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With growing and ageing populations, the incidence of dementia is expected to triple globally by 2050. In the absence of effective drugs to treat or reverse the syndrome, dietary approaches which prevent or delay disease onset have considerable population health potential. Prospective epidemiological studies and mechanistic insight from experimental models strongly support a positive effect of a high fish and long chain n-3 fatty acid (EPA and DHA) intake on a range of cognitive outcomes and dementia risk, with effect sizes equivalent to several years of ageing between the highest and lowest consumers. As reviewed here, an effect of EPA and DHA on neuroinflammation and oxylipin production is likely to in part mediate the neurophysiological benefits. However, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with EPA and DHA supplementation have produced mixed findings. Insight into the likely modulators of response to intervention and factors which should be considered for future RCTs are given. Furthermore, the impact of APOE genotype on disease risk and response to EPA and DHA supplementation is summarised. The prevalence of dementia is several-fold higher in APOE4 females (about 13% Caucasian populations) relative to the general population, who are emerging as a subgroup who may particularly benefit from DHA intervention, prior to the development of significant pathology.
n-3 Fatty acids are associated with better cardiovascular and cognitive health. However, the concentration of EPA, DPA and DHA in different plasma lipid pools differs and factors influencing this heterogeneity are poorly understood. Our aim was to evaluate the association of oily fish intake, sex, age, BMI and APOE genotype with concentrations of EPA, DPA and DHA in plasma phosphatidylcholine (PC), NEFA, cholesteryl esters (CE) and TAG. Healthy adults (148 male, 158 female, age 20–71 years) were recruited according to APOE genotype, sex and age. The fatty acid composition was determined by GC. Oily fish intake was positively associated with EPA in PC, CE and TAG, DPA in TAG, and DHA in all fractions (P≤0·008). There was a positive association between age and EPA in PC, CE and TAG, DPA in NEFA and CE, and DHA in PC and CE (P≤0·034). DPA was higher in TAG in males than females (P<0·001). There was a positive association between BMI and DPA and DHA in TAG (P<0·006 and 0·02, respectively). APOE genotype×sex interactions were observed: the APOE4 allele associated with higher EPA in males (P=0·002), and there was also evidence for higher DPA and DHA (P≤0·032). In conclusion, EPA, DPA and DHA in plasma lipids are associated with oily fish intake, sex, age, BMI and APOE genotype. Such insights may be used to better understand the link between plasma fatty acid profiles and dietary exposure and may influence intake recommendations across population subgroups.
The aim of this review was to determine the impact of the fatty acid desaturase (FADS) genotype on plasma and tissue concentrations of the long-chain (LC) n-3 PUFA, including EPA and DHA, which are associated with the risk of several diet-related chronic diseases, including CVD. In addition to dietary intakes, which are low for many individuals, tissue EPA and DHA are also influenced by the rate of bioconversion from α-linolenic acid (αLNA). Δ-5 and Δ-6 desaturase enzymes, encoded for by FADS1 and FADS2 genes, are key desaturation enzymes involved in the bioconversion of essential fatty acids (αLNA and linoleic acid (LA)) to longer chained PUFA. In general, carriers of FADS minor alleles tend to have higher habitual plasma and tissue levels of LA and αLNA, and lower levels of arachidonic acid, EPA and also to a lesser extent DHA. In conclusion, available research findings suggest that FADS minor alleles are also associated with reduced inflammation and CVD risk, and that dietary total fat and fatty acid intake have the potential to modify relationships between FADS gene variants and circulating fatty acid levels. However to date, neither the size-effects of FADS variants on fatty acid status, nor the functional SNP in FADS1 and 2 have been identified. Such information could contribute to the refinement and targeting of EPA and DHA recommendations, whereby additional LC n-3 PUFA intakes could be recommended for those carrying FADS minor alleles.
