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Moringa oleifera, a traditional Indian herb, is widely known for its capacity to induce antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other chemoprotective effects in a broad range of biomedical models. These perspectives have led to an extensive number of studies using various moringa extracts to evaluate its capacity to protect biological systems from oxidative stress and to explore whether it could be used to slow the onset of numerous age-related conditions and diseases. Moringa extracts have also been applied to prevent damage to plants from oxidative and saline stresses, following hormetic dose–response patterns. The present paper provides the first integrated and mechanistically based assessment showing that moringa extracts commonly induce hormetic dose responses and that many, perhaps most, of the beneficial effects of moringa are due to its capacity to act as an hormetic agent.
Culinary medicine (CM) represents a novel strategy to promote healthy ageing, as it improves adherence to healthy dietary patterns by providing nutritional education and training in cooking skills. We conducted a comprehensive review of the current scientific literature (2011–2022) concerning CM programmes implemented among participants over the age of 40. This review includes fourteen culinary-nutritional interventions. Each CM programme was analysed according to seven variables: health goal, study design, theoretical basis of the intervention, intervention duration, main outcomes, culinary intervention and the effectiveness of intervention. Although CM programmes showed low effectiveness in achieving positive results on psychosocial outcomes, they were successful in improving dietary intake and health-related outcomes. The interventions lasting for at least 5 months and employing study designs with two or more groups seemed to be important factors associated with achieving significant results. Significant results were observed regardless of the prevention phase defined as the health objective of the CM programme. The use of theoretical frameworks as an educational resource did not influence the effectiveness of the interventions. Other variables such as the inclusion of culinary outcomes, the optimisation of the culinary curriculum taught to the participants and the participation of a chef in the intervention are factors that should be taken into account. In addition, several educational components (cooking classes, hands-on cooking, free food delivery, individualized counselling) were promising for achieving health outcomes in ageing people. Our review has shown that CM programmes can be a powerful tool to improve the health status of ageing people.
Age is a risk factor for numerous diseases. Although the development of modern medicine has greatly extended the human lifespan, the duration of relatively healthy old age, or ‘healthspan’, has not increased. Targeting the detrimental processes that can occur before the onset of age-related diseases can greatly improve health and lifespan. Healthspan is significantly affected by what, when and how much one eats. Dietary restriction, including calorie restriction, fasting or fasting-mimicking diets, to extend both lifespan and healthspan has recently attracted much attention. However, direct scientific evidence that consuming specific foods extends the lifespan and healthspan seems lacking. Here, we synthesized the results of recent studies on the lifespan and healthspan extension properties of foods and their phytochemicals in various organisms to confirm how far the scientific research on the effect of food on the lifespan has reached.
A model explaining the dietary-protein-driven post-natal skeletal muscle growth and protein turnover in the rat is updated, and the mechanisms involved are described, in this narrative review. Dietary protein controls both bone length and muscle growth, which are interrelated through mechanotransduction mechanisms with muscle growth induced both from stretching subsequent to bone length growth and from internal work against gravity. This induces satellite cell activation, myogenesis and remodelling of the extracellular matrix, establishing a growth capacity for myofibre length and cross-sectional area. Protein deposition within this capacity is enabled by adequate dietary protein and other key nutrients. After briefly reviewing the experimental animal origins of the growth model, key concepts and processes important for growth are reviewed. These include the growth in number and size of the myonuclear domain, satellite cell activity during post-natal development and the autocrine/paracrine action of IGF-1. Regulatory and signalling pathways reviewed include developmental mechanotransduction, signalling through the insulin/IGF-1–PI3K–Akt and the Ras–MAPK pathways in the myofibre and during mechanotransduction of satellite cells. Likely pathways activated by maximal-intensity muscle contractions are highlighted and the regulation of the capacity for protein synthesis in terms of ribosome assembly and the translational regulation of 5-TOPmRNA classes by mTORC1 and LARP1 are discussed. Evidence for and potential mechanisms by which volume limitation of muscle growth can occur which would limit protein deposition within the myofibre are reviewed. An understanding of how muscle growth is achieved allows better nutritional management of its growth in health and disease.