Latest Nutrition Research Roundup
Our AI digests the latest nutrition preprints from medRxiv
The individual reports below - including each headline - were generated automatically by our machine-reading software directly from the Nutrition RSS feed from medRxiv. You can try it out with individual papers at https://summarizer.scholarcy.com/
High levels of iron in the brain are associated with age-related decline in executive function and fluid intelligence, and slower reaction times, according to a UK study.
A. Topiwala et al. (2022) reported on impact of moderate alcohol consumption on brain iron and cognition. There is growing evidence that moderate alcohol consumption adversely impacts brain health. Higher putamen and caudate iron levels were described in a small study of males with Alcohol use disorder. It is difficult to conceive of a plausible mechanism by which brain iron levels could substantially affect systemic iron. Alcohol-related brain iron may be partially mediated by higher systemic iron levels. Alcohol was associated with both higher liver iron, an index of systemic iron load, and AUD causally related to higher serum iron markers. Markers of higher brain iron were associated with greater age-related executive function and fluid intelligence differences.
There were 22254 UK Biobank participants in the research. The findings may consolidate prior research in this topic: “Never drinkers appeared to have the lowest levels of brain iron. This is in keeping with our earlier work indicating there may be no safe level of alcohol consumption for brain health,” Topiwala suggested. The investigators concede that “Changes in T2* and χ can reflect changes in iron but also myelin. Iron and myelin have the opposite effect on χ in QSM, but the same effect on T2*. This supports our interpretation that increased iron is driving our results.”
Children's growth failure may be linked to environmental factors such as water availability, toilet sharing and handwashing.
A group led by G. Modern at the Global Health and Biomedical Sciences Department (2022) reported on causal relationship between Environmental Enteric Dysfunction , WaSH practices and growth failure in children from Rukwa-Tanzania. Undernutrition affects 25% of children in the developing world and has been associated with half of all deaths worldwide. Modern and colleagues found very significant causal relationship between stunting/growth failure and water availability. MPO activity was not significantly related to growth increased levels of inflammation associated with growth failure outcomes. Stunting is the most common and prevalent form of chronic undernutrition. Rukwa had highest prevalence of stunting in Tanzania (56%) among children aged between 1-2 years in 2015.
There were 149 children in the analysis. They contend that future research with robust methods is needed to examine whether these combined WaSH practices have synergistic effect on child growth outcomes in Tanzania. The proposed study should measure intestinal inflammation level as a composite disease activity score rather than individual biomarkers.
A cross-sectional study has found that breast cancer patients have poorer body composition and lower handgrip strength, and are at higher cardiovascular risk than healthy women.
In an evaluation of metabolic, dietetic, and nutritional status reveals impaired outcomes in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy compared with a matched control group, B. Ramos da Silva et al. (2022) reported that study involved 88 participants: 36 patients diagnosed with early breast cancer after 1 month of chemotherapy. 36 non-malignant females of similar age and BMI (MC females) and 16 as a reference group of nonmalignant, healthy females (HC females) with normal BMIs. Exclusion criteria Metastasis Previous diagnosis of cancer Diabetes any type HIV thyroid disease that is not currently managed with medication. Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer across the world, with more than 2.2 million cases in 2020. This study has found that women undergoing breast cancer chemotherapy, after completion of the treatment, presented poor indicators of nutritional and metabolic health.
The research involved 88 women. The researchers observe that “There could be differences in energy expenditure and level of physical activity, notably, and, as a limitation of our study, we did not evaluate those components. Curiously, BC presented the highest level of fiber ingestion, despite being far from the 25 g/day recommendation, evidencing the diet inadequacies among the population overall.” They recommend that Study found women undergoing breast cancer chemotherapy presented poor indicators of nutritional and metabolic health, such as PhA, NRI, EW/TBW HGS, dyslipidemia, and visceral fat dysfunction by adiposity indices. Study highlights the necessity for more effective lifestyle intervention as exercise and nutrition counseling during breast cancer treatment.
