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Maternal fish consumption exposes the fetus to beneficial nutrients and potentially adverse neurotoxicants. The current study investigated associations between maternal fish consumption and child neurodevelopmental outcomes. Maternal fish consumption was assessed in the Seychelles Child Development Study Nutrition Cohort 1 (n 229) using 4-day food diaries. Neurodevelopment was evaluated at 9 and 30 months, and 5 and 9 years with test batteries assessing twenty-six endpoints and covering multiple neurodevelopmental domains. Analyses used multiple linear regression with adjustment for covariates known to influence child neurodevelopment. This cohort consumed an average of 8 fish meals/week and the total fish intake during pregnancy was 106·8 (sd 61·9) g/d. Among the twenty-six endpoints evaluated in the primary analysis there was one beneficial association. Children whose mothers consumed larger quantities of fish performed marginally better on the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (a test of nonverbal intelligence) at age 5 years (β 0·003, 95 % CI (0, 0·005)). A secondary analysis dividing fish consumption into tertiles found no significant associations when comparing the highest and lowest consumption groups. In this cohort, where fish consumption is substantially higher than current global recommendations, maternal fish consumption during pregnancy was not beneficially or adversely associated with children’s neurodevelopmental outcomes.
Older adults (≥65 years) are the fastest growing population group. Thus, ensuring nutritional well-being of the ‘over-65s’ to optimise health is critically important. Older adults represent a diverse population – some are fit and healthy, others are frail and many live with chronic conditions. Up to 78% of older Irish adults living independently are overweight or obese. The present paper describes how these issues were accommodated into the development of food-based dietary guidelines for older adults living independently in Ireland. Food-based dietary guidelines previously established for the general adult population served as the basis for developing more specific recommendations appropriate for older adults. Published international reports were used to update nutrient intake goals for older adults, and available Irish data on dietary intakes and nutritional status biomarkers were explored from a population-based study (the National Adult Nutrition Survey; NANS) and two longitudinal cohorts: the Trinity-Ulster and Department of Agriculture (TUDA) and the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) studies. Nutrients of public health concern were identified for further examination. While most nutrient intake goals were similar to those for the general adult population, other aspects were identified where nutritional concerns of ageing require more specific food-based dietary guidelines. These include, a more protein-dense diet using high-quality protein foods to preserve muscle mass; weight maintenance in overweight or obese older adults with no health issues and, where weight-loss is required, that lean tissue is preserved; the promotion of fortified foods, particularly as a bioavailable source of B vitamins and the need for vitamin D supplementation.
Optimal maternal long-chain PUFA (LCPUFA) status is essential for the developing fetus. The fatty acid desaturase (FADS) genes are involved in the endogenous synthesis of LCPUFA. The minor allele of various FADS SNP have been associated with increased maternal concentrations of the precursors linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA), and lower concentrations of arachidonic acid (AA) and DHA. There is limited research on the influence of FADS genotype on cord PUFA status. The current study investigated the influence of maternal and child genetic variation in FADS genotype on cord blood PUFA status in a high fish-eating cohort. Cord blood samples (n 1088) collected from the Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS) Nutrition Cohort 2 (NC2) were analysed for total serum PUFA. Of those with cord PUFA data available, maternal (n 1062) and child (n 916), FADS1 (rs174537 and rs174561), FADS2 (rs174575), and FADS1-FADS2 (rs3834458) were determined. Regression analysis determined that maternal minor allele homozygosity was associated with lower cord blood concentrations of DHA and the sum of EPA + DHA. Lower cord blood AA concentrations were observed in children who were minor allele homozygous for rs3834458 (β = 0·075; P = 0·037). Children who were minor allele carriers for rs174537, rs174561, rs174575 and rs3834458 had a lower cord blood AA:LA ratio (P < 0·05 for all). Both maternal and child FADS genotype were associated with cord LCPUFA concentrations, and therefore, the influence of FADS genotype was observed despite the high intake of preformed dietary LCPUFA from fish in this population.