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death worldwide. From this perspective, the role of vitamin E and its metabolites in preventing CVD has been studied, being supported by the findings that low vitamin E concentrations are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events. Despite this, no studies have analysed the co-existence of vitamin E deficiency (VED) and CVD on the basis of population studies. Facing that, this study summarises information on the relationship between vitamin E status and CVD, providing a basis for understanding the determining and protective factors for its development. VED may be a public health problem since it has been observed to vary from 0·6% to 55·5% worldwide, with higher percentages in Asia and Europe, where CVD mortality rates stand out. Intervention studies with α-tocopherol supplementation do not confirm cardioprotective action of vitamin E, which may reflect that α-tocopherol alone does not provide cardiovascular protection to individuals, but the consumption of all isomers found in food. Considering that low concentrations of α-tocopherol can lead to a higher susceptibility to diseases involving oxidative stress in the population, in addition to the high and growing prevalence of CVD and VED, it is essential to investigate or reinterpret the mechanisms of action of vitamin E and its metabolites in the cardiovascular process to better understand the co-existence of CVD and VED. It is also important to implement public health policies and programmes aimed at promoting the consumption of natural food sources of vitamin E and healthy fats.
Despite over a decade of both quantitative and qualitative studies, food insecurity among US college/university students remains a pervasive problem within higher education. The purpose of this perspective piece was to highlight research gaps in the area of college food insecurity and provide rationale for the research community to focus on these gaps going forward. A group of food insecurity researchers from a variety of higher education institutions across the United States identified five thematic areas of research gaps: screening and estimates of food insecurity; longitudinal changes in food insecurity; impact of food insecurity on broader health and academic outcomes; evaluation of impact, sustainability and cost effectiveness of existing programmes and initiatives; and state and federal policies and programmes. Within these thematic areas, nineteen specific research gaps were identified that have limited or no peer-reviewed, published research. These research gaps result in a limited understanding of the magnitude, severity and persistence of college food insecurity, the negative short- and long-term impacts of food insecurity on health, academic performance and overall college experience, and effective solutions and policies to prevent or meaningfully address food insecurity among college students. Research in these identified priority areas may help accelerate action and interdisciplinary collaboration to alleviate food insecurity among college students and play a critical role in informing the development or refinement of programmes and services that better support college student food security needs.
Polydatin is an active polyphenol displaying multifaceted benefits. Recently, growing studies have noticed its potential therapeutic effects on bone and joint disorders (BJDs). Therefore, this article reviews recent in vivo and in vitro progress on the protective role of polydatin against BJDs. An insight into the underlying mechanisms is also presented. It was found that polydatin could promote osteogenesis in vitro, and symptom improvements have been disclosed with animal models of osteoporosis, osteosarcoma, osteoarthritis and rheumatic arthritis. These beneficial effects obtained in laboratory could be mainly attributed to the bone metabolism-regulating, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, apoptosis-regulating and autophagy-regulating functions of polydatin. However, studies on human subjects with BJDs that can lead to early identification of the clinical efficacy and adverse effects of polydatin have not been reported yet. Accordingly, this review serves as a starting point for pursuing clinical trials. Additionally, future emphasis should also be devoted to the low bioavailability and prompt metabolism nature of polydatin. In summary, well-designed clinical trials of polydatin in patients with BJD are in demand, and its pharmacokinetic nature must be taken into account.
