisms. Also, some natural foods contain harmless chemical species (nitrate), which however become toxic on certain conditions. Hence it is pertinent to focus attention on commonly consumed plant food materials, which can neutralize the toxicity damage caused by environmental agents. One of the most important sources of antioxidants is green tea. This review focuses on the mechanisms of oxidative damage caused by different xenobiotics and the defensive…action of green tea in mitigating the damage. It is concluded that tea polyphenols, catechins and flavonoids scavenge reactive oxygen species and render a protective effect.
Abstract: No study has yet examined how weight loss specifically modifies the impact of the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) on plasma cell adhesion molecules (CAM) in men with the metabolic syndrome (MetS). Therefore, this study examined the impact of the MedDiet consumed under controlled feeding conditions, with and without weight loss, on plasma CAM concentrations in men with the MetS. The diet of 26 men (age 24–62 years) with the MetS was first standardized to a North American control diet for 5 weeks followed by a 5-week MedDiet, both under weight-maintaining isocaloric feeding conditions. Participants then underwent a 20-week caloric restriction period…that led to a 10.2 ± 2.9% reduction in body weight (p < 0.01), followed by the consumption of an isocaloric weight stable MedDiet for 5 weeks. All foods including red wine were provided during the isocaloric phases of the study. There was no change in the average concentrations of any of the CAM after the MedDiet without weight loss. The MedDiet combined with weight loss reduced plasma CAM concentrations by 10.9% (p < 0.01) compared with the control diet and by 6.8% (p = 0.068) compared with the MedDiet without weight loss. These data suggest that weight loss is required for the MedDiet to improve plasma CAM concentrations over a short period of time in men with the MetS. ClinicalTrial.gov registration number: NCT00988650.
Abstract: Obesity is a multidimensional chronic and progressive disease that requires long-term follow-up by an integrated approach. The aim of our work was, through a retrospective observational study, to confirm that obesity treatment needs of a long-term multidimensional approach. We observed the data collected in the past from 205 patients (body mass index >25) from the medical records at our Nutritional Centre. Fat mass and fat-free mass were determined by anthropometry. Resting energy expenditure and respiratory quotient were measured by indirect calorimetry. Dietary programmes were established on the basis of metabolic analysis. Physical activity was encouraged in term of lifestyle change.…The observed patients were divided into five groups. All groups showed a reduction of weight, waist circumference and arm fat area. There was correlation between all parameters. Our approach results in a long-term sustainment of the weight loss achieved up to a 5-year period, through psychological improvements as well as improved eating behaviour and general wellbeing.
Abstract: The induction of enteral nutrition in diabetic subjects is problematic because of the difficulty in controlling glycaemia. The use of a sliding scale is discouraged, while scheduled insulin therapy is optimal. We developed a “protocol for blood glucose control during enteral nutrition induction in patients with diabetes mellitus” that takes into account basal and nutritional requirements. We demonstrated that scheduled insulinization reveals to be highly safe and adequate to respond to the needs of patients affected by diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2, receiving enteral nutrition.
Abstract: The quality of meat obtained by Fabrianese heavy lambs (33 kg) reared in the Italian Sibillini mountains national park under extensive conditions had been investigated. Twenty entire male lambs had been used in this experiment; the Longissimus Thoracis et Lumborum muscle, taken from all the 20 animals, was analyzed for chemical composition, fatty acid, cholesterol and mineral contents. Protein content was 22.1%, fat content 4.5%, cholesterol 63.5 mg/100 g. The most represented fatty acid was oleic acid (37.62% of total fatty acids), followed by palmitic acid (26.31% of total fatty acids). Phosphorus and potassium were the two most represented minerals…in muscles examined, respectively 285.6 and 329.5 mg/100 g. The results of this study demonstrated the good quality of the meat obtained by a local ovine breed slaughtered at higher final body weight when compared with the most common suckling lambs normally commercialized in Italy.
Keywords: Meat quality, Chemical composition, Fatty acid composition, Mineral content
Abstract: Citrus sinensis is a seasonal fruit. Its zester is rich in bioactive phytochemicals, such as limonene, β-sitosterol, and ascorbic acid, which possess pharmacological action. In this study, we report the effect of fraction prepared from dried peel of C. sinensis on biochemical and histopathological changes in rat model of liver cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis was induced in rats by administering thioacetamide at a concentration of 0.03% in drinking water for 16 weeks. Thioacetamide was discontinued after 16 weeks and from the 18th week rats were given the extract orally for 9 weeks. Following the completion of the treatment, animals were killed…and biochemical and histopathological changes associated with liver cirrhosis were evaluated. The treatment was found to reverse the elevated levels of alkaline phosphatase, γ-glutamyl transferase, and other biochemical markers related to oxidative stress and selected drug metabolizing enzymes. Histopathology of the hepatic tissue confirmed the curative effect of the extract, and corroborated with the biochemical findings. HPTLC fingerprinting of the test fraction confirmed the presence of limonene, β-sitosterol, and ascorbic acid, which may partially explain the effect. The extract was also found to possess the anti-proliferative activity, determined by measuring the incorporation of radioactive thymidine by the hepatic DNA. The study indicates the inhibitory action of the test preparation on collagen accumulation in the extracellular matrix, and hence suggests its use as a potential therapeutic agent in liver fibrosis and cirrhosis.
Keywords: Citrus sinensis, Liver cirrhosis, Animal model
Abstract: Nutritional status, referred to meat and vegetable food consumption, is related to folate and B12 vitamin levels; hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) is due to folate and B12 vitamin–methionine metabolism imbalance, which can lead to oxidative stress, OS (imbalance between reactive oxygen species, ROS, and total antioxidant capacity, TAC). Possible early vitamin B12 (B12 ) deficiency can be highlighted by holotranscobalamin (HoloTC, bioactive cobalamin fraction) assay. Erythrocyte folate is a biomarker of 2- to 3-month folate storage. To evaluate nutritional status and OS we conducted an observational study on 118 occupational obese subjects (34M/84F, aged 16–69, median 46.5 years; BMI…26.5–54.1, median 33.3 kg/m2 ) without previous cardiovascular disease. Serum TAC and ROS (spectrophotometry, Diacron International, Italy), serum B12 and HoloTC, serum and erythrocyte folate, plasma Hcy (immunoenzymatic, AxSYM, Abbott Diagnostics, USA), lipid panel and inflammatory parameters by routine methods. All subjects showed adequate serum and erythrocyte folate levels, but HoloTC values revealed cobalamin deficiency in 30% of cases not congruent with B12 concentrations, low only in 10%. 43% of cases showed mild HHcy (>10.5 μmol/L; median 12.44 μmol/L, IQR 11.2–16.2). OS was found by normal mean TAC values (370.5 micromolHClO/mL, 340–405; n.v. > 350) but increased mean ROS concentrations (386 CarrU, 337–434; n.v. 250–300) in 93% of subjects. Normal folate and B12 vitamin levels revealed a good nutritional status in our occupational obese subjects. The presence of Oxidative Stress, due to imbalance between ROS and TAC and mild hyperhomocysteinemia may heighten the obesity-related cardiovascular risk.