Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism - Volume 6, issue 3
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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 seeds of pumpkin (Cucurbita sp.) are generally considered to be agro-industrial wastes and discarded. In some parts of the world, the seeds are consumed raw, roasted or cooked, but only at the domestic scale. With the discovery of their richness in protein, fibres, minerals, polyunsaturated fatty acids and phytosterols, they are being regarded valuable for the food industry. The attention of food technologists has resulted in their foray into the commercial food sector. Food companies are experimenting with their incorporation into a slew of savouries and consumers are showing interest in them. Also, their beneficial effects on blood glucose…level, immunity, cholesterol, liver, prostate gland, bladder, depression, learning disabilities and parasite inhibition are being validated. The conversion of these agro-wastes into value-added ingredients is likely to be a big step towards the global sustainability efforts; thus, it deserves more investigation. This review furnishes an updated account of this emerging nutraceutical.
Abstract: Although, recently a mounting interest in the literature has been directed to sarcopenic obesity, currently, different definitions of sarcopenic obesity (SO) exist and diagnostic criteria are not universally established. The aim of the present systematic review is to summarize the state of the art according to extant literature about this topic. A systematic review of the literature was performed considering the revision question: “sarcopenic obesity: body composition”. Analysis and presentation of the outcomes were carried out in the form of a narrative résumé of the reports. Twenty-six studies were considered eligible for the systematic review involving globally more than 23,000…subjects. In all the studies examined, except one, the definition of sarcopenic obesity was based on the co-presence of obesity and sarcopenia. With respect to obesity, different parameters (body mass index, fat mass and visceral fat area) were used (as single parameters or in association to the other adiposity measures). For sarcopenia, the appendicular skeletal muscle mass standardized for height or weight, cross-sectional area at the quadriceps level, muscle strength and/or muscle/fat-free mass indexes were considered. Body composition analysis was performed, depending on the studies, through DXA scan, CT scan bioimpedance analysis, dynamometer test or anthropometric parameters. To date, just few papers provided clear and shared diagnostic criteria of SO. In fact, in our review, criteria adopted by single authors were only partially overlapping. One of the main obstacles is represented by the definition of SO, and especially whether it should be based only on criteria of body composition or also functional criteria should be taken into account.
Abstract: The role of probiotics and prebiotics as cholesterol reductive agents has drawn a great deal of attention. However, there have been few studies, investigating the effect of prebiotics and probiotics together on lipid profile. The purpose of study was to evaluate the effect of probiotic cheese (PCh) and chicory root extract consumption on lipid profile in a large sample. 180 subjects aged 18–65, with <6 mmol/l total cholesterol participated in the 7-week trial. Subjects randomly assigned into three 60-person groups. E1 consumed 30 g of PCh plus chicory root extract (daily), E2 consumed 30 g of PCh (daily) along with…a control group. Probiotics strains in products were Lactobacillus acidophilus LA5 and Bifidobacterium lactis BB12. Anthropometric measurements and blood sampling were conducted at the baseline and end of trial. There was a significant reduction within both intervention groups throughout the study: intervention 1, (LDL: −0.79, 95 % CI −0.96, −0.61, P < 0.0001; cholesterol: −1.02, 95 % CI −1.41, −0.63, P < 0.0001; triglyceride: −0.59, 95 % CI −0.67, −0.51, P < 0.0001; HDL: 0.44, 95 % CI, 0.37, 0.51, P < 0.0001); intervention 2 also showed significant improvements in the mentioned factors. Comparing results of both groups with control showed significant improvements in all factors except triglyceride of intervention 2. PCh and chicory extract showed great effects on improvements of lipid profile, thus they can be used for prevention and treatment purposes.
