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Ca supplements are used for bone health; however, they have been associated with increased cardiovascular risk, which may relate to their acute effects on serum Ca concentrations. Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite (MCH) could affect serum Ca concentrations less than conventional Ca supplements, but its effects on bone turnover are unclear. In the present study, we compared the acute and 3-month effects of MCH with conventional Ca supplements on concentrations of serum Ca, phosphate, parathyroid hormone and bone turnover markers. We randomised 100 women (mean age 71 years) to 1 g/d of Ca as citrate or carbonate (citrate–carbonate), one of two MCH preparations, or a placebo. Blood was sampled for 8 h after the first dose, and after 3 months of daily supplementation. To determine whether the acute effects changed over time, eight participants assigned to the citrate dose repeated 8 h of blood sampling at 3 months. There were no differences between the citrate and carbonate groups, or between the two MCH groups, so their results were pooled. The citrate–carbonate dose increased ionised and total Ca concentrations for up to 8 h, and this was not diminished after 3 months. MCH increased ionised Ca concentrations less than the citrate–carbonate dose; however, it raised the concentrations of phosphate and the Ca–phosphate product. The citrate–carbonate and MCH doses produced comparable decreases in bone resorption (measured as serum C-telopeptide (CTX)) over 8 h and bone turnover (CTX and procollagen type-I N-terminal propeptide) at 3 months. These findings suggest that Ca preparations, in general, produce repeated sustained increases in serum Ca concentrations after ingestion of each dose and that Ca supplements with smaller effects on serum Ca concentrations may have equivalent efficacy in suppressing bone turnover.
Folate transporters, including the reduced folate carrier and the proton-coupled folate transporter, encoded by Slc19a1 and Slc46a1 genes respectively, play important roles in the transport of folate across biological membranes given the hydrophilic nature of folates. Although a number of studies have demonstrated that these two transporters are regulated ontogenetically in mammals, little data are available on their developmental patterns of expression in poultry. The objective of this study was to investigate the expression patterns of Slc19a1 and Slc46a1 in jejunal and cecal tissue of broiler chickens during post-hatching development. Post-hatch male chicks (Ross × Ross) had free access to water and a soybean/wheat-based diet. Jejunal, cecal and blood samples were collected on day-of-hatch but before feeding (D0), and on D2, D7, D14, D21 and D35 post-hatch (n = 8 at each time point), respectively. Plasma folate concentrations were low on the day of hatch and increased with maturation; by contrast, plasma homocysteine, a marker of folate status, was highest (P < 0.05) in the day-of-hatch birds and decreased thereafter. Increasing age reduced mRNA abundance of Slc19a1 (P < 0.05) in the jejunum and cecum. Abundance of Slc46a1 mRNA (P < 0.05) gradually decreased in the cecum with increasing age and that of Slc46a1 in the jejunum initially decreased and then increased to level similar to that of day-of-hatch. The study provides some initial data on ontogenetic regulation of Slc19a1 and Slc46a1 in the jejunum and cecum of the chicken and lays the ground work for future nutritional studies. Moreover, the expression of Slc19a1 and Slc46a1 transcripts in the cecum provides evidence of the potential for cecally derived folate to contribute to the folate status of the host.
High-protein (HP) diets for weight loss remain popular despite questions surrounding overall safety. In a recent study using the pig model, we showed that long-term intakes from whole proteins at 35 % energy (en %) cause moderate renal histological damage. To examine whether this observation may be species specific or more generalisable, the effect of this diet in rats was examined. Using plant and animal whole proteins, 70-d-old female Sprague–Dawley rats were randomised to either a normal-protein (NP; 15 en %) or a HP (35 en %) diet for 4, 8, 12 and 17 months. Renal function was assessed by creatinine clearance and urinary protein levels, and pathology was assessed by examination of glomerular hypertrophy, glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Rats consuming the HP diet had 17 % higher kidney weights (P < 0·0001), three times higher proteinuria (P < 0·0001) and 27 % higher creatinine clearance (P = 0·0012) compared with those consuming the NP diet. Consistent with this, HP-fed rats had larger glomeruli (P < 0·0001) and more glomerulosclerosis (P = 0·0003) compared with NP-fed rats. The HP diet also resulted in altered levels of free monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (P < 0·0001). The histological changes are consistent with those observed in the pig model. In contrast to the pig model, the elevated proteinuria and creatinine clearance observed in the rat model are also usually observed with HP consumption in human subjects. These results indicate that the rat is a useful model for HP effects on the kidney and, along with previous results using the pig model, suggest that long-term intake of high levels of protein may be detrimental to renal health.