The importance of chronic low-grade inflammation in the pathology of numerous age-related chronic conditions is now clear. An unresolved inflammatory response is likely to be involved from the early stages of disease development. The present position paper is the most recent in a series produced by the International Life Sciences Institute's European Branch (ILSI Europe). It is co-authored by the speakers from a 2013 workshop led by the Obesity and Diabetes Task Force entitled ‘Low-grade inflammation, a high-grade challenge: biomarkers and modulation by dietary strategies’. The latest research in the areas of acute and chronic inflammation and cardiometabolic, gut and cognitive health is presented along with the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying inflammation–health/disease associations. The evidence relating diet composition and early-life nutrition to inflammatory status is reviewed. Human epidemiological and intervention data are thus far heavily reliant on the measurement of inflammatory markers in the circulation, and in particular cytokines in the fasting state, which are recognised as an insensitive and highly variable index of tissue inflammation. Potential novel kinetic and integrated approaches to capture inflammatory status in humans are discussed. Such approaches are likely to provide a more discriminating means of quantifying inflammation–health/disease associations, and the ability of diet to positively modulate inflammation and provide the much needed evidence to develop research portfolios that will inform new product development and associated health claims.
Fruit and vegetables are key elements of a cardioprotective diet, but benefits on plasma lipids, especially HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), are inconsistent both within and between studies. In the present study, we investigated whether four selected HDL-C-related polymorphisms (cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) Taq1B, APOA1 − 75G/A, hepatic lipase (LIPC) − 514C → T, and endothelial lipase (LIPG) I24582) modulate the plasma lipid response to a kiwifruit intervention. This is a retrospective analysis of data collected during a 12-week randomised controlled cross-over trial. A total of eighty-five hypercholesterolaemic men completed a 4-week healthy diet run-in period before being randomised to one of two 4-week intervention sequences of two green kiwifruit/d plus healthy diet (kiwifruit intervention) or healthy diet alone (control intervention). The measurement of anthropometric parameters and collection of fasting blood samples were carried out at baseline 1 and after the run-in (baseline 2) and intervention periods. At baseline 2, B1/B1 homozygotes of the CETPTaq1B gene had significantly higher total cholesterol:HDL-C, TAG:HDL-C, and apoB:apoA1 ratios and small-dense LDL concentrations than B2 carriers. A significant CETP Taq1B genotype × intervention interaction was observed for the TAG:HDL-C ratio (P= 0·03). B1/B1 homozygotes had a significantly lower TAG:HDL-C ( − 0·23 (sd 0·58) mmol/l; P= 0·03) ratio after the kiwifruit intervention than after the control intervention, whereas the ratio of B2 carriers was not affected. The lipid response was not affected by other gene polymorphisms. In conclusion, the significant decrease in the TAG:HDL-C ratio in B1/B1 homozygotes suggests that regular inclusion of green kiwifruit as part of a healthy diet may improve the lipid profiles of hypercholesterolaemic men with this genotype.
An increasing number of studies have reported a heritable component for the regulation of energy intake and eating behaviour, although the individual polymorphisms and their ‘effect size’ are not fully elucidated. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between specific SNP and appetite responses and energy intake in overweight men. In a randomised cross-over trial, forty overweight men (age 32 (sd 09) years; BMI 27 (sd 2) kg/m2) attended four sessions 1 week apart and received three isoenergetic and isovolumetric servings of dairy snacks or water (control) in random order. Appetite ratings were determined using visual analogue scales and energy intake at an ad libitum lunch was assessed 90 min after the dairy snacks. Individuals were genotyped for SNP in the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO), leptin (LEP), leptin receptor (LEPR) genes and a variant near the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) locus. The postprandial fullness rating over the full experiment following intake of the different snacks was 17·2 % (P= 0·026) lower in A carriers compared with TT homozygotes for rs9939609 (FTO, dominant) and 18·6 % (P= 0·020) lower in G carriers compared with AA homozygotes for rs7799039 (LEP, dominant). These observations indicate that FTO and LEP polymorphisms are related to the variation in the feeling of fullness and may play a role in the regulation of food intake. Further studies are required to confirm these initial observations and investigate the ‘penetrance’ of these genotypes in additional population subgroups.