Abstract: The aim of this study was to compare physical fitness, physical activity, sedentary behavior and academic performance in a sample of 15- to 17-year-old adolescent boys in different weight statuses. Participants were 538 adolescent boys, who underwent standard anthropometry and nine physical fitness tests (one-mile run/walk, sit and reach, pushups, sit ups, 40-m run speed, agility, standing long jump, vertical jump and hand grip). Physical activity (PA) and academic performance were evaluated by questionnaire and cumulative grade point average (CGPA), respectively. 16.6, 66.4, 12 and 5.1 % of the adolescent were underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese, respectively. The obese…adolescent boys had significantly higher sedentary time and lower PA than their underweight, normal weight and overweight counterparts (P < 0.05). Significant difference for the CGPA between the underweight and obese adolescent boys was disappeared after controlling for the confounders (e.g., sedentary behavior and socioeconomic status). Overall, the normal weight adolescents represented better physical fitness performance than the underweight and overweight/obese adolescent boys. Although the underweight adolescents performed better in some physical fitness tests than their overweight/obese counterparts, however, significant differences were disappeared or reversed (such as sit and reach, standing long jump and run speed tests) after controlling for fat mass. Higher sedentary time and lower physical activity in the obese adolescent boys of this study was found. Academic performance of the adolescents was not significantly different among the weight statuses after controlling for the confounders. Furthermore, it seems not only overweight and obesity, but also underweight to be determinant of health-related physical fitness tests in the adolescents.
Keywords: Underweight, Obesity, Body mass index, Cumulative grade point average, One-mile run test
Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine the variability of yield and fatty acid composition of argan seed oil (Argania spinosa L.) in four provenances, and to find the relationship between fatty acid composition and environmental conditions. Twenty genotypes were preselected and evaluated for fatty acids composition during 3 years (2008–2010). The oil was extracted by a Soxhlet and the fatty acids composition was determined using gas chromatography. The results revealed a variation in seed oil content (51.83–57.50 %). Total saturated fatty acids content (C14:0; C16:0; C18:0; C20:0) ranged from 19.53 to 20.29 %, with lower content in Had…Dra and Biougra than other provenances. However, the concentration of total unsaturated fatty acids ranged from 79.56 to 80.29 %, with a higher percentage of monounsaturated fatty acid (C16:1; C18:1; C20:1) (47.60 %) in Aoulouz and a higher percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acid (C18:2; C18:3) (35.53 %) in Biougra provenance. No correlation between oil content and fatty acid compositions with the morphological data (mother tree, fruit and seed forms) was found. The geographical localization and fatty acid content were not correlated with oil content. The study proved a significant contribution of environmental conditions to the variation in fatty acid composition. We conclude that there is a highly significant variation both in oil content and fatty acid composition in the argan provenances that can be used for its improvement.
Abstract: A proteomic approach was used to identify proteins differentially expressed in the plasma of mice following alternate day fasting. Male mice (C57Bl6, 9 months old) were randomly assigned to ad libitum (AL, n = 10) and calorie-restricted (IF, n = 10, AL on alternate day basis) groups for 4 weeks. After staining, the gels were imaged and differential protein expression patterns were interrogated using image analysis software. Spots showing a different expression level were identified through a comparison with 2D maps found in databases officially recognized (ExPASy). Master gels of AL and IF mice exhibited slightly different 2-DE patterns as…only 14 spots out of 500 appeared differentially expressed: 12 spots were downregulated and identified as apolipoprotein E (APO-E), haptoglobin (HPT), alpha-1-antitrypsin (A1AT), prothrombin, and serum amyloid P component (SPA), whereas two spots were unidentified. In conclusion 4 weeks of alternate feeding results in a slight perturbation of the host plasma proteome. Of particular interest is the reduced plasma content in APO-E and acute-phase proteins HPT, A1AT and SPA that confirms a powerful anti-inflammatory effect of this dietary regimen.
Keywords: Alternate day fasting, Calorie restriction, Proteome, Serum, Inflammation, Longevity
Abstract: Most of the fat oxidation effects of green tea have been observed in a beverage form. This study explored the use of green tea as feed formation in obese mice to protect against diet-induced obesity. Forty-eight adult C57BL/6J mice were randomised to either a control diet with 36.1 % w/w sucrose or a standard diet, except for the replacement of 2 % w/w of the sucrose dietary component (36.1 % sucrose in control) with 2 % w/w cocoa (34.1 % sucrose), 2 % w/w coffee, or 2 % w/w powdered Japanese green tea. At 16th week, body composition, plasma glucose,…organ samples and bone mineral density were obtained. In comparison to the control group, only the 2 % green tea group displayed lower body weight (p < 0.01), body fat, liver weight (p < 0.05), hepatic lipid status and higher lean mass. The coffee group displayed lower body fat (p < 0.05) and the cocoa group lower plasma glucose (p < 0.05), but this was not substantiated by other parameters. Results of study indicate the antiobesity potential of green tea when consumed as 2 % (w/w %) of the diet probably by lipolysis and decreased systemic inflammation resulting from consumption of a high-fat, high-sucrose diet in obesity-prone strain of mice.
