Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism - Volume 8, 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: Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) is a plant which is traditionally used to treat a wide variety of diseases, and through scientific investigation most of the properties have been validated. However, more scientific data is needed to support the various health claims. The aim of this study was to determine the fatty acids (FA) and Triacylglycerols (TAG) composition, tocopherols content and to evaluate the antioxidant activity of eight pumpkin seeds oil cultivated in Algeria. The results indicated that pumpkin seeds were rich in oil (15.8–33.5%) and the major unsaturated fatty acids were linoleic acid (42.1–48.5%) followed by oleic acid (18.4–39.6%), while the…main saturated fatty acids were palmitic (13.91–20.00%). Unsaturated FA showed a preference for the internal position. Linoleic and oleic acids occurred predominantly in the sn-2 position as generally found in vegetable oils. The main TAGs were triunsaturated GU3 and monosaturated GSU2 as majorities compounds. The tocopherol content of the oils ranged from 7.7 to 31.9 mg/kg of oil for α-tocopherol, from 39.3 to 155.1 mg/kg for (β+γ)-tocopherol, and from 39.0 to 103.0 mg/kg for δ-tocopherol. The capacity that would be suitable for food and industrial applications, as well as high unsaturation FA and tocopherol content that could potentially improve the nutrition of human diets. The data of antioxidant power determined by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and phosphomolybdenum (PPM) complex methods show that the level of the antioxidant activity by two used assays was significantly compared to synthetic antioxidants. Also, it was demonstrated for the first time that the studied oils possessed a good antioxidant activity which may be associated with their alleged health benefits.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There have been studies investigating the effect of probiotic yoghurt on blood lipids. However the results are conflicting. Also, there have been few studies involving probiotic cheese. PURPOSE: The goal of this trial was to compare the consumption effect of probiotic yoghurt with probiotic cheese on blood lipids. METHODS: 180 subjects aged 18–65, with <6 mmol/l total cholesterol were participated in a 2-month trial. Subjects were assigned into three 60-person groups; probiotic cheese group (30 g/d), probiotic yoghurt group (100 g/d) and control. RESULTS: A significant reduction in cholesterol was observed at the end within both groups; Cheese (−0.42…mmol/L; 95% CI, −0.47, −0.37; P < 0.0001), Yoghurt (−0.15 mmol/L; 95% CI, −0.25, −0.05; P = 0.007). HDL, LDL and Triglyceride also showed significant improvements during 2-month period. Cholesterol comparison with control also revealed a significant reduction in both groups; cheese (−0.51 mmol/L; 95% CI, −0.63, −0.39; P < 0.0001), yoghurt (−0.27 mmol/L; 95% CI, −0.39, −0.15; P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Probiotic cheese showed greater improvement effects on blood lipids compared to probiotic yoghurt. This trial was registered in the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) at http://www.anzctr.org.au as ACTRN12612000623897.
Abstract: In the last years plant-based diets have been regarded as beneficial for the prevention of widely spread diseases, such as cancer. On the opposite, frequent ingestion of animal products, enriched in proteins and fats, and often causative of decreased insulin sensitivity, higher serum cholesterol and insulin like growth factor (IGF)-1 levels and increased abdominal obesity, is often directly associated to the risk of several cancer types, such as colorectal, breast and prostate cancers, all known to be linked to insulin resistance. Here, the role of plant vs animal-based diets in the prevention and regression of insulin resistance-related cancers is discussed.…Despite some divergences, overall the reported studies suggest that plant-based dietetic regimens might be protective against these types of cancers, opposite to animal-based dietary patterns. Additionally, as the cooking process normally alter the availability of phytonutrients and determine the formation of several food toxins, the possible beneficial effect associated to the consumption of raw plant-derived vs cooked foods is discussed.