Malnutrition in infants aged under 6 months is a major problem in low- and middle-income countries, but little is known about how best to identify and manage at-risk individuals.
A research group led by M. Kerac at the Department of Population Health (2021) reported on infant malnutrition in low- and middle-income countries. 20.1% of infants were underweight, 21.3% were wasted, 17.6% were stunted, and 2.0% were concurrently wasted and stunted. This corresponds to an estimated burden in low- and middleincome countries of 23.8m underweight infants and 24.5m wasted infants. They present the estimated burden of undernutrition extrapolated to all LMICs in Table 3. Malnutrition in infants aged under 6 months (u6m) is increasingly recognised as an important global health issue. They performed a cross-sectional secondary analysis of Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) datasets, focussing on infants u6m. Logistic regression models showed that numerous risk factors were associated with wasting and underweight.
The study involved 93 DHS datasets. Discussing potential shortcomings, “We believe it likely that our estimates of the burden of undernutrition are underestimates. This is mainly because cross-sectional surveys provide information on prevalence but not incidence. DHS does not have data on nutritional oedema, leading to overall underestimation of the full burden of severe malnutrition,” they concede. The researchers argue that future research should include developing theoretical frameworks to guide mediation / pathway analysis of direct and indirect moderators of risk, in an attempt to better understand causality of infant malnutrition. Multi-faceted solutions will be needed.
High-intensity interval exercise (HIIT) enhances the effect of training on peak power and 20 km time trial performance, but is not related to an increase in mitochondrial biogenesis.
A research team led by S. Broome from the Discipline of Nutrition (2021) report that exercise-induced stressors trigger an acute and transient upregulation of gene expression in skeletal muscle. Supplementation with the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoQ did not attenuate HIITinduced increases in performance or skeletal muscle antioxidant gene expression and citrate synthase activity, which is a marker of mitochondrial content. antioxidant supplementation may have benefits for acute performance in some instances. Generalised antioxidant supplementation has been shown to impair transcriptional responses to acute exercise. Twenty-five healthy middle-aged men were recruited via advertisements and provided written informed consent to participate in the trial. MitoQ supplementation was associated with greater acute high-intensity exercise-induced increases in skeletal muscle PGC1α mRNA expression and post-training improvements in peak power.
The study involved 25 healthy middle-aged men. Aspects of the researchers’ findings may support previous work in this topic: “PCC1α is the major regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis. This is in agreement with our findings, and others, that MitoQ supplementation does not affect post-exercise training. HIITassociated increases in skeletal muscle citrate synthase were not affected,” Broome said. Discussing possible improvements, “There are several limitations that should be considered when interpreting the results of this study. The age of the participants may have resulted in a blunted response to acute exercise and exercise training in skeletal muscle,” they admit.
Egg consumption is associated with several metabolic markers, which may partially explain the protective effect of egg consumption on CVD risk in the Chinese population.
L. Pan et al. (2021) described association of egg consumption, metabolic markers, and risk of Cardiovascular diseases. Eggs are one of the richest sources of dietary cholesterol. Evidence for the association between eggs and CVD remains controversial. Similar controversial findings have been found in the Chinese population. Few studies have assessed the role of individual plasma cholesterol levels in such association, which may make the association clearer. There was an inverse association of cholesterol esters in small VLDL with egg consumption. There were positive associations of acetate and apolipoprotein A1.
The analysis involved 512725 participants aged 30-79. The researchers’ findings may corroborate prior research in this subject: “Three small intervention studies based on Americans or Japanese observed positive effects for HDL-C and apolipoprotein A1. A meta-analysis of 66 eligible randomized clinical trials involving 3,185 participants found a non-linear effect for VLDL-C,” Pan posited. Discussing potential shortcomings, “There was an unavoidable recall bias in the FFQ used for estimating egg and other food consumption in our study. There was measurement bias when five options were used to estimate the weekly days of egg consumption. The study population’s weekly egg consumption was not very large compared with other studies,” they say.
A study of grocery purchase data in the United States suggests that people with similar food preferences are more likely to switch from red meat to plant-based foods.
