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In Korean women, the prevalence rate of severe obesity (BMI ≥ 30.0 kg/m2) increased from 2.8% in 2005 to 4.7% in 2015. It is reported that clinically severe obesity has more serious health problems than moderate obesity and creates additional challenges. Vitamin D was suggested a beneficial effect on inflammatory response, but serum ferritin was has been known as a biomarker of inflammation. The objective of this study is to compare the levels of vitamin D and ferritin in Korean women with moderate and severe obesity.
Materials and Methods
44 Korean women with obese and severely obese were recruited. The participants were classified as obese (BMI 25.0–29.9 kg/m2, n = 23) and severely obese (BMI ≥ 30.0 kg/m2, n = 21) group. The informed clinical data, including general information, anthropometric data, body composition, and blood analysis results, were obtained from the participants. Serum vitamin D [25(OH)D3] and ferritin were measured. Statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS Statistics for Windows version 24.0.
There was a difference in eating habits, severely obese group ate more irregularly and consumed more snacks than obese group. The levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, hemoglobin Alc, total cholesterol, and triglyceride were not significantly different in obese and severely obese group. And, the levels of serum 25(OH)D3 and ferritin were almost normal and there was no significant difference between the two groups.
This study showed that there is a difference in eating habits between obese group and severely obese group. The level of serum 25(OH)D3 was not declined while the level of serum ferritin was not elevated in Korean obese and severely obese women. This study has been performed with the limitation that the number of samples was not enough.
Firefighters are routinely exposed to various traumatic events and often experience a range of trauma-related symptoms. Although these repeated traumatic exposures rarely progress to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, firefighters are still considered to be a vulnerable population with regard to trauma.
To investigate how the human brain responds to or compensates for the repeated experience of traumatic stress.
We included 98 healthy firefighters with repeated traumatic experiences but without any diagnosis of mental illness and 98 non-firefighter healthy individuals without any history of trauma. Functional connectivity within the fear circuitry, which consists of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, insula, amygdala, hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), was examined using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Trauma-related symptoms were evaluated using the Impact of Event Scale – Revised.
The firefighter group had greater functional connectivity between the insula and several regions of the fear circuitry including the bilateral amygdalae, bilateral hippocampi and vmPFC as compared with healthy individuals. In the firefighter group, stronger insula–amygdala connectivity was associated with greater severity of trauma-related symptoms (β = 0.36, P = 0.005), whereas higher insula–vmPFC connectivity was related to milder symptoms in response to repeated trauma (β = −0.28, P = 0.01).
The current findings suggest an active involvement of insular functional connectivity in response to repeated traumatic stress. Functional connectivity of the insula in relation to the amygdala and vmPFC may be potential pathways that underlie the risk for and resilience to repeated traumatic stress, respectively.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are common dietary exposures that cross the human placenta and are classified as a probable human carcinogen. The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential impact of exposure to PAH-containing meat consumed during pregnancy on birth outcomes.
Prospective birth cohort study. Only non-smoking women with singleton pregnancies, who were free from chronic disease such as diabetes and hypertension, were included in the study. Maternal consumption of PAH-rich meat was estimated through FFQ. Multiple linear regression was used to assess factors related to higher intake and the association between dietary PAH and birth outcomes.
Republic of Korea, 2006–2011.
Pregnant women (n 778) at 12–28 weeks of gestation enrolled in the Mothers and Children’s Environmental Health (MOCEH) study.
The multivariable regression model showed a significant reduction in birth weight associated with higher consumption level of foods rich in PAH, such as grilled or roasted meat, during pregnancy (β=−17·48 g, P<0·05 for every 1 point higher in meat score). Further adjusting for biomarkers of airborne PAH did not alter this association. There was no evidence that higher consumption level of PAH-rich meat shortens the duration of gestation (P=0·561). Regression models performed for birth length and head circumference produced negative effects that were not statistically significant.
Consumption of higher levels of barbecued, fried, roasted and smoked meats during pregnancy was associated with reduced birth weight. Dietary risk of PAH exposure in Korean women is of concern.
The present study was performed to investigate whether breast-feeding is associated with early pubertal development among children 7–9 years old in Korea.
Children were divided into those who did and did not receive breast-feeding for 6 months or longer in accordance with the recommendations of the WHO. Pubertal status was determined by clinical examination using Tanner staging.
Prospective observational study.
We conducted a follow-up study of children aged 7–9 years in 2011 who had taken part in the Ewha Birth & Growth Cohort study.
Fifty (22·8 %) of the total of 219 children were in early puberty, with the proportion being slightly higher for girls (24·1 %) than boys (21·4 %). Children who had entered early puberty were taller, weighed more and had a higher concentration of insulin-like growth factor 1. Moreover, the change in weight Z-score from birth to follow-up was significantly lower in children who were breast-fed than in those who were not (weight Z-score change: 0·32 (sd 1·59) v. 0·77 (sd 1·61), respectively, P=0·04). Comparison of breast-feeding by puberty status indicated a preventive association with early puberty in children who were breast-fed for 6 months or longer (OR=0·37; 95 % CI 0·18, 0·74). This association remained significant after adjustment for relevant covariates.
