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I had been working on the endocrine and signalling role of white adipose tissue (WAT) since 1994 following the identification of the ob (Lep) gene(1), this after some 15 years investigating the physiological role of brown adipose tissue. The ob gene, a mutation in which it is responsible for the profound obesity of ob/ob (Lepob/Lepob) mice, is expressed primarily in white adipocytes and encodes the pleiotropic hormone leptin. The discovery of this adipocyte hormone had wide-ranging implications, including that white fat has multiple functions that far transcend the traditional picture of a simple lipid storage organ.
Excessive hepatic glycogen accumulation commonly impairs hepatocytes function and further produces negative effects on growth and health status of carnivorous fish. A 9-week feeding trial was conducted to explore the potential regulation of resveratrol (RSV) on high-carbohydrate-induced glycogen deposition and immune response of largemouth bass. Results showed that high dietary carbohydrate (10 % inclusion of starch) led to hepatic glycogen accumulation and post-prandial hyperglycemia compared with the diet with 5 % starch, which was both alleviated with the inclusion of RSV. The use of RSV promoted the expression of sirtuin 1, which was down-regulated by high dietary carbohydrate. Meanwhile, RSV inclusion promoted the expression of genes involved in insulin pathway and glycolysis and inhibited the expression of gluconeogenesis-related genes. Additionally, high dietary carbohydrate significantly reduced lysozyme content but increased complement C4 content, which were both reversed with RSV supplementation. Meanwhile, RSV inclusion inhibited the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines but promoted anti-inflammatory cytokines expression, compared with the high carbohydrate treatment. In conclusion, RSV inclusion was beneficial in alleviating high-dietary-carbohydrate-induced glycogen accumulation and immune response in largemouth bass.
Fibre content and its effect on chyme viscosity are associated with changes in the digestive system of humans and pigs. It is unclear if fibre content and viscosity affect digestive function independently or interactively. We evaluated apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of nutrients and intestinal function in thirty-six ileal-cannulated barrows fed for 29 d either maize–soyabean meal (MSBM) or high-fibre MSBM + 30 % distillers dried grains with solubles (MSBM + DDGS) modified to three levels of viscosity by adding 5 % non-viscous cellulose (CEL), 6·5 % medium-viscous carboxymethylcellulose (MCMC) or 6·5 % high-viscous CMC (HCMC). Digesta were collected on days 27 and 28 and intestinal samples on day 29. Feeding CMC, regardless of fibre content, increased viscosity of whole digesta (P = 0·003) and digesta supernatant (P < 0·0001) compared with CEL. Feeding MSBM + DDGS or CMC decreased AID of DM (P = 0·003; P < 0·0001) and crude protein (P = 0·02; P < 0·0001) compared with MSBM or CEL. Feeding CMC regardless of fibre content increased jejunal crypt depth (P = 0·02) and ileal goblet cell area (P = 0·004) compared with CEL. Adding DDGS or CMC did not affect villus height and gene expression of jejunal monosaccharide and amino acid transporters. Feeding HCMC, regardless of fibre content, elevated amylase activity by 46 and 50 % in jejunal (P = 0·03) and ileal digesta (P = 0·01) compared with CEL. In summary, diets with increased viscosity decreased nutrient digestibility and induced intestinal changes that were independent of the amount of fibre fed.
The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of different supplemental fat sources (soyabean oil (SBO) as a source of n-6 fatty acid (FA) and fish oil (FO) as a source of n-3 FA) in the starter feed of milk-fed dairy calves during the hot season. Forty Holstein calves (3 d of age; 39·67 kg of body weight; ten calves per group) were randomly assigned to the experimental treatments as follows: (1) starter feed supplemented with no fat source (CON), (2) starter feed supplemented with 3 % SBO (DM basis), (3) starter feed supplemented with 3 % FO (DM basis) and (4) starter feed supplemented with an equal mixture of SBO and FO (1·5 % each, DM basis). The milk feeding schedule was constant for treatments and all calves were weaned on day 65 of age. Results show that calves had greater starter intake, average daily gain and body length when fed SBO compared with the other treatments. However, feed efficiency was increased and inflammatory indicators (TNF-α, serum amyloid A and haptoglobin) concentrations were reduced in the calves fed FO compared with the other treatments. In summary, it was revealed that SBO rich in n-6 FA improved starter intake and growth performance, while FO rich in n-3 FA could improve the immune function of calves. Due to the current experimental condition, an equal mixture of SBO and FO (1·5 % each, DM basis) can be recommended to have an optimum growth performance and immune function while the calves are reared under the heat conditions.