A team at the Department of Food and Nutrition led by M. Erkkola (2021) reported on a slow road from meat dominance to more sustainable diets. Achieving a sustainable diet would entail increased replacement of red meat with sustainable fish and plant-based alternatives. Data were obtained from the S Group, which is the largest grocery retailer in Finland. The largest cluster (“Red meat slightly mixed”) contained 42% of participants. Transitions from red meat were most likely to shift towards other animal foods, favoring poultry over fish and fish over plant-based foods. In the past century, a massive increase has occurred in the consumption of animal-based products. Considerable variation existed in purchase prices within all food groups.
The study involved 29437 participants. The authors’ findings appear to back up previous work in this area: “Vainio et al found lower price to be an important food choice motive among current beef consumers, in agreement with our observation that they tended to buy cheaper products,” Erkkola suggested. Discussing potential shortcomings, “A limitation of the study is that the participants were more likely women and more highly educated than the general t Finnish population. A sensitivity analysis using a full re-weighting showed that our results on the prevalence of red meat and plant-based profiles could be slightly underestimated and overestimated,” they observe. Erkkola and colleagues contend that a limitation of the study is that the participants were more likely women and more highly educated than the general adult. The team applied single questions to measure nutrition literacy and attitude towards a topic were insufficient for assessment on a broader level.
Dietary intake is one of the largest contributing factors to cardiovascular health in the United States, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
a research group led by Stephenson at the Chan School of Public Health (2021) applied the proposed Bayesian nonparametric latent class model to dietary survey data of US adults collected in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2018. The researchers compare these results with a subset of the population, adults considered low-income to understand if and how these patterns generalize. Dietary intake is one of the largest contributing factors to cardiovascular health in the United States. Using dietary intake data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, they identified six dietary patterns in the US adult population. These differed in consumption features found in the five dietary patterns derived in low-income adults.
The research involved 9000 people. Discussing possible improvements, “Another limitation of dietary recalls is the inability to capture day-to-day variation. Alternative dietary assessments, such as food frequency questionnaires and 7-day daily diet records, are available to capture more episodic and rarely consumed foods. Future research can explore ways to integrate these tools, when available, to quantify the unknown variation and uncertainty that comes from misreporting in dietary assessments,” they say. They propose that further research is needed to develop supervised clustering methods that address the issue of confounding overgeneralizations and are applicable in population surveys with complex survey designs.
Dried blood spots can be used in large-scale surveys to assess infectious disease status and/or micronutrient status in vulnerable populations.
In ‘Multiplexed micronutrient, inflammation, and malarial antigenemia assessment using a plasma fractionation device’, E. Brindle et al. (2021) noted that micronutrient deficiency has been described as hidden hunger. An estimated 2 billion people are affected globally. Iodine, Iron, and vitamin A represent three of the four primary MNDs of global significance. They evaluated the concordance of MN 7-plex analyte concentrations. Young children, and women of reproductive age in are at risk from MND. The global burden is greatest in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) that are the least equipped to routinely assess MN status.
In this study, they demonstrate the performance of a simple and rapid blood fractionation tool that passively separates serum from cellular components via diffusion through a membrane into a plasma collection disc. The authors evaluated the concordance of MN 7-plex analyte concentrations from matched panels of eighty-eight samples of PCD, DBS, and wet plasma. Their results may corroborate what was previously known about this topic: “The inability to accurately measure serum ferritin is a significant drawback to using DBS if measuring iron levels is a primary goal, as sTfR measurement alone is insufficient for accurate determination of iron deficiency. We have shown that ferritins can be measured from the PCD and that the values derived were correlative to and in agreement with plasma samples,” Brindle argued. Discussing potential improvements, “One limitation that was identified was uncertainty about the volume of plasma captured in each disc. We suspect that while processing PCD with whole blood under vacuum, some of the serum/plasma was drawn from the disc and lost, resulting in smaller sample volume being retained in the dead space of the disc pores,” they say.