The unique composition of green kiwifruit has the potential to benefit CVD risk. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of consuming two green kiwifruits daily in conjunction with a healthy diet on plasma lipids and other metabolic markers and to examine response according to APOE genotype in hypercholesterolaemic men. After undergoing a 4-week healthy diet, eighty-five hypercholesterolaemic men (LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) >3·0 mmol/l and TAG < 3 mmol/l) completed an 8-week randomised controlled cross-over study of two 4-week intervention sequences of two green kiwifruits per d plus healthy diet (intervention) or healthy diet alone (control). Anthropometric measures, blood pressure (BP) and fasting blood samples (plasma lipids, serum apoA1 and apoB, insulin, glucose, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)) were taken at baseline, and at 4 and 8 weeks. After the kiwifruit intervention, plasma HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations were significantly higher (mean difference 0·04; 95 % CI 0·01, 0·07 mmol/l; P= 0·004) and the total cholesterol (TC):HDL-C ratio was significantly lower (mean difference − 0·15; 95 % CI − 0·24, − 0·05 mmol/l; P= 0·002) compared with the control. In carriers of the APOE4 allele, TAG decreased significantly (mean difference − 0·18; 95 % CI − 0·34, − 0·02 mmol/l; P= 0·03) with kiwifruit compared with control. There were no significant differences between the two interventions for plasma TC, LDL-C, insulin, glucose, hs-CRP and BP. The small but significant increase in HDL-C and decrease in TC:HDL-C ratio and TAG (in APOE4 carriers) suggest that the regular inclusion of green kiwifruit as part of a healthy diet may be beneficial in improving the lipid profiles of men with high cholesterol.
Dietary regulation of appetite may contribute to the prevention and management of excess body weight. The present study examined the effect of consumption of individual dairy products as snacks on appetite and subsequent ad libitum lunch energy intake. In a randomised cross-over trial, forty overweight men (age 32 (sd 9) years; BMI 27 (sd 2) kg/m2) attended four sessions 1 week apart and received three isoenergetic (841 kJ) and isovolumetric (410 ml) servings of dairy snacks or water (control) 120 min after breakfast. Appetite profile was determined throughout the morning and ad libitum energy intake was assessed 90 min after the intake of snacks. Concentrations of amino acids, glucose, insulin, ghrelin and peptide tyrosine tyrosine were measured at baseline (0 min) and 80 min after the intake of snacks. Although the results showed that yogurt had the greatest suppressive effect on appetite, this could be confounded by the poor sensory ratings of yogurt. Hunger rating was 8, 10 and 24 % (P < 0·001) lower after the intake of yogurt than cheese, milk and water, respectively. Energy intake was 11, 9 and 12 % (P < 0·02) lower after the intake of yogurt, cheese and milk, respectively, compared with water (4312 (se 226) kJ). Although there was no difference in the postprandial responses of hormones, alanine and isoleucine concentrations were higher after the intake of yogurt than cheese and milk (P < 0·05). In conclusion, all dairy snacks reduced appetite and lunch intake compared with water. Yogurt had the greatest effect on suppressing subjective appetite ratings, but did not affect subsequent food intake compared with milk or cheese.