Commercial diets for tilapia juveniles contain high levels of plant protein sources. Soybean meal has been utilised due to its high protein content; however, soy-based diets are limited in methionine (Met) and require its supplementation to fulfil fish requirements. dl-Methinone (dl-Met) and Ca bis-methionine hydroxyl analogue (MHA-Ca) are synthetic Met sources supplemented in aquafeeds, which may differ in biological efficiency due to structural differences. The present study evaluated the effect of both methionine sources on metabolism and growth of Nile tilapia. A growth trial was performed using three isonitrogenous and isoenergetic diets, containing plant ingredients as protein sources: DLM and MHA diets were supplemented on equimolar levels of Met, while REF diet was not supplemented. Hepatic free Met and one-carbon metabolites were determined in fish fed for 57 d. Metabolism of dl-Met and MHA was analysed by an in vivo time-course trial using 14C-labelled tracers. Only dl-Met supplementation significantly increased final body weight and improved feed conversion and protein efficiency ratios compared with the REF diet. Our findings indicate that Met in DLM fed fish follows the transsulphuration pathway, while in fish fed MHA and REF diets it is remethylated. The in vivo trial revealed that 14C-dl-Met is absorbed faster and more retained than 14C-MHA, resulting in a greater availability of free Met in the tissues when fish is fed with DLM diet. Our study indicates that dietary dl-Met supplementation improves growth performance and N retention, and that Met absorption and utilisation are influenced by the dietary source in tilapia juveniles.
The importance of Zn for human health becomes obvious during Zn deficiency. Even mild insufficiencies of Zn cause alterations in haematopoiesis and immune functions, resulting in a proinflammatory phenotype and a disturbed redox metabolism. Although immune system malfunction has the most obvious effect, the functions of several tissue cell types are disturbed if Zn supply is limiting. Adhesion molecules and tight junction proteins decrease, while cell death increases, generating barrier dysfunction and possibly organ failure. Taken together, Zn deficiency both weakens the resistance of the human body towards pathogens and at the same time increases the danger of an overactive immune response that may cause tissue damage. The case numbers of Corona Virus Disease 19 (COVID-19) are still increasing, which is causing enormous problems for health systems and economies. There is an urgent need to reduce both the number of severe cases and the resulting deaths. While therapeutic options are still under investigation, and first vaccines have been approved, cost-effective ways to reduce the likelihood of or even prevent infection, and the transition from mild symptoms to more serious detrimental disease, are highly desirable. Nutritional supplementation might be an effective option to achieve these aims. In this review, we discuss known Zn deficiency effects in the context of an infection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 and its currently known pathogenic mechanisms and elaborate on how severe pre-existing Zn deficiency may pre-dispose patients to a severe progression of COVID-19. First published clinical data on the association of Zn homoeostasis with COVID-19 and registered studies in progress are listed.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin with an array of biological functions. A number of proposed factors contribute to the vitamin’s plasma bioavailability and ability to exert optimal functionality. The aim of this review was to systematically assess plasma vitamin C levels post-surgery compared with pre-surgery/the magnitude and time frame of potential changes in concentration. We searched the PUBMED, SCOPUS, SciSearch and the Cochrane Library databases between 1970 and April 2020 for relevant research papers. Prospective studies, control groups and true placebo groups derived from controlled trials that reported means and standard deviations of plasma vitamin C concentrations pre- and postoperatively were included into the meta-analysis. Data were grouped into short-term (≤7 d) and long-term (>7 d) postoperative follow-up. Twenty-three of thirty-one studies involving 642 patients included in the systematic review were suitable for meta-analysis. Pooled data from the meta-analysis revealed a mean depletion of plasma vitamin C concentration of −17·99 µmol/l (39 % depletion) (CI −22·81, −13·17) (trial arms = 25, n 565, P < 0·001) during the first postoperative week and −18·80 µmol/l (21 % depletion) (CI −25·04, −12·56) (trial arms = 6, n 166, P < 0·001) 2–3 months postoperatively. Subgroup analyses revealed that these depletions occurred following different types of surgery; however, high heterogeneity was observed amongst trials assessing concentration change during the first postoperative week. Overall, our results warrant larger, long-term investigations of changes in postoperative plasma vitamin C concentrations and their potential effects on clinical symptomology.