Increasing research has been conducted on the role of probiotics in disease treatment. Kefir, a safe, low-cost probiotic fermented milk drink, has been investigated in many in vitro and animal studies, although parameters for human therapeutic dose or treatment time have not yet been determined. Here we perform a scoping review of clinical studies that have used kefir as a therapeutic agent, compiling the results for perspectives to support and direct further research. This review was based on Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines, including studies on the effects of kefir-fermented milk in humans. Using the term KEFIR, the main international databases were searched for studies published in English, Spanish or Portuguese until 9 March 2022. A total of 5835 articles were identified in the four databases, with forty-four eligible for analysis. The research areas were classified as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal health/disorders, maternal/child health and paediatrics, dentistry, oncology, women’s and geriatric health, and dermatology. The many study limitations hampered generalisation of the results. The small sample sizes, methodological variation and differences in kefir types, dosage and treatment duration prevented clear conclusions about its benefits for specific diseases. We suggest using a standard therapeutic dose of traditionally prepared kefir in millilitres according to body weight, making routine consumption more feasible. The studies showed that kefir is safe for people without serious illnesses.
Social media data are rapidly evolving and accessible, which presents opportunities for research. Data science techniques, such as sentiment or emotion analysis which analyse textual emotion, provide an opportunity to gather insight from social media. This paper describes a systematic scoping review of interdisciplinary evidence to explore how sentiment or emotion analysis methods alongside other data science methods have been used to examine nutrition, food and cooking social media content. A PRISMA search strategy was used to search nine electronic databases in November 2020 and January 2022. Of 7325 studies identified, thirty-six studies were selected from seventeen countries, and content was analysed thematically and summarised in an evidence table. Studies were published between 2014 and 2022 and used data from seven different social media platforms (Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, Sina Weibo and mixed platforms). Five themes of research were identified: dietary patterns, cooking and recipes, diet and health, public health and nutrition and food in general. Papers developed a sentiment or emotion analysis tool or used available open-source tools. Accuracy to predict sentiment ranged from 33·33% (open-source engine) to 98·53% (engine developed for the study). The average proportion of sentiment was 38·8% positive, 46·6% neutral and 28·0% negative. Additional data science techniques used included topic modelling and network analysis. Future research requires optimising data extraction processes from social media platforms, the use of interdisciplinary teams to develop suitable and accurate methods for the subject and the use of complementary methods to gather deeper insights into these complex data.
The cornerstone of obesity treatment is behavioural weight management, resulting in significant improvements in cardio-metabolic and psychosocial health. However, there is ongoing concern that dietary interventions used for weight management may precipitate the development of eating disorders. Systematic reviews demonstrate that, while for most participants medically supervised obesity treatment improves risk scores related to eating disorders, a subset of people who undergo obesity treatment may have poor outcomes for eating disorders. This review summarises the background and rationale for the formation of the Eating Disorders In weight-related Therapy (EDIT) Collaboration. The EDIT Collaboration will explore the complex risk factor interactions that precede changes to eating disorder risk following weight management. In this review, we also outline the programme of work and design of studies for the EDIT Collaboration, including expected knowledge gains. The EDIT studies explore risk factors and the interactions between them using individual-level data from international weight management trials. Combining all available data on eating disorder risk from weight management trials will allow sufficient sample size to interrogate our hypothesis: that individuals undertaking weight management interventions will vary in their eating disorder risk profile, on the basis of personal characteristics and intervention strategies available to them. The collaboration includes the integration of health consumers in project development and translation. An important knowledge gain from this project is a comprehensive understanding of the impact of weight management interventions on eating disorder risk.
