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Coffee and green tea are two of the most widely consumed hot beverages in the world. Their respective bioavailability has been studied separately, but absorption of their respective bioactive phenolics has not been compared. In a randomised cross-over design, nine healthy subjects drank instant coffee and green tea. Blood samples were collected over 12 h and at 24 h to assess return to baseline. After green tea consumption, ( − )-epigallocatechin (EGC) was the major catechin, appearing rapidly in the plasma; ( − )-EGC gallate (EGCg) and ( − )-epicatechin (EC) were also present, but ( − )-EC gallate and C were not detected. Dihydroferulic acid and dihydrocaffeic acid were the major metabolites that appeared after coffee consumption with a long time needed to reach maximum plasma concentration, suggesting metabolism and absorption in the colon. Other phenolic acid equivalents (caffeic acid (CA), ferulic acid (FA) and isoferulic acid (iFA)) were detected earlier, and they peaked at lower concentrations. Summations of the plasma area under the curves (AUC) for the measured metabolites showed 1·7-fold more coffee-derived phenolic acids than green tea-derived catechins (P = 0·0014). Furthermore, we found a significant correlation between coffee metabolites based on AUC. Inter-individual differences were observed, but individuals with a high level of CA also showed a correspondingly high level of FA. However, no such correlation was observed between the tea catechins and coffee phenolic acids. Correlation between AUC and maximum plasma concentration was also significant for CA, FA and iFA and for EGCg. This implies that the mechanisms of absorption for these two classes of compounds are different, and that a high absorber of phenolic acids is not necessarily a high absorber of catechins.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with a higher cardiovascular risk and there has been a growing interest in using dietary intervention to improve lipid profile and glucose control. The present work aims at analysing the effects of the enrichment of a normal diet with β-glucan (3·5 g/d) in free-living type 2 diabetic subjects for 2 months, using a palatable soup. This trial was a parallel, placebo-controlled, double-blinded randomised study performed in fifty-three type 2 diabetic subjects. During a 3-week run-in period, subjects daily consumed a ready meal control soup (without β-glucan). For the following 8 weeks, subjects were randomly assigned to consume daily either a control soup or a β-glucan soup. Changes in lipid profile (total cholesterol (TC), HDL- and LDL-cholesterol (HDLc and LDLc), apo B and TAG) and in glucose control (HbA1c and fasting glucose) were measured. There was no significant alteration in lipid profile in the two groups (TC, HDLc, LDLc and apo B). TAG decreased significantly in the β-glucan group compared with the control group ( − 0·12 (sd 0·38) v. 0·12 (sd 0·44) mmol/l, P = 0·03). HbA1c and fasting glucose were not reduced in any group. A single daily ingestion of 3·5 g β-glucan, as required by official dietary recommendations, for 8 weeks did not change the lipid profile and HbA1c in type 2 diabetic subjects. To improve the metabolic profile of type 2 diabetic subjects in the long term, the quantity, the food vectors and the tolerability of β-glucan products may be re-evaluated.
Probiotics and long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) may be beneficial supplements for infants who are not breast-fed. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the safety of an infant formula containing the LC-PUFA DHA and arachidonic acid (AA) and the probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis by comparing the growth rate of infants fed the supplemented and unsupplemented formulas. One hundred and forty-two healthy, term infants were enrolled in a single-centre, randomised, double-blind, controlled, parallel-group trial, and allocated to receive either standard or probiotic and LC-PUFA-containing experimental formulas. The infants were fed with their assigned formulas for 7 months. The primary outcome (weight gain) and the secondary outcomes (length, head circumference and formula tolerance) were measured throughout the study. LC-PUFA status was assessed at 4 months of age and immune response to childhood vaccines was measured at 7 months of age. There was no significant difference in growth between the two groups. The 90 % CI for the difference in mean weight gain was − 0·08, 3·1 g in the intention-to-treat population and 0·1–3·8 g in the per protocol population, which lay within the predefined boundaries of equivalence, − 3·9–3·9. There were no significant differences in mean length and head circumference. DHA and AA concentrations were higher in infants in the experimental formula group compared with the control formula group. No influence of the supplements on the response to vaccines was observed. Growth characteristics of term infants fed the starter formula containing a probiotic and LC-PUFA were similar to standard formula-fed infants.
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