Keywords: Plant-derived foods, animal-derived foods, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancers, raw food
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The date palm fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L.) has been known for many health benefits, but its antihyperlipidaemic activity still remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: To investigate effects of Birhi date palm fruit, “Khalal” and “Tamr”, on serum lipids, body weight and food intake in cholesterol-fed rats. METHODS: Sixty male Sprague–Dawley rats were assigned into 5 cholesterol-free (control) or 5 cholesterol-supplemented (experimental) diets containing 0%, 5% and 10% of either Khalal or Tamr and given ad libitum to the rats for 6 weeks. Serum total cholesterol (TC), low- and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C and VLDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides…(TG) were then quantified and other biological parameters were assessed. RESULTS: Compared to control, cholesterol induced significant (p < 0.05) increase in serum LDL-C, TC/TG ratio and atherogenic index and decrease in TG and HDL-C/LDL-C ratio, whereas other lipid fractions, food intake and weight gain were unchanged. In all rats, none of the studied variables were appreciably affected by dates feeding, except for increased (p < 0.05) and linearly responded (r2 = 0.348, p < 0.01) atherogenic index induced by Khalal. Lipid variables and their calculated ratios that were increased or decreased by cholesterol remained unaffected by dates feeding. CONCLUSON: In normal or cholesterol-fed rats, Birhi Khalal or Tamr exert little or no effect on serum lipids and are ineffective to counteract the atherogenic effect of cholesterol.
Abstract: The ability to digest lactose is a variable genetic trait in human populations. Two distinct phenotypes are present: lactase non-persistence (LNP) and lactase persistence (LP). LP trait is likely to have conferred a selective advantage in individuals who consume appreciable amounts of milk. In European derived populations a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) C/T-13910 residing 13.9 kb upstream from the lactase gene has been shown to define lactase activity, and several other SNPs in the same region have been identified in African and Middle East populations. We evaluated the frequency of C/T-13910 SNP among cattle domesticating groups of northern…India. It was observed that frequency of LP phenotype and that of T-13910 allele of LP was much higher in these groups compared to those with no history of cattle domestication. This may be to due positive selection of LP associated genotypes with spread of cattle domestication in northern India. However, the introduction of T-13910 allele into India seems unclear and may require further research.
Keywords: Lactase persistence, domestication, northern India
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: The underlying causes of obesity and their association with Body Mass Index (BMI) and demographic factors among overweight and obese women were identified. STUDY DESIGN: Cross sectional study, exploratory factor analysis. METHODS: A questionnaire including 26 possible causes of obesity was completed by 300 overweight and obese women. An exploratory factor analyses and multiple linear regression analyses were performed. RESULTS: The most important reported causes of obesity were eating rice (80.9%), dinner (77.7%), bread (77.1%) and being physically inactive (77.2%). A factor analysis revealed four factors, accounted for 36.9% of total variance in the original 26 variables. Provisional names…were assigned to these 4 factors namely effect of eating large amount of energy dense snacks and fast foods, consuming a lot in main meal and lack of physical activity, family members, non-hunger related eating. In regression model, after adjusting for other covariables, socioeconomic status had significant correlation with two factors including “effect of non-hunger relating eating” (beta = 0.22, p-value = 0.002) and “effect of family members” (beta = 0.17, p-value = 0.01). Being married had a significant positive association with the factor “effect of family members” (beta = 0.15, p-value = 0.04). CONCLUSION: Considering the importance of dietary and physical activity factors as perceived underlying causes of obesity, for developing effective obesity prevention strategies these factors should be taken in to account.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Poor compliance to current recommendations of folic acid intake has been observed. Insufficient intakes of folate have been linked to neural tube defects in birth, anemia, neuropsychiatric disorders, some cancers and cardiovascular diseases. OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to examine folate intake and its relationship with body mass index, physical activity level and intake of other nutrients among female Portuguese university students. METHODS: 67 female students with ages between 19 and 25 years old participated in the study. Dietary intake was assessed by prospective three days food records; physical activity level was evaluated based on reported time spent in…several activities. RESULTS: Mean body mass index (BMI) was 22.1 ± 0.4 kg/m2 (normal weight); mean physical activity level was 1.57 ± 0.02 (low active physical activity level). Mean folate intake was 193.3 ± 9.4 μg/day, below the recommended dietary allowance of 400 μg/day. A high prevalence of inadequate folate intake was found (49.2%). CONCLUSIONS: Folate intake was not associated with physical activity categories or BMI values. A positive correlation was found between folate intake, vitamin C and vitamin A intakes. No correlation was found between folate intake and macronutrient intake.
Keywords: University students, Portugal, food records, nutrient intake, folate