Keywords: Green tea, Caffeine, Diet-induced obesity, EGCG, Catechins
Abstract: In this study with 30 nurses as study subjects, we examined how 12 weeks of a study treatment affected body measurements, blood biochemistry, and the oxidative stress regulatory system. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups: one that received licorice flavonoid oil (LFO) capsules and L-carnitine capsules (supplement group n = 15), and another that received placebo capsules (placebo group n = 15), for 12 consecutive weeks. Measurements of oxidative stresses and other tests were performed at baseline and after 4, 8, and 12 weeks of treatment. Results showed that only the supplement group showed a significant decrease in waist…circumference at 8 weeks when compared to baseline, while neither group showed a change in body mass index. No changes in blood biochemistry were observed in either group. Only the supplement group showed a significant decrease in oxidative stresses at 8 weeks when compared to baseline, while the placebo group did not show any change. Both groups showed a significant decrease in anti-oxidant potential, but at 12 weeks the supplement group showed a significantly higher level than the placebo group. While the supplement group showed a stable BAP to d-ROM ratio (representing latent anti-oxidant potential), the placebo group had a significant decrease. These results demonstrate that 12 weeks of LFO and L-carnitine consumption decreases waist circumference and oxidative stresses and maintains latent anti-oxidant potential.
Keywords: Licorice flavonoid oil, L-carnitine, Oxidative stress regulatory system, Total body fat
Abstract: Biological evaluation of honey bee hive extracts was estimated using a set of chemical and biological in vitro models. Extractions of bee hives were done in methanol and acetone solvents. Well-tolerated yield was observed in case of acetone solvent (12.34 ± 1.28 %) and methanol solvent (5.98 ± 0.94 %). Total phenolic and total flavonoid contents were found in the range of 359 ± 4.06–755 ± 6.03 and 0.952 ± 0.08–1.266 ± 0.04 mg/100 g dry extract, respectively. Antioxidant potential was tested using most reliable in vitro models, such as DPPH free radical scavenging model, lipid peroxidation inhibition in linoleic…acid system and ABTS radical scavenging assay. The DPPH scavenging assay showed 28–55 % radical scavenging, while the peroxidation inhibition in linoleic acid system showed low peroxidation inhibition 6–26 %. TEAC value showed 4.12 ± 0.19 and 3.63 ± 0.5 μM TE/g for methanol and acetone extract, respectively. The antibacterial assay of methanol and acetone extracts showed good zone of inhibition in following order S. aureus (19.1 ± 1.15, 14.9 ± 0.53 mm) >B. subtilis (15.4 ± 0.07, 13.1 ± 0.72 mm) >E. coli (13.8 ± 0.95, 9.9 ± 0.35 mm). Overall result demonstrated promising antioxidant and antibacterial potential of honey bee hive extracts.
Abstract: Jamun (Syzygium cumini), which belongs to the family Myrtaceae, is an important indigenous minor fruit of commercial value. S. cumini fruit possesses considerable nutritive value because it is a rich source of carbohydrates, proteins, iron, calcium, minerals, vitamins as well as phenolic acids. Leaves are rich in phenolic acids in which tannic acid was maximum followed by caffeic acid. Tannic acid is also maximum in ripe fruit epicarp, seeds and mesocarp as compared to unripe fruit epicarp. Caffeic and cinnamic acids are also present in ripe fruit seeds. Other phenolic acids are present in traces. Tannic acid was maximum in…the seeds of unripe fruits followed by chlorogenic and gallic acids and some other phenolic acids. The therapeutic properties of these phenolic acids are discussed.