Response to dietary fat manipulation is highly heterogeneous, yet generic population-based recommendations aimed at reducing the burden of CVD are given. The APOE epsilon genotype has been proposed to be an important determinant of this response. The present study reports on the dietary strategy employed in the SATgenɛ (SATurated fat and gene APOE) study, to assess the impact of altered fat content and composition on the blood lipid profile according to the APOE genotype. A flexible dietary exchange model was developed to implement three isoenergetic diets: a low-fat (LF) diet (target composition: 24 % of energy (%E) as fat, 8 %E SFA and 59 %E carbohydrate), a high-saturated fat (HSF) diet (38 %E fat, 18 %E SFA and 45 %E carbohydrate) and a HSF-DHA diet (HSF diet with 3 g DHA/d). Free-living participants (n 88; n 44 E3/E3 and n 44 E3/E4) followed the diets in a sequential design for 8 weeks, each using commercially available spreads, oils and snacks with specific fatty acid profiles. Dietary compositional targets were broadly met with significantly higher total fat (42·8 %E and 41·0 %E v. 25·1 %E, P ≤ 0·0011) and SFA (19·3 %E and 18·6 %E v. 8·33 %E, P ≤ 0·0011) intakes during the HSF and HSF-DHA diets compared with the LF diet, in addition to significantly higher DHA intake during the HSF-DHA diet (P ≤ 0·0011). Plasma phospholipid fatty acid analysis revealed a 2-fold increase in the proportion of DHA after consumption of the HSF-DHA diet for 8 weeks, which was independent of the APOE genotype. In summary, the dietary strategy was successfully implemented in a free-living population resulting in well-tolerated diets which broadly met the dietary targets set.
As the incidence of obesity is reaching ‘epidemic’ proportions, there is currently widespread interest in the impact of dietary components on body-weight and food intake regulation. The majority of data available from both epidemiological and intervention studies provide evidence of a negative but modest association between milk and dairy product consumption and BMI and other measures of adiposity, with indications that higher intakes result in increased weight loss and lean tissue maintenance during energy restriction. The purported physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying the impact of dairy constituents on adiposity are incompletely understood but may include effects on lipolysis, lipogeneis and fatty acid absorption. Furthermore, accumulating evidence indicates an impact of dairy constituents, in particular whey protein derivatives, on appetite regulation and food intake. The present review summarises available data and provides an insight into the likely contribution of dairy foods to strategies aimed at appetite regulation, weight loss or the prevention of weight gain.
The beneficial effects of green tea catechins, such as the proposed improvement in endothelial function, may be influenced by phase II metabolism during and after absorption. The methylation enzyme, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), has a missense mutation rs4680 (G to A), proposed to result in a 40 % reduction in enzyme activity. In the present pilot study, twenty subjects (ten of each homozygous COMT genotype) were recruited. Green tea extract capsules (836 mg green tea catechins) were given in a fasted state, and a high-carbohydrate breakfast was given after 60 min. Blood samples and vascular function measurements were taken at regular intervals. The change in digital volume pulse stiffness index (SI) from baseline was shown to be different between genotype groups at 120 and 240 min, with a lower SI in the GG individuals (P ≤ 0·044). The change in blood pressure from baseline also differed between genotype groups, with a greater increase in systolic (P = 0·023) and diastolic (P = 0·034) blood pressure at 120 min in the GG group. The AA group was shown to have a greater increase in insulin concentrations at 120 min (P = 0·019) and 180 min (P = 0·008) compared with baseline, despite similar glucose profiles. No genotypic differences were found in vascular reactivity measured using laser Doppler iontophoresis, total nitrite, lipids, plasma total antioxidant capacity or inflammatory markers after ingestion of the green tea extract. In conclusion, SI and insulin response to the glucose load differed between the COMT genotype groups, and this may be suggestive of a green tea extract and genotype interaction.
The health benefits of green tea (Camellia sinensis) catechins are becoming increasingly recognised. Amongst the proposed benefits are the maintenance of endothelial function and vascular homeostasis and an associated reduction in atherogenesis and CVD risk. The mounting evidence for the influential effect of green tea catechins on vascular function from epidemiological, human intervention and animal studies is subject to review together with exploration of the potential mechanistic pathways involved. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, one of the most abundant and widely studied catechin found in green tea, will be prominent in the present review. Since there is a substantial inconsistency in the published data with regards to the impact of green tea catechins on vascular function, evaluation and interpretation of the inter- and intra-study variability is included. In conclusion, a positive effect of green tea catechins on vascular function is becoming apparent. Further studies in animal and cell models using physiological concentrations of catechins and their metabolites are warranted in order to gain some insight into the physiology and molecular basis of the observed beneficial effects.