The EPA+DHA content of red blood cell membranes and the neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) are important biomarkers of inflammation in healthy adults.
In the omega-3 index is inversely associated with the neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio in adults, M. McBurney and colleagues (2021) reported that Cells from both the innate and adaptive immune system circulate in blood. specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators reduce neutrophil infiltration and production of reactive oxygen species. Cells of the former work together to neutralize pathogens, in part by releasing proinflammatory mediators that modulate the latter. Chronic or unresolved inflammation can damage host tissues and increase risk for the development of non-communicable diseases. EPA and DHA serve as precursors for the synthesis of prostaglandins, leukotrienes, lipoxins and SPMs that can mediate immune responses.
The research involved 28871 non-inflamed individuals. Some of the findings potentially substantiate prior research in this field: “NLR is known to increase with age, obesity, CRP, and to sometimes differ by sex. These same relationships were mostly observed here as well, suggesting that the findings are generally representative,” McBurney said. Discussing possible improvements, “A nationally representative study of 9,427 individuals living in the US did not find significant differences in NLR with respect to sex, education, insurance status, or drinking habits,” they observe. Data and code are available from: https://www.faresinst.org
Low red blood cell membrane content of EPA and DHA, and elevated RBC distribution width (RDW), are risk factors for all-cause mortality in healthy adults.
In ‘Omega-3 Index is Directly Associated with a Healthy Red Blood Cell Distribution Width’, M. McBurney and colleagues (2021) reported that mean red blood cell (RBC) corpuscular volume (MCV) and reticulocyte count were the principal metrics traditionally used to identify anemic disorders until the advent of automated blood cell analyzers. The O3I cut point determined in the sliding window analysis, i.e. when the lower and upper half of an “O3I sliding window” yielded mean RDW values that did not significantly differ, was 5.6%. EPA and DHA have specific biophysical properties that affect the properties of membranes enriched in them. McBurney and colleagues propose that achieving an O3i >5.6% could help maintain a normal RBC. Among these metrics is the RBC distribution width (RDW) which reflects RBC size heterogeneity. Low O3I and an elevated RDW are known to be associated with risk for earlier all-cause mortality.
The objective was to determine if there is a relationship between O3I and RDW in healthy adults. Subjects without inflammation or anemia were identified from a clinical laboratory dataset of >45,000 individuals. RDW was inversely associated with O3i before and after adjusting models for sex, age, BMI and CRP. However, “The most obvious limitations of this study, besides its cross-sectional nature, were the lack of information on confounding metabolic events, dietary behaviors, medications, other medical conditions and/or physical activities that might have also been associated with O3I and with RDW. The data were drawn from a clinical laboratory database, not a formal national survey,” admit the authors. Data and code are available from: https://www.faresinst.org
Changes in the Akkermansia microbiome are associated with changes in the mucosal fatty acids found in the gut.
In ‘Increased Akkermansia abundance is associated with increased colonic mucosal ω-3 fatty acids and decreased colonic mucosal PGE2 concentrations following healthy dietary pattern interventions’, a group at the Michigan Medicine Department of Internal Medicine led by S. Rifkin (2021) noted that dietary intake of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) has been linked to improved gut barrier function and decreased risks of metabolic diseases and cancer. The researchers analyzed data from a dietary intervention study in individuals at increased risk of colon cancer to determine whether changes in the mucosal microbiome composition were associated with changes in colonic mucosal PUFA ratio. Akkermansia abundance was associated with colonic mucosal ω-3/ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids ratio. The researchers found that differences in PUFA incorporated in colonic tissues were not associated with global changes in the microbiome, but they were associated with specific microbiome changes.
86 participants were involved in the research. The authors note that “There are also several limitations to this study that should be recognized. The data in this study was analyzed using 16S rRNA and therefore our ability to determine changes in microbial function is limited.” They suggest that further studies are warranted to elucidate mechanisms by which Akkermansia may affect or is affected by these pathways and the relative importance of individual dietary components.