The association of MeHg exposure through fish consumption on human autoimmunity remains unclear. Fish also contain n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) that are known to regulate inflammation and mitigate autoimmune disease symptoms. We studied the association of low-level exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) through fish consumption in the SCDS. We examined this association at age 19 years in the SCDS Main Cohort (n = 497). We measured MeHg exposure at 3 time points [prenatal, weighted average (6 months to 19 years) and concurrent (19 years) and LCPUFA status and a panel of 13 autoimmune markers at age 19 years. The autoimmune markers included antinuclear antibodies (ANA), anti-dsDNA and anti-RNP, and total (non-specific) immunoglobulins (Ig) IgG, IgA, and IgM. A combined ANA variable was also calculated based on being within or above reference range for any of the ANA markers; 56% of the subjects met this criterion. Multivariable regression models adjusted for prenatal MeHg, sex and waist circumference, with and without adjustment for LCPUFA, were fit for the three MeHg exposure metrics and each immune marker. Mean (SD) prenatal, weighted average and concurrent MeHg was 6.84 (4.55), 7.46 (2.82), and 10.23 (6.02) ppm, respectively. Combined ANA was positively associated with concurrent MeHg following adjustment for the n6:n3 LCPUFA ratio (β = 0.036, 95%; CI: 0.001, 0.073). Prenatal and average MeHg exposures were not significantly associated with any individual ANA. IgM was negatively associated with concurrent (β = -0.016, 95%CI: -0.016, -0.002), and average (β = -0.042, 95%CI: -0.042, -0.009) MeHg exposure in the models adjusted for n-3, n-6 LCPUFA and when separately adjusted for the n6:n3 LCPUFA ratio. Total (19-year) n-3 PUFA status was negatively associated with anti-RNP (β = -20.355, 95%CI: -36.89, -4.34) and IgG (β = -1.384, 95%CI: -2.682, -0.087). Total n-3 LCPUFA was associated with lower markers of autoimmunity. MeHg exposure at 19 years was associated with higher ANA and lower IgM but only following adjustment for LCPUFA. The clinical significance of these findings is unclear and further research is warranted to determine if these associations precede autoimmune disease development.
Evidence from observational studies indicates that seaweed consumption may reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and obesity. Accumulating evidence from in vitro and animal studies suggest seaweed have antihyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which may in part be attributed to the high content of soluble dietary fibre in seaweeds. The viscosity of seaweed fibres is suggested to mediate antihyperlipdiemic effects via the alteration of lipid/bile acid absorption kinetics to decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL). Thus, there is a need to evaluate the efficacy of seaweed derived dietary fibre in the management of dyslipidemia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of a fibre rich extract from Palmaria palmata on the lipid profile as well as markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in healthy adults. A total of 60 healthy participants (30 male and 30 female) aged 20 to 58 years, were assigned to consume the Palmaria palmata fibre extract (5g/day), Synergy-1 and the placebo (maltodextrin) for a duration of 4 weeks with a minimum 4 week washout between each treatment in a double blind, randomised crossover study conducted over 5 months. Fasting concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) were analysed and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and LDL: HDL ratio was calculated. C-reactive protein (CRP) and Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma (FRAP) were analysed as markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, respectively. Supplementation for 4 weeks with Palmaria palmata resulted in favourable changes to lipid profiles with a reduced LDL:HDL ratio; however intention-to-treat univariate ANCOVA identified no significant difference between the treatment groups over time on any of the lipid profile markers. A non-significant increase in CRP and triglyceride concentration along with lower FRAP was also observed with Palmaria palmata supplementation. Evidence from this study suggests that Palmaria palmata may have effects on lipid metabolism and appears to mobilise triglycerides. More research is needed in individuals with dyslipidaemia to fully elucidate these effects.
Optimal maternal polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) status is essential for foetal development. The desaturase enzymes, encoded by the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) genes, are involved in the endogenous synthesis of long chain (LC)PUFA and influence maternal LCPUFA concentrations. The minor allele of various FADS SNPs has been associated with increased maternal concentrations of the precursors linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA), and lower concentrations of the LCPUFA arachidonic acid (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); however, there is limited research to date on the influence of FADS genotype on cord PUFA status. The aim of the current study was to investigate the influence of maternal and child genetic variation on cord blood PUFA status in a high fish-eating cohort.
Cord blood samples collected from mother-child pairs (n = 1088) taking part in the Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS) Nutrition Cohort 2 (NC2) were analysed for total serum PUFA. Maternal (n = 1088) and child genotype (n = 592) were determined for the FADS SNPs rs174537, rs174561, rs174575, and rs3834458. Regression analysis determined associations between maternal and child FADS genotype and cord PUFA status. In all regression models, the major allele homozygote genotype for each SNP was used as the reference group.
Directions of significant associations were as predicted. In mothers, the minor allele homozygote genotype for SNPs rs174537, rs174561 and rs3834458 was associated with lower cord DHA and lower total n-3 PUFA when compared to the major allele homozygous genotype (p < 0.05 for all). The heterozygous genotype was associated with increased concentrations of LA compared to the reference genotype for rs174561 (p = 0.021) and rs383448 (p = 0.023). In children, the heterozygous genotype was associated with lower AA concentrations and lower cord n-6:n-3 ratio for all SNPs (p < 0.05 for all) compared to those with the major allele homozygous genotype. A lower cord AA:LA ratio was also observed for children heterozygous for rs174547, rs174561 and rs174575 (p < 0.05 for all). Contrary to expected, there were no associations between cord PUFA concentrations and child minor allele homozygous genotype.