We aimed to assess the effects of spirulina supplementation during gradual weight loss on serum concentrations of follistatin (FST), myostatin (MST), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and body composition in competitive wrestlers. Forty competitive wrestlers (age: 22 (sem 2) years) were randomly assigned to one of two groups: gradual weight loss + spirulina (SP; n 20) or gradual weight loss + placebo (PL; n 20). Subjects in both groups lost weight according to a designed diet over 12 d and were required to reduce baseline body mass (BM) by 4%. Subjects in the SP group received two tablets of spirulina, while subjects in the PL received two tablets of placebo before each meal. Concentrations of mentioned serum markers and body composition were measured before and after the interventions. BM (SP = −3·1 kg and PL = −2·9 kg), body fat percentage (BFP) (SP = −2·1 % and PL = −0·6 %), fat mass (FM) (SP = −2·2 kg and PL = −0·9 kg) and skeletal muscle mass (SP = −1·4 kg and PL = −1·5 kg) significantly decreased in both groups (P < 0·05). The changes in BFP and FM were significantly greater in SP compared with the PL group (P < 0·001). Additionally, MST (SP = −0·1 ng/ml), AST (SP = −2·1 u/l) and ALT (SP = −2·7 u/l) concentrations significantly diminished in SP group (P = 0·005), while FST (PL = −0·1 ng/ml) and IGF-1 (PL = −2·6 ng/ml) concentrations significantly decreased in PL group (P < 0·05). Spirulina supplementation during gradual weight loss is beneficial in reducing BFP, FM, MST and liver enzymes while maintaining IGF-1 and FST concentrations in competitive wrestlers.
Legumes are rich sources of essential nutrients, and their potential health benefits were reported in many studies. Several studies showed a positive effect of legumes on obesity, but randomised clinical trials are limited in the Korean population. The present intervention study investigated the impact of legumes on body weight in obese Korean subjects. A total of 400 participants (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) were randomised into two groups. The legume-enriched diet (LD) group replaced one-third of their refined rice consumption with legumes three times per day as a carbohydrate source. In contrast, the usual diet (UD) group consumed their UD. The mean weight loss at 12 weeks was 2·87 (sem 0·21) kg and 0·17 (sem 0·11) kg in the LD and UD, respectively, which was significantly different between the groups (P < 0·001). HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin levels were increased, and levels of glucose, insulin, TAG, and 8-epi-PGF2α and the homoeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (IR) index value decreased at 12 weeks compared with baseline in the LD. The consumption of legumes may accelerate weight loss accompanied by regulation of adiponectin and 8-epi-PGF2α in obese subjects. In particular, legumes seemed to induce significant changes in BMI by increasing adiponectin in females. Additionally, increases in plasma adiponectin due to greater substantial weight loss may be related to the improvement in IR.
Low protein intake may accelerate age-related loss of lean mass and physical function. We investigated the prevalence of low protein intake (<1·0 g/kg/day) and the associations between dietary patterns, modifiable risk factors and low protein intake in self-reliant community-dwelling adults ≥ 80 years. This cross-sectional study consisted of two home visits. Data collection consisted of physical measurements (e.g. physical function, physical activity) and self-report of nutritional intake (4-d food records), appetite, eating symptoms and medical conditions. Binary analyses were performed to compare participants with low and normal protein intake. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate associations between low protein intake, dietary patterns and modifiable risk factors adjusted for age, sex, BMI categories and diseases. One hundred twenty-six were included in the study. Prevalence of low protein intake was 54 %. A greater day-to-day variation in protein intake was associated with low protein intake (adjusted OR 2·5; 95 % CI 1·14, 5·48). Participants with low protein intake had a higher prevalence of nausea, diarrhoea and mouth dryness. Reduced appetite, mouth dryness and pain increased odds of low protein intake (adjusted OR 3·06, 95 % CI 1·23, 7·63; OR 3·41, 95 % CI 1·51, 7·7; OR 1·54, 95 % CI 1·00, 2·36, respectively). There was a high prevalence of low protein intake in community-dwelling adults aged ≥ 80 years. Day-to-day variability, appetite, mouth dryness and pain may be potentially modifiable risk factors. Targeting dietary patterns and risk factors in primary prevention strategies may potentially improve intake of protein and minimise risk of physical frailty.