Germany lags behind international best practices in several key nutrition policy areas, including taxation and regulation of food marketing and retail and food service sector policies.
P. von Philipsborn et al. (2021) studied nutrition policies in Germany. Unhealthy dietary patterns are among the most important preventable risk factors for disease and premature death worldwide. The global prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus has roughly doubled from 5% to 9% between 1980 and 2014. Germany makes insufficient use of the potential of evidenceinformed health-promoting nutrition policies. Priority actions to address these shortcomings include a mandatory implementation of nutrition standards for schools and kindergartens. Adopting international best practices in key policy areas could help to reduce the burden of nutrition-related chronic disease and related inequalities in nutrition and health in Germany.
There were 18 policy indicators included in the research. Some of the conclusions claim to support previous work in this area: “The identification and prioritization of policy recommendations indicate how policymakers could address the shortcomings of Germany’s nutrition policy framework. The results of our prioritization exercise are in line with existing recommendations from expert groups and professional and scientific associations,” von Philipsborn claimed. The researchers note that “Priorities include mandatory implementation of nutrition standards for schools and kindergartens. A health-promoting reform of the value added tax and a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.”
Young Canadian children with Down Syndrome (DS) have high levels of folic acid in their red blood cells (RBC) post-fortification.
In ‘Red cell folate status among a subset of Canadian children with Down Syndrome post-fortification’, J. Jory (2021) reported that mandatory folic acid fortification of flour was introduced to Canada in 1998 with a primary aim of reducing neural tube defects. Higher exposures to folic acid may have unintended consequences among children with Down Syndrome. These may include the masking of occult B12 deficiency and alteration of DNA methylation. Red blood cell folate status among this subset of Canadian children with Down Syndrome is higher than documented for the larger Canadian population. Folic acid supplements and/or FAfortified foods may be important etiological factors.
The research involved 39 children. The researchers note that “The sample size was small, there was no control group of children without Down Syndrome. Data on B12 and other one-carbon pathway metabolites was not available.”
Children of women who were empowered in the attitude towards domestic violence, decision making, education, and social independence were less likely to be anaemic than children of less empowered women.
A research team led by C. Wilunda from the Health Research Center (2021) studied association of women empowerment with anaemia and haemoglobin concentration in children in sub-Saharan Africa. Childhood anaemia is a major intractable public health problem affecting 42% of the children aged between 6 and 59 months world-wide. Children of women who were empowered in the attitude towards domestic violence, decision making, education and social independence domains had higher haemoglobin concentrations. This study examined the association between women empowerment and childhood anaemia in SSA. The mean Hb concentration increased with increasing women’s empowerment in the dimensions of attitude towards violence (Q1 vs Q5, mean difference (MD) 0.96 g/dl; 95% CI 0.17–1.74, Ptrend = 0.009) The proportions of women who felt wife beating was justified for any of the mentioned reasons or whose husband/partner or other person was the main decision maker were significantly higher among the anaemic than the non-anaemic children.
There were 72032 women in the analysis. Aspects of the researchers’ findings potentially reinforce earlier work in this area: “Women who were empowered in attitude towards domestic violence, decision making, education, and social independence domains were less likely to have anaemic children. Our study findings are consistent with existing literature on the role of women empowerment in child nutrition in SSA,” Wilunda claimed.
A dietary pattern characterized by breastfeeding, supplemented by formula and dairy was the strongest predictor of the gut microbiome and the serum metabolome of infants from a South Asian birth Cohort study.
C. Bruce et al. (2021) reported on effects of diet on the microbiome and serum metabolome of South Asian infants at 1 year. In this cohort of 72 South Asian infants aged 1 year, breastfeeding status has the largest effect of all dietary variables on gut microbiome composition. Infant formula consumption, dairy consumption, and other animal food consumption lead to a decrease in gut microbes characteristic of the healthy infant gut microbiome. Plant based diets may prevent the decrease in Bifidobacterium seen with other solid food diets. The results of the study suggest that breastfeeding has the largest effect on the composition of the gut microbiome and the serum metabolome at 1 year. The team investigated the association between infant variables and gut microbial alpha diversity from South Asian Birth Cohort participants. Serum tryptophan betaine was associated with breastfeeding status only in South Asian infants.