Although chronic fish oil intervention had been shown to have a positive impact on vascular reactivity, very little is known about their acute effects during the postprandial phase. Our aim was to examine the impact of a fish oil-enriched test meal on postprandial vascular reactivity in healthy younger ( < 50 years) v. older ( ≥ 50 years) men. Vascular reactivity was measured at baseline (0 h), 2 and 4 h after the meal by laser Doppler iontophoresis and blood samples taken at 0 and 4 h for the measurement of plasma lipids, total nitrite, glucose and insulin. Acetylcholine- (ACh, endothelial-dependent vasodilator) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP, endothelial-independent vasodilator)-induced reactivities were greater at 4 h than at baseline or 2 h in the younger men (P < 0·04). These changes were not observed in the older men. Comparison of the male groups revealed significantly greater responses to ACh (P = 0·006) and SNP (P = 0·05) at 4 h in the younger compared with the older males. Postprandial NEFA concentrations were also greater at 4 h in the younger compared with the older men (P = 0·005), with no differences observed for any of the other analytes. Multiple regression analysis revealed age to be the most significant predictor of both ACh and SNP induced reactivity 4 h after the meal. In conclusion, the ingestion of a meal enriched in fish oil fatty acids was shown to improve postprandial vascular reactivity at 4 h in our younger men, with little benefit evident in our older men.
Nutrigenetics and personalised nutrition are components of the concept that in the future genotyping will be used as a means of defining dietary recommendations to suit the individual. Over the last two decades there has been an explosion of research in this area, with often conflicting findings reported in the literature. Reviews of the literature in the area of apoE genotype and cardiovascular health, apoA5 genotype and postprandial lipaemia and perilipin and adiposity are used to demonstrate the complexities of genotype–phenotype associations and the aetiology of apparent between-study inconsistencies in the significance and size of effects. Furthermore, genetic research currently often takes a very reductionist approach, examining the interactions between individual genotypes and individual disease biomarkers and how they are modified by isolated dietary components or foods. Each individual possesses potentially hundreds of ‘at-risk’ gene variants and consumes a highly-complex diet. In order for nutrigenetics to become a useful public health tool, there is a great need to use mathematical and bioinformatic tools to develop strategies to examine the combined impact of multiple gene variants on a range of health outcomes and establish how these associations can be modified using combined dietary strategies.
The present review comes from the authors of the recent Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) review Update on Trans Fatty Acids and Health, and focuses on assessing the strength of the evidence for a link between trans-fatty acid (trans-FA) intake and cancer. It evaluates a range of human ecological, case–control and prospective studies with trans-FA exposure assessed using either dietary assessment methods or trans-FA levels in tissues. Relevant animal studies are also presented in order to elucidate potential mechanisms. It concludes that there is weak and inconsistent evidence for a relationship between trans-FA and breast or colorectal cancer. Evidence for an association between trans-FA and prostate cancer is limited, but a recent large case–control study has shown a strong interaction between risk and trans-FA intake for the RNASEL QQ/RQ genotype that is present in about 35 % of the population. This potential association requires further investigation. The single study on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma reported a strong positive association, but only used a single assessment of dietary trans-FA made at the start of the study in 1980, and the significant changes in trans-FA intakes between then and the end of follow-up in 1994 limit the reliability of this observation. There is insufficient evidence to allow any differentiation between the effects of trans-FA from animal or vegetable origin on cancer risk.
In order to establish firm evidence for the health effects of dietary polyphenol consumption, it is essential to have quantitative information regarding their dietary intake. The usefulness of the current methods, which rely mainly on the assessment of polyphenol intake using food records and food composition tables, is limited as they fail to assess total intake accurately. This review highlights the problems associated with such methods with regard to polyphenol-intake predictions. We suggest that the development of biological biomarkers, measured in both blood and urine, are essential for making accurate estimates of polyphenol intake. However, the relationship between dietary intakes and nutritional biomarkers are often highly complex. This review identifies the criteria that must be considered in the development of such biomarkers. In addition, we provide an assessment of the limited number of potential biomarkers of polyphenol intake currently available.