The golden spice turmeric with its main bioactive component curcumin is one of the most popular and extensively studied nutraceuticals. Despite numerous pre-clinical studies reporting positive pharmacodynamics of turmeric extracts and curcumin, the main issues in translating the pharmacological effects to clinical efficacy have been to overcome its poor pharmacokinetics and to deliver significant amounts of the biologically relevant forms of the actives to various tissues. This review is aimed at providing a first critical evaluation of the current published literature with the novel curcumagalactomannoside (CGM) formulation of curcumin using fenugreek galactomannan dietary fibre, specifically designed to address curcumin poor pharmacokinetics. We describe CGM and its technology as a food-grade formulation to deliver ‘free’ unconjugated curcuminoids with enhanced bioavailability and improved pharmacokinetic properties. The therapeutic relevance of improving bioavailability of ‘free’ curcuminoids and some of the technical challenges in the measurement of the ‘free’ form of curcuminoids in plasma and tissues are also discussed. A total of twenty-six manuscripts are reviewed here, including fourteen pre-clinical and twelve clinical studies that have investigated CGM pharmacokinetics, safety and efficacy in various animal models and human conditions. Overall current scientific evidence suggests CGM formulation has improved bioavailability and tissue distribution of the biologically relevant unconjugated forms of turmeric actives called ‘free’ curcuminoids that may be responsible for the superior clinical outcomes reported with CGM treatments in comparison with unformulated standard curcumin across multiple studies.
Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC n-3 PUFA) supplements, rich in eicosapentaenoic acid and/or docosahexaenoic acid, are increasingly being recommended within athletic institutions. However, the wide range of doses, durations and study designs implemented across trials makes it difficult to provide clear recommendations. The importance of study design characteristics in LC n-3 PUFA trials has been detailed in cardiovascular disease research, and these considerations may guide LC n-3 PUFA study design in healthy cohorts. This systematic review examined the quality of studies and study design considerations used in evaluating the evidence for LC n-3 PUFA improving performance in physically trained adults. SCOPUS, PubMed and Web of Science electronic databases were searched to identify studies that supplemented LC n-3 PUFA in physically trained participants. Forty-six (n = 46) studies met inclusion. Most studies used a randomised control design. Risk of bias, assessed using the design-appropriate Cochrane Collaboration tool, revealed that studies had a predominant judgment of ‘some concerns’, ‘high risk’ or ‘moderate risk’ in randomised controlled, randomised crossover or non-randomised studies, respectively. A custom five-point quality assessment scale demonstrated that no study satisfied all recommendations for LC n-3 PUFA study design. This review has highlighted that the disparate range of study designs is likely contributing to the inconclusive state of outcomes pertaining to LC n-3 PUFA as a potential ergogenic aid. Further research must adequately account for the specific LC n-3 PUFA study design considerations, underpinned by a clear hypothesis, to achieve evidence-based dose, duration and composition recommendations for physically trained individuals.
Livestock keeping can positively influence the nutritional status of populations and households through increased consumption of animal-source foods (ASF) and other indirect pathways, but can also adversely affect health by increasing the risk of diseases. We conducted a systematic review synthesising the current state of knowledge on the associations among livestock keeping, infectious disease and the nutritional status of children under 5 years and women of reproductive age in low- and lower–middle-income countries (LMICs). A comprehensive search of 12 electronic databases and grey literature sources published from 1991 to the end of December 2020 was conducted. Investigations exploring relationships between livestock keeping and risk of infectious disease transmission and nutritional status were selected using pre-defined inclusion criteria. After screening and filtering of 34,402 unique references, 176 references were included in the final synthesis. Most (160/176, 90.1%) of the references included in the final synthesis were from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and Asia. About two out of every five (42%) studies reviewed showed that livestock production is associated with improved height-for-age Z scores (HAZ) and weight-for-length/height Z scores (WHZ), while close to a third (30.7%) with improved weight-for-age Z scores (WAZ). Similarly, livestock production showed a positive or neutral relationship with women’s nutritional status in almost all the references that reported on the topic. Conversely, four-fifths (66/81, 79.5%) of the references reporting on infection and morbidity outcomes indicated that livestock keeping is linked to a wide range of infectious disease outcomes, which are spread primarily through water, food and insects. In conclusion, in many LMIC settings, livestock production is associated with better nutritional outcomes but also a higher risk of disease transmission or morbidity among women and children.