The study involved 182 infants. Some of the researchers’ findings seem to reinforce previous work in this subject: “Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Veillonella were consistently less abundant with increasing formula and dairy diet pattern adherence. This is consistent with previous studies that showed similar decreases in both genera,” Bruce posited. Discussing potential improvements, “South Asian population has dietary characteristics distinct from white Caucasian populations. Potential weaknesses of this study are the small sample sizes used for metabolite analysis. Future work should be expanded to include analysis of lipids from serum extracts as dietary biomarkers of full-fat dairy intake,” they note. The group argue that tryptophan betaine, known as hypaphorine, is an indole alkaloid previously measured in nuts and legumes. A small study in breastfeeding mothers reported its presence in breast milk and association with peanut consumption.
Smaller food portion sizes substantially decrease daily energy intake and there is evidence that over time this results in lower body weight, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.
E. Robinson et al. (2021) reported in ‘Downsizing food’ that large portion sizes of commercially available food products have been identified as a likely contributor to the rise in overweight and obesity observed across most of the developed world. A recent meta-analysis of short-term studies estimated that doubling the served portion size at a meal increases meal energy intake by 35%. Public health measures to reduce portion sizes have been proposed as a potentially effective intervention to reduce obesity. Smaller food portion sizes substantially decrease daily energy intake and there is evidence that over time this results in lower body weight.
There was evidence of a curvilinear relationship between portion size and daily energy intake. In a subset of studies that measured body weight, being served smaller portions was associated with less weight gain than larger portions. Aspects of the authors’ conclusions potentially support previous studies in this subject: “Food intake behaviour is context dependent, whereby individuals can easily eat more or less food dependent on the absence vs. presence of environmental cues or factors, such as portion size. Consistent with other studies, there is some energy intake compensation in response to manipulations of portion size, but this compensation was only partial,” Robinson said. The authors say that “Size was small to moderate and the raw change in kcals was -168.23. For studies in which more than two meals were served as smaller vs. larger portion sizes there was a moderate-to-large effect size.” They contend that a further limitation is due to the studies available they were unable to examine whether properties or presentation of food determine the effect of portion size. There was suggestive evidence of publication bias and some of the included studies scored high for markers of risk of bias.
Reducing the intake of energy may slow biological aging in humans.
R. waziry et al. (2021) report that CALERIE Phase-2, was a multi-center, randomized controlled trial conducted at three clinical centers in the USA 14. CR modifies molecular hallmarks of aging, reduces risk factors for many agingrelated diseases, and extends healthy lifespan. CR slows the rate of increase in blood-chemistry biological age 17. CR slowed Pace of Aging, especially for the DunedinPACE measure, and modestly delayed increases in biological age according to the GrimAge DNA methylation clock. The findings contrast with reports that aging rates may not be modifiable 43 and advance proofof-concept that an intervention proven to extend healthy lifespan in animals can slow the pace of biological aging in humans.
197 participants were involved in the analysis. The authors’ findings appear to consolidate previous studies in this subject: “CR modifies molecular hallmarks of aging, reduces risk factors for many agingrelated diseases, and extends healthy lifespan. Here we report DNA methylation evidence that CR may also slow biological aging in humans,” waziry argued. Discussing potential improvements, “These measures are acknowledged to be incomplete summaries of biological changes that occur with aging and to have technical limitations, including imperfect test-retest reliability. Treatment-effect estimates may represent a lower-bound of the true impact of CALERIE intervention on aging,” they note. The researchers propose that several methods proposed to quantify biological aging analyzed in this study are predictive of aging-related health decline and mortality. Until this study, none had been tested in a randomized controlled trial of a geroscience-based intervention 22. The findings highlight two measures with potential utility in future trials.
An overweight/obese woman's omega-3 fatty acid status and fasting triglycerides were not affected by a diet-conforming diet, a secondary analysis of a double-blind study suggests.