The current study indicates that variation in maternal and child FADS genotype influences cord PUFA concentrations, despite the high intake of preformed dietary LCPUFA from fish in this population. The sample size for minor allele homozygous children was likely too small to observe any statistically significant associations in the current analysis. Further research is needed to determine whether increased dietary intake can compensate for lower PUFA status as a result of FADS genotype.
Vitamin D is typically supplied in capsule form, both in trials and in clinical practice. However, little is known regarding the efficacy of vitamin D administered via oral sprays – a method that primarily bypasses the gastrointestinal absorption route. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of vitamin D3 liquid capsules and oral spray solution in increasing wintertime total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations. In this randomised, open-label, cross-over trial, healthy adults (n 22) received 3000 IU (75 µg) vitamin D3 daily for 4 weeks in either capsule or oral spray form. Following a 10-week washout phase, participants received the opposite treatment for a final 4 weeks. Anthropometrics and fasted blood samples were obtained before and after supplementation, with samples analysed for total 25(OH)D, creatinine, intact parathyroid hormone and adjusted Ca concentrations. At baseline, vitamin D sufficiency (total 25(OH)D>50 nmol/l), insufficiency (31–49 nmol/l) and clinical deficiency (<30 nmol/l) were evident in 59, 23 and 18 % of the participants, respectively. Overall, baseline total mean 25(OH)D concentration averaged 59·76 (sd 29·88) nmol/l, representing clinical sufficiency. ANCOVA revealed no significant difference in the mean and standard deviation change from baseline in total 25(OH)D concentrations between oral spray and capsule supplementation methods (26·15 (sd 17·85) v. 30·38 (sd 17·91) nmol/l, respectively; F=1·044, adjusted r2 0·493, P=0·313). Oral spray vitamin D3 is an equally effective alternative to capsule supplementation in healthy adults.
Recent literature suggests that Ca supplements have adverse effects on cardiovascular health. The effects of a Ca-rich supplement administered alone or in combination with short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (scFOS) on serum lipids in postmenopausal women were examined using secondary data from a 24-month double-blind randomised controlled study. A total of 300 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to daily supplements of 800 mg of Ca (2·4 g Aquamin) (Ca), 800 mg of Ca with 3 g of scFOS (CaFOS) or control (maltodextrin) (MD). A full lipid profile, body composition, blood pressure and a range of cytokines were measured at baseline and after 24 months. Intention-to-treat ANCOVA assessed treatment effects between the groups. A significant time-by-treatment effect was observed for LDL and total cholesterol for the Ca and CaFOS groups, with both groups having lower LDL and total cholesterol concentrations compared with MD after 24 months. The control group had mean (5·2 mmol/l) total cholesterol concentrations above the normal range (≤5 mmol/l) at 24 months, whereas values remained within the normal range in the treatment groups. There was no significant treatment effect on HDL-cholesterol, TAG, body composition, blood pressure or cytokine concentrations at 24 months, with the exception of IL-4, where there was a significant increase in the CaFOS group compared with the placebo. This study demonstrates a lipid-lowering effect of both the Ca-rich supplement alone and the supplement with scFOS. At the 4-year follow-up, there was no significant difference between the groups for reported diagnosed cardiovascular conditions.
Choline is an essential nutrient that is found in many food sources and plays a critical role in the development of the central nervous system. Animal studies have shown that choline status pre- and postnatally can have long-lasting effects on attention and memory; however, effects in human subjects have not been well studied. The aim of the present study was to examine the association between plasma concentrations of free choline and its related metabolites in children and their neurodevelopment in the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study, an ongoing longitudinal study assessing the development of children born to mothers with high fish consumption during pregnancy. Plasma concentrations of free choline, betaine, dimethylglycine (DMG), methionine and homocysteine and specific measures of neurodevelopment were measured in 210 children aged 5 years. The children's plasma free choline concentration (9·17 (sd 2·09) μmol/l) was moderately, but significantly, correlated with betaine (r 0·24; P= 0·0006), DMG (r 0·15; P= 0·03), methionine (r 0·24; P= 0·0005) and homocysteine (r 0·19; P= 0·006) concentrations. Adjusted multiple linear regression revealed that betaine concentrations were positively associated with Preschool Language Scale – total language scores (β = 0·066; P= 0·04), but no other associations were evident. We found no indication that free choline concentration or its metabolites, within the normal physiological range, are associated with neurodevelopmental outcomes in children at 5 years of age. As there is considerable animal evidence suggesting that choline status during development is associated with cognitive outcome, the issue deserves further study in other cohorts.