This review was prospectively registered on PROSPERO 2020 [CRD42020193622]
The rates of dietary protein digestion and absorption can be significantly increased or decreased by food processing treatments such as heating, gelling and enzymatic hydrolysis, with subsequent metabolic impacts, e.g. on muscle synthesis and glucose homeostasis.
This review examines in vivo evidence that industrial and domestic food processing modify the kinetics of amino acid release and absorption following a protein-rich meal. It focuses on studies that used compositionally-matched test meals processed in different ways.
Food processing at extremely high temperature at alkaline pH and/or in the presence of reducing sugars can modify amino acid sidechains, leading to loss of bioavailability. Some protein-rich food ingredients are deliberately aggregated, gelled or hydrolysed during manufacture. Hydrolysis accelerates protein digestion/absorption and increases splanchnic utilisation. Aggregation and gelation may slow or accelerate proteolysis in the gut, depending on the aggregate/gel microstructure.
Milk, beef and eggs are heat processed prior to consumption to eliminate pathogens and improve palatability. The temperature and time of heating affect protein digestion and absorption rates, and effects are sometimes non-linear. In light of a dietary transition away from animal proteins, more research is needed on how food processing affects digestion and absorption of non-animal proteins.
Food processing modifies the microstructure of protein-rich foods, and thereby alters protein digestion and absorption kinetics in the stomach and small intestine. Exploiting this principle to optimise metabolic outcomes requires more human clinical trials in which amino acid absorption rates are measured and food microstructure is explicitly considered, measured and manipulated.
The clinical effectiveness of bariatric surgery has encouraged the use of bariatric procedures for the treatment of morbid obesity and its comorbidities, with sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass being the most common procedures. Notwithstanding its success, bariatric procedures are recognised to predispose the development of nutritional deficiencies. A framework is proposed that provides clarity regarding the immediate role of diet, the gastrointestinal tract and the medical state of the patient in the development of nutritional deficiencies after bariatric surgery, while highlighting different enabling resources that may contribute. Untreated, these nutritional deficiencies can progress in the short term into haematological, muscular and neurological complications and in the long term into skeletal complications. In this review, we explore the development of nutritional deficiencies after bariatric surgery through a newly developed conceptual framework. An in-depth understanding will enable the optimisation of the post-operative follow-up, including detecting clinical signs of complications, screening for laboratory abnormalities and treating nutritional deficiencies.
Many epidemiological studies have emphasised the relation between carotenoid dietary intake and their circulating concentrations and beneficial health effects, such as lower risk of cardiometabolic diseases and cancer. However, there is dispute as to whether the attributed health benefits are due to native carotenoids or whether they are instead induced by their metabolites. Several categories of metabolites have been reported, most notably involving (a) modifications at the cyclohexenyl ring or the polyene chain, such as epoxides and geometric isomers, (b) excentric cleavage metabolites with alcohol-, aldehyde- or carboxylic acid-functional groups or (c) centric cleaved metabolites with additional hydroxyl, aldehyde or carboxyl functionalities, not counting their potential phase-II glucuronidated / sulphated derivatives. Of special interest are the apo-carotenoids, which originate in the intestine and other tissues from carotenoid cleavage by β-carotene oxygenases 1/2 in a symmetrical / non-symmetrical fashion. These are more water soluble and more electrophilic and, therefore, putative candidates for interactions with transcription factors such as NF-kB and Nrf2, as well as ligands for RAR–RXR nuclear receptor interactions. In this review, we discuss in vivo detected apo-carotenoids, their reported tissue concentrations, and potential associated health effects, focusing exclusively on the human situation and based on quantified / semi-quantified carotenoid metabolites proven to be present in humans.
Understanding the transfer of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) as well as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from oral exposure into cow’s milk is not purely an experimental endeavour, as it has produced a large corpus of theoretical work. This work consists of a variety of predictive toxicokinetic models in the realms of health and environmental risk assessment and risk management. Their purpose is to provide mathematical predictive tools to organise and integrate knowledge on the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion processes. Toxicokinetic models are based on more than 50 years of transfer studies summarised in part I of this review series. Here in part II, several of these models are described and systematically classified with a focus on their applicability to risk analysis as well as their limitations. This part of the review highlights the opportunities and challenges along the way towards accurate, congener-specific predictive models applicable to changing animal breeds and husbandry conditions.