In ‘An 8 week randomized Dietary Guidelines for Americans -based diet intervention improves the omega-3 index of healthy women’, C. Richardson et al. (2021) noted that cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of mortality, accounting for nearly 18 million deaths worldwide in 2016. An 8wk typical American diet stabilized the omega-3 index in a healthy range. A DGA-conforming diet increased the cardioprotective properties of eicosapentaenoic acid. Diet is a modifiable factor that can influence CVD risk. The team sought to determine if a DGA-conforming diet (DGAD) can increase the omega-3 index (OM3I) into a health promoting range and reduce fasting triglycerides in 8 weeks.
There were 44 females in the analysis. The authors’ findings may challenge preceding studies in the field: “However, it is also important to note that women with a low OM3I intervention response also had reduced insulin sensitivity. The findings bring into question the cause-effect relationship between these factors,” Richardson claimed. Discussing possible improvements, “The current study has a relatively small sample size and includes individuals with a range of normal to mild fasting triglyceridemia. Genetic factors influencing both long chain omegafatty acid biosynthesis and triglyceridemic responsiveness were not evaluated,” they acknowledge.
Shatavari, an Ayurvedic herb, may improve musculoskeletal function in postmenopausal women.
M. O'Leary et al. (2021) studied how shatavari supplementation in postmenopausal women Improves handgrip strength and Increases Vastus Lateralis myosin regulatory light chain phosphorylation but does not alter markers of bone turnover. Shatavari Twenty-four postmenopausal women were screened and recruited; 20 participants (68.5 ± 6 y, BMI 23.3 ± 3.8) completed the study. No improvement in knee extensor strength was found, they demonstrated an increase in pMLC within the Vastus lateralis. Shatavari has long been used as an Ayurvedic herb for women’s health. This initial study has signposted several novel effects and promising avenues for further research.
The research involved 24 postmenopausal women. Some of the researchers’ results potentially back up previous studies in this area: “Age-dependent reductions in pMLC have been documented and appear to particularly affect women. E2 administration over 4-6 rescued extensor pMLC and force generation in bilaterally ovariectomized mice,” O'Leary said. The researchers admit that “We highlight this result in the context of the relatively low number of viable biopsy samples that were available for analysis.” O'Leary and colleagues contend that they examined the potential benefits of shatavari supplementation for the musculoskeletal system after the menopause. This initial study signposted several novel effects and promising avenues for further research in this area.
Barley consumption is important for the gut microbiota and relates to Japanese traditional food like natto.
T. Matsuoka et al. (2021) identified the characteristics of the gut microbiota in a Japanese population that consumes barley. Bifidobacterium, Anaerostipes, and Butyricicoccus abundance tended to increase. Within the normal range, fasting glucose concentrations tended to be higher in the high barley group. Disorder risk did not significantly differ between the groups. Results suggested that barley consumption slightly shifted the enterotype to B.
The analysis involved 272 individuals. Discussing potential improvements, “This study has several limitations, including the possibility of other confounding factors such as dietary habits. We did not e e SCFAs or microbiome functions, which restricts the usefulness of our results,” they concede. The researchers suggest that the numbers of enterotypes did not differ between the barley groups. These results suggested that barley consumption slightly shifted the enterotype to B. Arumugam et al reported a similar distribution in a “∧” shape.
Researchers have identified a common set of metabolites that are predictive of Mediterranean diet adherence and ultra-processed food consumption in a study of more than 11,000 children in Europe.
In ‘Urinary metabolic biomarkers of diet quality in European children are associated with metabolic health’, N. Stratakis et al. (2022) reported that dietary habits are considered a key element for the prevention of chronic non22 communicable diseases. In 2017, 22% of all deaths among adults, were attributed to dietary risks. The absence of accurate dietary assessment methods is hampering the evidence linking diet and disease. Urine specimens have high concentrations of food-derived metabolites and studies have shown that urinary metabolic profiles could provide an objective measure of dietary intake.
