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In the present study, the aim was to investigate the correlation between the acute and habitual dietary intake of flavanones, their main food sources and the concentrations of aglycones naringenin and hesperetin in 24 h urine in a European population. A 24-h dietary recall (24-HDR) and a 24-h urine sample were collected the same day from a subsample of 475 people from four different countries of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Acute and habitual dietary data were captured through a standardised 24-HDR and a country/centre-specific validated dietary questionnaire (DQ). The intake of dietary flavanones was estimated using the Phenol-Explorer database. Urinary flavanones (naringenin and hesperetin) were analysed using tandem MS with a previous enzymatic hydrolysis. Weak partial correlation coefficients were found between urinary flavanone concentrations and both acute and habitual dietary flavanone intakes (Rpartial = 0·14–0·17). Partial correlations were stronger between urinary excretions and acute intakes of citrus fruit and juices (Rpartial ∼ 0·6) than with habitual intakes of citrus fruit and juices (Rpartial ∼ 0·24). In conclusion, according to our results, urinary excretion of flavanones can be considered a good biomarker of acute citrus intake. However, low associations between habitual flavanone intake and urinary excretion suggest a possible inaccurate estimation of their intake or a too sporadic intake. For assessing habitual exposures, multiple urinary collections may be needed. These results show that none of the approaches tested is ideal, and the use of both DQ and biomarkers can be recommended.
Experimental studies have reported on the anti-inflammatory properties of polyphenols. However, results from epidemiological investigations have been inconsistent and especially studies using biomarkers for assessment of polyphenol intake have been scant. We aimed to characterise the association between plasma concentrations of thirty-five polyphenol compounds and low-grade systemic inflammation state as measured by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). A cross-sectional data analysis was performed based on 315 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort with available measurements of plasma polyphenols and hsCRP. In logistic regression analysis, the OR and 95 % CI of elevated serum hsCRP (>3 mg/l) were calculated within quartiles and per standard deviation higher level of plasma polyphenol concentrations. In a multivariable-adjusted model, the sum of plasma concentrations of all polyphenols measured (per standard deviation) was associated with 29 (95 % CI 50, 1) % lower odds of elevated hsCRP. In the class of flavonoids, daidzein was inversely associated with elevated hsCRP (OR 0·66, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·96). Among phenolic acids, statistically significant associations were observed for 3,5-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (OR 0·58, 95 % CI 0·39, 0·86), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylpropionic acid (OR 0·63, 95 % CI 0·46, 0·87), ferulic acid (OR 0·65, 95 % CI 0·44, 0·96) and caffeic acid (OR 0·69, 95 % CI 0·51, 0·93). The odds of elevated hsCRP were significantly reduced for hydroxytyrosol (OR 0·67, 95 % CI 0·48, 0·93). The present study showed that polyphenol biomarkers are associated with lower odds of elevated hsCRP. Whether diet rich in bioactive polyphenol compounds could be an effective strategy to prevent or modulate deleterious health effects of inflammation should be addressed by further well-powered longitudinal studies.
To examine timing of eating across ten European countries.
Cross-sectional analysis of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration study using standardized 24 h diet recalls collected during 1995–2000. Eleven predefined food consumption occasions were assessed during the recall interview. We present time of consumption of meals and snacks as well as the later:earlier energy intake ratio, with earlier and later intakes defined as 06.00–14.00 and 15.00–24.00 hours, respectively. Type III tests were used to examine associations of sociodemographic, lifestyle and health variables with timing of energy intake.
Ten Western European countries.
In total, 22 985 women and 13 035 men aged 35–74 years (n 36 020).
A south–north gradient was observed for timing of eating, with later consumption of meals and snacks in Mediterranean countries compared with Central and Northern European countries. However, the energy load was reversed, with the later:earlier energy intake ratio ranging from 0·68 (France) to 1·39 (Norway) among women, and from 0·71 (Greece) to 1·35 (the Netherlands) among men. Among women, country, age, education, marital status, smoking, day of recall and season were all independently associated with timing of energy intake (all P<0·05). Among men, the corresponding variables were country, age, education, smoking, physical activity, BMI and day of recall (all P<0·05).
We found pronounced differences in timing of eating across Europe, with later meal timetables but greater energy load earlier during the day in Mediterranean countries compared with Central and Northern European countries.
To identify individual and contextual socio-economic factors associated with an increase in fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption over a 12-year period and evaluate if some socio-economic factors were differentially associated with the change in consumption of some types of F&V.
Associations between increased F&V consumption and socio-economic factors were studied with multivariate logistic regression.
E3N, a French prospective cohort study of 98 995 women.
E3N participants (n 58 193) with information on diet in 1993 and 2005, and numerous individual and contextual socio-economic factors available.