As we continue to elucidate the mechanisms underlying age-related brain diseases, the reductionist strategy in nutrition–brain function research has focused on establishing the impact of individual foods. However, the biological processes connecting diet and cognition are complex. Therefore, consideration of a combination of nutritional compounds may be most efficacious. One barrier to establishing the efficacy of multi-nutrient interventions is that the area lacks an established set of evidence-based guidelines for studying their effect on brain health. This review is an output of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Europe. A multi-disciplinary expert group was assembled with the aim of developing a set of considerations to guide research into the effects of multi-nutrient combinations on brain functions. Consensus recommendations converged on six key issues that should be considered to advance research in this area: (1) establish working mechanisms of the combination and contributions of each individual compound; (2) validate the relevance of the mechanisms for the targeted human condition; (3) include current nutrient status, intake or dietary pattern as inclusion/exclusion criteria in the study design; (4) select a participant population that is clinically and biologically appropriate for all nutritional components of the combination; (5) consider a range of cognitive outcomes; (6) consider the limits of reductionism and the ‘gold standard’ randomised controlled trial. These guiding principles will enhance our understanding of the interactive/complementary activities of dietary components, thereby strengthening the evidence base for recommendations aimed at delaying cognitive decline.
Polychlorinated dibenzo-para-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) (collectively and colloquially referred to as ‘dioxins’) as well as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent and ubiquitous environmental contaminants that may unintentionally enter and accumulate along the food chain. Owing to their chronic toxic effects in humans and bioaccumulative properties, their presence in feed and food requires particular attention. One important exposure pathway for consumers is consumption of milk and dairy products. Their transfer from feed to milk has been studied for the past 50 years to quantify the uptake and elimination kinetics. We extracted transfer parameters (transfer rate, transfer factor, biotransfer factor and elimination half-lives) in a machine-readable format from seventy-six primary and twenty-nine secondary literature items. Kinetic data for some toxicologically relevant dioxin congeners and the elimination half-lives of dioxin-like PCBs are still not available. A well-defined selection of transfer parameters from literature was statistically analysed and shown to display high variability. To understand this variability, we discuss the data with an emphasis on influencing factors, such as experimental conditions, cow performance parameters and metabolic state. While no universal interpretation could be derived, a tendency for increased transfer into milk is apparently connected to an increase in milk yield and milk fat yield as well as during times of body fat mobilisation, for example during the negative energy balance after calving. Over the past decades, milk yield has increased to over 40 kg/d during high lactation, so more research is needed on how this impacts feed to food transfer for PCDD/Fs and PCBs.
This review provides an overview of the barriers to the consumption of fruits and vegetables (FVs) as well as strategies to improve the intake of FVs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The importance of the consumption of FVs and its role in disease prevention are discussed briefly. Trends in the consumption of FVs in LMICs are also summarised. The WHO recommends that every individual should consume at least five servings or 400 grams of FVs per day. Epidemiological and clinical investigations have demonstrated that FVs contain numerous bioactive compounds with health-protecting activities. Despite their health benefits, the intake of FVs in LMICs remains low. Major barriers identified were socio-demographic factors, environmental conditions, individual and cultural factors, and macrosystem influences. These barriers may be lowered at the household, school, community, and national level through multi-component interventions including behaviour change communication (BCC) initiatives, nutrition education (NE), gardening initiatives, farm to institution programs (FIPs), food baskets, cash transfers, nutrition–agriculture policy and program linkages, and food-market environment-based strategies. This review has research implications due to the positive outcomes of strategies that lower such barriers and boost consumption of FVs in LMICs.