There were 1147 children included in the research. Discussing possible shortcomings, “The main strengths of the study are the multicentric design which included children from 6 countries spanning north to south in Europe. Identified panels of urinary metabolites had similar capacity in discriminating children’s diet quality to that of established sociodemographic determinants. As in any observational study, there is the possibility of unmeasured residual confounding,” they say.
A novel type of ready-to-use therapeutic food, made with high oleic peanuts, improves cognition in children with severe acute malnutrition in Malawi.
In ‘Low linoleic acid foods with added DHA given to Malawian children with severe acute malnutrition improves cognition’, a research team at the Department of Medicine led by K. Stephenson (2021) noted that severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is a global insult to the young child’s developing mind and body. Peanut-based ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) is the standard of care for most SAM because it can be used safely at home in the context of utmost poverty. A triple-blind, randomized, controlled clinical feeding trial was conducted among children with uncomplicated SAM in Malawi. DHA-HO-RUTF caused a positive shift in the distribution of MDAT">MDAT scores measured about 6 months after a SAM outcome. In 2020, there were three stock-outs of ready-to-use therapeutic food due to ingredient importation restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This precluded randomization as it was designed, and so subjects were randomized among the available RUTFs. Baseline characteristics were similar among the three groups.
2565 SAM children were included in the research. The researchers acknowledge that “Our study has multiple limitations. The study population did not habitually consume fish, and the positive effect of DHA-HO-RUTF in a fish consuming population might differ.” They argue that SAM children worldwide require that RUTF have reduced amounts of LA and include preformed. DHA is needed to optimize the amount and duration of DHA supplementation.
The consumption of sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSB) among medical students was high.
S. Mandal et al. (2021) report that In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight. A web-based self-administered questionnaire was developed using the Kobo Toolbox. It had questions regarding socio-demographic, clinical details, amount and patterns of SSB consumption. Since 1998, SSB sales in India have been increasing by 13% year-on-year exceeding 11 litres per capita per year. Most of the undergraduate medical students are adolescents or young adults. If their health is not optimum, this will affect patient care. Those who preferred to consume energy drinks/sports drinks had low amount of SSB intake.
The study involved 499 students. The researchers’ results look to offer an alternative view to preceding findings in this area: “Participants who currently consumed alcohol had higher odds of high SSB intake than those not consuming alcohol. Cultural differences in type of alcohol preferences may partly explain our finding,” Mandal claimed.
Prelacteal feeding was commonly practiced in the Chitwan district, Nepal, but the prevalence of the practice varied depending on age, economic status and mode of delivery.
In ‘Prelacteal Feeding and Associated Factors among Mothers of Infants Aged 6 to 12 Months in Chitwan District, Nepal’, a team led by M. Neupane from the Department of Community Medicine (2021) reported that mother’s milk is regarded as the healthiest, the freshest, the safest, the most accessible, and perfect nourishment for a child during the first 2 years of life. This study was conducted in Bharatpur metropolitan city, in the central-southern part of Nepal located in Chitwan district in 2018. The study found a high prevalence of prelacteal feeding in the study area. Prelacteal feeding is a major barrier to exclusive breastfeeding and is associated with newborn infection. It is a prevalent practice in Nepal. This study aimed to investigate prelacteal. feeding practice and associated factors among mothers of infants aged 6 to. 12 months in Chitwan district, Nepal. The findings from this study indicate that cesarean delivery was significantly associated with a higher likelihood of prelactic feeding.
The study involved 297 mother-child pairs. Aspects of the results claim to confirm previous studies in this subject: “The result is consistent with a cross-sectional study conducted among 352 recently delivered women of rural Uttar Pradesh, India by Manas Pratim et al. However, Nepal demographic and health survey 2011 finding shows prelacteal feeding of 28% which is lower than this study,” Neupane said. They argue that the practice of prelacteal feeding seems to be higher in the study area while comparing the finding with previous national and subnational studies. In spite of following the same definition, the discrepancy in the practice might be area-related.
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[No author] (n.d.). .
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