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Nutrition and Aging is an international forum for research on nutrition as a means of promoting healthy aging. It is particularly concerned with the impact of nutritional interventions on the metabolic and molecular mechanisms which modulate aging and age-associated diseases, including both biological responses on the part of the organism itself and its micro biome. Results emanating from both model organisms and clinical trials will be considered.
With regards to the latter, the journal will be rigorous in only accepting for publication well controlled, randomised human intervention trials that conform broadly with the current EFSA and US FDA guidelines for nutritional clinical studies. The journal will publish research articles, short communications, critical reviews and conference summaries, whilst open peer commentaries will be welcomed.
Abstract: Background: Gastrointestinal mucositis is a common side effect of cancer chemotherapy. It is characterized by mucosal damage and barrier function alterations. Objective: We investigated the effect of single intraperitoneal dose (IP) of 5-Flurouracil (5-Fu) on the activity of brush border membrane enzymes like alkaline phosphatase (ALP), sucrase, lactase, leucine aminopeptidase (LAP) and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GTP) in the small intestine of Wistar rats. Damage to various intestinal histopathological parameters was also examined after 5-Fu administration. Expression of various apoptotic and inflammatory marker genes in response to 5-Fu treatment was also studied. We also analysed the potential…effect of lycopene supplementation in ameliorating the damage caused by 5-Fu administration. Methods: Adult male Wistar rats were randomised into four groups of ten animals each. Animals in the first group served as control, second group (5-Fu alone) was given a single IP dose of 5-Fu, third group (5-Fu + Lycopene) were orally administered lycopene, fourth group (Lycopene alone) were injected with PBS and orally given lycopene. Intestinal brush border enzyme activity was measured, followed by histopathological analyses and western blotting for protein expression studies of various apoptotic marker genes. Effect of lycopene supplementation on expression of Cox-2 was also analysed. Results: IP dose of 5-Fu resulted in a significant decrease in the activity of brush border enzymes (P < 0.05). Villus shortening and fusion, epithelial atrophy, crypt loss and inflammatory infiltrate in the lamina propria were also observed after 5-Fu treatment compared with control group (P < 0.05). There was a significant increase in protein expression of pro-apoptotic genes (Bax, Bak) after administration of 5-Fu (P < 0.05). There was an increased expression of Cox-2 in rats treated with 5-Fu alone compared to control group rats (P < 0.05). Supplementation of lycopene two days before and after a single IP dose of 5-Fu significantly improved the activity of ALP, LAP and γ-GTP as compared to 5-Fu group (P < 0.05). However, no such improvement was observed in case of lactase and sucrase. Inflammatory infiltrate in the lamina propria was also significantly decreased in 5-Fu + lycopene treated rats compared to 5-Fu alone treated group. There was a significant decrease in the expression of Cox-2 after lycopene supplementation (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Lycopene supplementation improved some gastrointestinal parameters after a single IP dose of 5-Fu. This may be due to the anti-inflammatory effect of lycopene. Further studies are needed to explore the potential of lycopene as a nutritional supplement for 5-Fu induced gastrointestinal mucositis.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Glucose administration may facilitate hippocampus-mediated recognition memory (‘remember’ rather than familiarity ‘know’ responses). OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the electrophysiological correlates of this phenomenon in a cohort of older individuals. METHODS: In this double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over study, 12 older participants (mean age = 69.33 ± 1.69 years) completed the remember-know paradigm both with and without a concurrent tracking task while recording event-related potentials (ERPs). RESULTS: Counter to predictions, glucose reduced overall accuracy. No treatment effects were found for proportion of Remember, Know and Guess responses, although there was a trend towards…greater accuracy for ‘Remember’ responses following glucose. There was weak evidence for dissociation of drink effects on tracking with glucose being associated with preferential allocation of resources to ‘Remember’ over ‘Know’ responses. At P3 and F3 electrode sites, a significantly greater left parietal (LP) recollection effect and greater FN400 effect respectively were found for glucose. CONCLUSIONS: These findings do not support task effort modulation of the memory-enhancing effects of glucose. There was evidence of a greater glucose facilitatory effect for hippocampus-mediated LP recollection.
Abstract: Vitamin A and its derivatives, the retinoids, essential for human health, modulate several physiological processes through their interactions with the nuclear retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and retinoid X receptors (RXRs). They are involved in the modulation of cerebral plasticity including hippocampal neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity, known to underlie cognitive processes. Interestingly, retinoic acid (RA) hyposignaling, which contributes to the deterioration of hippocampal plasticity and function during aging, can be reversed by vitamin A supplementation or RA treatment. However, it is still not clear how vitamin A status modulates plasticity and memory. It is commonly accepted that RA, by binding to…its specific nuclear receptors, regulates gene expression, including the expression of plasticity-related genes. Moreover, recent studies suggest that vitamin A could participate in the maintenance of neurobiological functions indirectly, through the glucocorticoid pathway. Here, we present data supporting the importance of vitamin A status in the maintenance of memory processes, and the contribution of naturally occurring RA hyposignaling during aging to the etiology of cognitive decline. We propose that vitamin A supplementation or RA treatment could be a potent way to prevent age-related cognitive impairments by maintaining normal vitamin A and glucocorticoid (GC) status in seniors.
Keywords: Vitamin A, retinoic acid, memory, hippocampus, plasticity, glucocorticoids, aging
Abstract: The innate immune system of the brain is mainly composed of microglial cells, which play a key role in the maintenance of synapses and the protection of neurons against noxious agents or lesions owing to their phagocytic activity. In the healthy brain, microglia are highly motile and strongly interact with neurons either by physical contact, induction of oxidative stress or through specific mediators, such as chemokines and cytokines. In response to inflammatory insult however, microglial cells get activated and produce inflammatory cytokines. The action of cytokines on specific receptors expressed in the brain triggers the development of sickness behavior and…altered cognitive and emotional processes. The effects are acute and reversible as normal behavior is restored once the synthesis of inflammatory brain cytokines returns to baseline after a few hours. However, in pathological situations, these cytokines may reach toxic levels and have irreversible consequences such as neuronal death, as observed in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are essential nutrients and fundamental components of neuronal and glial cell membranes. They accumulate in the brain during the perinatal period in a dietary supply-dependent fashion. Their brain levels may diminish with age, but can be increased by diets enriched in n-3 PUFAs. Changes in the immune profile have been associated with n-3 PUFAs intake in humans and animal models. Therefore, the increasing exposure of the population to diets low in n-3 PUFAs could contribute to the deleterious effects of the chronic activation of microglia in the brain.
Abstract: Stilbenes (resveratrol derivatives) are a polyphenol class encountered in a large number of specimens in the vegetal realm. They adopt a variety of structures based on their building block: resveratrol. As the most widely studied stilbene to date, resveratrol has shown multiple beneficial effects on multiple diseases and on neurodegenerative diseases. Except for resveratrol, however, the biological activities of stilbenes have received far less attention, even though some of them have shown promising effects on neurodegenerative disease. This review covers the chemistry of stilbenes and offers a wide insight into their neuroprotective effects.