To assess the nutritional adequacy of Seychellois children in relation to nutrients reported to be important for cognitive development.
Dietary intakes were assessed by 4 d weighed food diaries and analysed using dietary analysis software (WISP version 3·0; Tinuviel Software, UK). Individual nutrient intakes were adjusted to usual intakes and, in order to investigate adequacy, were compared with the UK Estimated Average Requirements for children aged 4–6 years.
Children 5 years old were followed up as part of the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study (SCDNS), located in the high-fish-consuming population of Mahé, Republic of Seychelles.
Analysis was carried out on a sample of 229 children (118 boys, 111 girls).
Children consumed a diet of which fortified cereal and milk products contributed the most to nutrient intakes. The majority (≥80 %) of children met requirements for several nutrients important for child development including Fe, folate and Se. Adjusted dietary intakes of Cu, Zn, iodine, niacin and vitamin A were below the Estimated Average Requirement or Recommended Nutrient Intake. Mean adjusted energy intakes (boys 4769 kJ/d (1139·84 kcal/d), girls 4759 kJ/d (1137·43 kcal/d)) were lower than the estimated energy requirement (boys 5104 kJ/d (1220 kcal/d), girls 5042 kJ/d (1205 kcal/d)) for 88 % of boys and 86 % of girls.
Nutrition was adequate for most children within the SCDNS cohort. Low intakes of some nutrients (including Zn, niacin and vitamin A) could reflect nutritional database inaccuracies, but may require further investigation. The study provides valuable information on the adequacy of intakes of nutrients which could affect the growth and development of Seychellois children.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multi-system inflammatory disease where genetic susceptibility coupled with largely undefined environmental factors is reported to underlie the aetiology of the disease. One such factor is low vitamin D status. The primary source of vitamin D is endogenous synthesis following exposure of the skin to UVB light. Photosensitivity, sunlight avoidance and the use of sun protection factor in combination with medications prescribed to treat the symptoms of the disease, puts SLE patients at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. Decreased conversion of 25-hydroxyvitamin D to the metabolically active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, is possible, due to renal impairment common in SLE putting additional stress on vitamin D metabolism. The majority of studies have identified low 25-hydroxyvitamin D in SLE patients, albeit using varying cut-offs (<25 to <80 nmol/l). Of these studies, fifteen have investigated a link between status and disease activity with conflicting results. Variation with disease activity index measures used alongside methodological limitations within the study design may partially explain these findings. This review discusses the importance of optimal vitamin D status in SLE, critically evaluates research carried out to date that has investigated vitamin D in SLE, and highlights the need for a well-designed observational study that controls for diet, medication use, dietary supplements, UV exposure and seasonality, that uses sensitive methods for measuring vitamin D status and disease activity in SLE to conclusively establish the role of vitamin D in SLE.
There is increasing epidemiological evidence linking sub-optimal vitamin D status with overweight and obesity. Although increasing BMI and adiposity have also been negatively associated with the change in vitamin D status following supplementation, results have been equivocal. The aim of this randomised, placebo-controlled study was to investigate the associations between anthropometric measures of adiposity and the wintertime serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D) response to 15 μg cholecalciferol per d in healthy young and older Irish adults. A total of 110 young adults (20–40 years) and 102 older adults ( ≥ 64 years) completed the 22-week intervention with >85 % compliance. The change in 25(OH)D from baseline was calculated. Anthropometric measures of adiposity taken at baseline included height, weight and waist circumference (WC), along with skinfold thickness measurements to estimate fat mass (FM). FM was subsequently expressed as FM (kg), FM (%), FM index (FMI (FM kg/height m2)) and as a percentage ratio to fat-free mass (FFM). In older adults, vitamin D status was inversely associated with BMI (kg/m2), WC (cm), FM (kg and %), FMI (kg/m2) and FM:FFM (%) at baseline (r − 0·33, − 0·36, − 0·33, − 0·30, − 0·33 and − 0·27, respectively, all P values < 0·01). BMI in older adults was also negatively associated with the change in 25(OH)D following supplementation (β − 1·27, CI − 2·37, − 0·16, P = 0·026); however, no such associations were apparent in younger adults. Results suggest that adiposity may need to be taken into account when determining an adequate wintertime dietary vitamin D intake for healthy older adults residing at higher latitudes.
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