These results demonstrate a beneficial association between breast-feeding and early pubertal development, especially in those breast-fed for 6 months or longer. The study suggests that interventions would need to start early in life to prevent early pubertal development.
Pb is released from bone stores during pregnancy, which constitutes a period of increased bone resorption. A high Na intake has been found to be negatively associated with Ca and adversely associated with bone metabolism. It is possible that a high Na intake during pregnancy increases the blood Pb concentration; however, no previous study has reported on the relationship between Na intake and blood Pb concentration. We thus have investigated this relationship between Na intake and blood Pb concentrations, and examined whether this relationship differs with Ca intake in pregnant Korean women. Blood Pb concentrations were analysed in 1090 pregnant women at mid-pregnancy. Dietary intakes during mid-pregnancy were estimated by a 24 h recall method covering the use of dietary supplements. Blood Pb concentrations in whole-blood samples were analysed using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Multiple regression analysis performed after adjustment for covariates revealed that maternal Na intake was positively associated with blood Pb concentration during pregnancy, but only when Ca intake was below the estimated average requirement for pregnant Korean women (P= 0·001). The findings of the present study suggest that blood Pb concentration during pregnancy could be minimised by dietary recommendations that include decreased Na and increased Ca intakes.
Oxidative stress may be affected by lead exposure as well as antioxidants, yet little is known about the interaction between dietary antioxidants and blood lead levels (BLL) on oxidative stress level. We investigated the interaction between dietary antioxidants and BLL on oxidative stress level. As part of the Biomarker Monitoring for Environmental Health conducted in Seoul and Incheon, Korea, between April and December 2005, we analysed data from 683 adults (female = 47·4 %, mean age 51·4 (sd 8·4) years) who had complete measures on BLL, dietary intakes and oxidative stress marker (urinary 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG)). Dietary intakes were assessed by a validated semi-quantitative FFQ, BLL was measured using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, and 8-OHdG by ELISA. Multivariate linear regression analyses were used to evaluate the influence of BLL on the association between dietary antioxidants and 8-OHdG. Geometric means of BLL and 8-OHdG concentrations were 4·1 (sd 1·5) μg/dl and 5·4 (sd 1·9) μg/g creatinine, respectively. Increases of vitamins C and E were significantly associated with the decrease of log10 8-OHdG in the adults from the lowest quartile of the BLL group ( ≤ 3·18 μg/dl, geometric mean = 2·36 μg/dl) than those of the highest quartile BLL group (>5·36 μg/dl, geometric mean = 6·78 μg/dl). Regarding antioxidant-related foods, vegetables excluding kimchi showed a higher inverse relationship with 8-OHdG in the lowest quartile BLL group than the highest group. These findings suggest a rationale for lowering the BLL and increasing the intake of dietary antioxidants in the urban population in Korea.
Zn is an essential element for human growth. The nutritional adequacy of dietary Zn depends not only on the total Zn intake, but also on the type of food source (i.e. of plant or animal origin). We investigated the association between maternal dietary Zn intake from animal and plant food sources and fetal growth. A total of 918 pregnant women at 12–28 weeks of gestation were selected from the Mothers and Children's Environmental Health study in Korea. Dietary intakes in mid-pregnancy were estimated by a 24 h recall method, and subsequent birth weight and height were obtained from medical records. Multiple regression analysis showed that maternal Zn intake from animal food sources and their proportions relative to total Zn intake were positively associated with birth weight (P = 0·034 and 0·045, respectively) and height (P = 0·020 and 0·032, respectively). Conversely, the percentage of Zn intake from plant food sources relative to total Zn intake was negatively associated with birth height (P = 0·026) after adjustment for covariates that may affect fetal growth. The molar ratio of phytate:Zn was negatively associated with birth weight (P = 0·037). In conclusion, we found that the absolute amounts of Zn from different food sources (e.g. animal or plant) and their proportions relative to total Zn intake were significantly associated with birth weight and height. A sufficient amount of Zn intake from animal food sources of a relatively higher Zn bioavailability is thus encouraged for women during pregnancy.
Whereas there are numerous reports in the literature relating the impact of maternal nutritional status on subsequent birth outcome, much less is known about the long-term impact on infant growth after birth. Therefore, we conducted a prospective cohort study to investigate the association of maternal micronutrient status (vitamins A, C and E, folate) and oxidative stress status in pregnancy with infant growth during the first year of life.
Prospective cohort study.
Outpatient clinic of obstetrics, Ewha Womans University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
Subjects and methods
Two groups were constructed for this study – the Ewha pregnancy cohort (n = 677) and the infant growth cohort comprising follow-up live newborns of all the recruited pregnant women (n = 317). Maternal serum vitamin and urinary oxidative stress levels were collected and infant weights and heights were measured at birth and at 6 and 12 months after birth.
Division of the subjects into folate-deficient and normal groups revealed that infant weight and height at 0, 6 and 12 months were adversely affected by folate deficiency. High maternal vitamin C was associated with increased infant weight and height at birth and after birth.
Our findings indicate the importance of preventing folate deficiency and supplementing vitamin C during pregnancy.
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