Previous studies have shown that intake of sugary drinks in Mexico has increased, while intake of whole milk has decreased. Yet, in-depth analyses of the changes in solid foods, overall and in specific generations and urban/rural subpopulation, are scarce. We aimed to analyse changes in solid foods intake in Mexican children, adolescent girls and adult women through a single 24-h dietary recall from the Mexican Nutrition Survey 1999 (n 5627) and 2012 (n 6712). Foods were classified into twenty-two healthy and unhealthy food groups without considering beverages. We estimated the crude and adjusted change in the energy contribution of solid foods by age group and birth cohort and tested if the changes differed by urban/rural area. The contribution of fruits, vegetables and unsweetened dairy increased, while sweet bread from bakery decreased. However, the total contribution of healthy food groups (67–70 % kj in 1999) decreased −4·3 and −7·2 percentage points (pp) (P < 0·05) among children and adolescents, respectively, but only −1·7 pp (P > 0·05) among adult women. Likewise, those born in 1980–1984 changed little in comparison with those born in 1993–1997, and there were greater increases in unhealthy foods in urban compared with rural areas. In conclusion, from 1999 to 2012, there were negative changes in the intake of foods, specifically healthy foods, which mainly affected Mexican youth. These findings, along with previous reports on the increased intake of sugary drinks in the same population, that emphasise the need to reinforce strategies aimed at improving dietary intake of the Mexican population need to be reinforced.
With over 1·3 million Anganwadi centres (AWC) (meaning ‘courtyard shelter’), the Indian government runs a nationwide intervention providing nutrition supplement to pregnant mothers to improve the health of their children. Using two successive rounds of the nationally representative cross-sectional National Family Health Survey data (collected during 2005–2006 and 2015–2016) of India, we assessed whether nutrition supplements given to pregnant mothers through AWC were associated with select child health indicators – extremely low birth weight (ELBW), very low birth weight (VLBW), low birth weight (LBW) and neonatal mortality (death during day 0–27) stratified by death during day 0–1, day 2–6 and day 7–27. A total of 148 019 children and 205 593 children were eligible for analysing birth weight and neonatal mortality, respectively. OR with 95% CI, estimated from multivariate logistic regression models, suggest that receipt of nutrition supplements was associated with decreased risk of VLBW (OR: 0·73, 95% CI 0·63, 0·83, P < 0·001), LBW (OR: 0·92, 95% CI 0·88, 0·96, P < 0·001), but not ELBW (OR: 0·80, 95% CI 0·56, 1·15, P = 0·226). Women who always received nutrition supplements during their pregnancy saw lower risk of death of their neonates (OR: 0·67, 95% CI 0·61, 0·73, P < 0·001), including death on day 0–1 (OR: 0·66, 95% CI 0·58, 0·74, P < 0·001), day 2–6 (OR: 0·69, 95% CI 0·58, 0·82, P < 0·001) and day 7–27 (OR: 0·68, 95% CI 0·53, 0·87, P = 0·002). Therefore, nutritional supplementation to pregnant mothers appears to be helpful in deterring various stages of neonatal mortality, VLBW and LBW, though it might not be effective in mitigating ELBW. Findings were discussed considering possible limitations of the study.
Pandemics and subsequent lifestyle restrictions such as ‘lockdowns’ may have unintended consequences, including alterations in body weight. This systematic review assesses the impact of pandemic confinement on body weight and identifies contributory factors. A comprehensive literature search was performed in seven electronic databases and in grey sources from their inception until 1 July 2020 with an update in PubMed and Scopus on 1 February 2021. In total, 2361 unique records were retrieved, of which forty-one studies were identified eligible: one case–control study, fourteen cohort and twenty-six cross-sectional studies (469, 362 total participants). The participants ranged in age from 6 to 86 years. The proportion of female participants ranged from 37 % to 100 %. Pandemic confinements were associated with weight gain in 7·2–72·4 % of participants and weight loss in 11·1–32·0 % of participants. Weight gain ranged from 0·6 (sd 1·3) to 3·0 (sd 2·4) kg, and weight loss ranged from 2·0 (sd 1·4) to 2·9 (sd 1·5) kg. Weight gain occurred predominantly in participants who were already overweight or obese. Associated factors included increased consumption of unhealthy food with changes in physical activity and altered sleep patterns. Weight loss during the pandemic was observed in individuals with previous low weight, and those who ate less and were more physically active before lockdown. Maintaining a stable weight was more difficult in populations with reduced income, particularly in individuals with lower educational attainment. The findings of this systematic review highlight the short-term effects of pandemic confinements.