Associations between some individual socio-economic factors and changes in F&V consumption were observed. For instance, women who lived in a large household (>3 children v. no child) had higher probability of increasing their vegetable consumption (OR=1·33; 95 % CI 1·24, 1·42). This association was driven by higher consumption of courgette and raw cucumber. Living with a partner was associated with higher odds of increasing consumption of fruits (OR=1·07; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·13) such as pear, peach and grape.
Certain individual socio-economic factors, but none of the contextual socio-economic factors examined, were associated with an increase in F&V consumption. Factors associated with an increase in total F&V consumption were not necessarily associated with an increase in fruit or vegetable consumption separately, or with an increase in each subtype of fruit or vegetable. Magnitudes of the different associations observed also differed when F&V were considered together, separately or by subtype. Increases in F&V consumption were mostly observed in women with high socio-economic position. To develop effective nutritional interventions and policies that take the socio-economic environment of individuals into account, we recommend future research to further focus on (i) pathways through which population characteristics might influence changes in F&V consumption and (ii) existing interactions between individual and contextual socio-economic factors.
In vitro studies have shown several beneficial properties of resveratrol. Epidemiological evidence is still scarce, probably because of the difficulty in estimating resveratrol exposure accurately. The current study aimed to assess the relationships between acute and habitual dietary resveratrol and wine intake and urinary resveratrol excretion in a European population. A stratified random subsample of 475 men and women from four countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cross-sectional study, who had provided 24-h urine samples and completed a 24-h dietary recall (24-HDR) on the same day, were included. Acute and habitual dietary data were collected using standardised 24-HDR software and a validated country-specific dietary questionnaire, respectively. Phenol-Explorer was used to estimate the intake of resveratrol and other stilbenes. Urinary resveratrol was analysed using tandem MS. Spearman’s correlation coefficients between estimated dietary intakes of resveratrol and other stilbenes and consumption of wine, their main food source, were very high (r>0·9) when measured using dietary questionnaires and were slightly lower with 24-HDR (r>0·8). Partial Spearman’s correlations between urinary resveratrol excretion and intake of resveratrol, total stilbenes or wine were found to be higher when using the 24-HDR (R2partial approximately 0·6) than when using the dietary questionnaires (R2partial approximately 0·5). Moderate to high correlations between dietary resveratrol, total stilbenes and wine, and urinary resveratrol concentrations were observed. These support the earlier findings that 24-h urinary resveratrol is an effective biomarker of both resveratrol and wine intakes. These correlations also support the validity of the estimation of resveratrol intake using the dietary questionnaire and Phenol-Explorer.
The driving factor of the climate problem is the continuous increase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from productive activities. Such emissions drive radiative forcing of climate and affect the radiation balance of the Earth (IPCC 2007) with global warming as a consequent effect. At a global level, GHG emissions originate from activities related to energy supply (electricity and heat generation) (41 per cent), industry (20 per cent), transport (22 per cent), residential and commercial sector (6 per cent) and 10 per cent other (forestry, agriculture, fishing, waste, etc.) (IEA 2012). The most problematic GHG, particularly due to released quantities, is carbon dioxide originated by fossil fuels combustion (60 per cent), which is mainly due to thermal and electric energy production (46 per cent) and transport (road, aviation, maritime, etc.; 23 per cent). Thus, fossil fuel is both the most widespread energy source and one of the biggest problems of modern society, due to its environmental impact and due to growing concern about the security of supply. All of these factors, together with a vision of development accompanied by energy independence, have led many countries (ie Europe, the United States, Brazil, India, China) to consider the production of energy from renewable sources, such as biomass, as an alternative to fossil fuels.
The term biomass encompasses a range of materials of heterogeneous nature with an organic matrix, able to be renewed and converted into energy. Biomass is the raw material for the production of biofuels for the transport sector, as well as of electricity and heat. In general, biomass can be considered a reservoir of solar energy captured and forfeited through the photosynthetic and metabolic processes of living organisms. Although also true for fossil fuels (coal, oil), which embed solar energy, they are relics of the geological past and cannot be renewed. In this context, energy crops should play an important role in the short-to-medium term in the replacement of fossil fuels, with global expansion of cultivated areas.
Farmer field schools (FFSs) were conducted in southern India to reduce pesticide input and enhance sustainability of cotton production systems. This study was carried out to determine the additional benefits of FFSs in the social and economic arena, using the sustainable livelihoods (SL) concept to frame the evaluation. Farmers who had participated in the integrated pest management (IPM) FFSs perceived a range of impacts much beyond the adoption of IPM practices. The reduced cost of cultivation allowed for financial recovery from debt and the building of physical assets. IPMFFS households and production systems were perceived by the participants to have become more economically resilient than Non-IPMFFS control groups when faced with adversity. In the participants' view, IPMFFSs also led to enhanced individual and community social well-being, a benefit valued in particular by the women participants. The study tested a new application of the SL conceptual framework as a tool for evaluation.
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