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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has serious physiological and psychological consequences. The long-term (>12 weeks post-infection) impact of COVID-19 on mental health, specifically in older adults, is unclear. We longitudinally assessed the association of COVID-19 with depression symptomatology in community-dwelling older adults with metabolic syndrome within the framework of the PREDIMED-Plus cohort.
Participants (n = 5486) aged 55–75 years were included in this longitudinal cohort. COVID-19 status (positive/negative) determined by tests (e.g. polymerase chain reaction severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, IgG) was confirmed via event adjudication (410 cases). Pre- and post-COVID-19 depressive symptomatology was ascertained from annual assessments conducted using a validated 21-item Spanish Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). Multivariable linear and logistic regression models assessed the association between COVID-19 and depression symptomatology.
COVID-19 in older adults was associated with higher post-COVID-19 BDI-II scores measured at a median (interquartile range) of 29 (15–40) weeks post-infection [fully adjusted β = 0.65 points, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.15–1.15; p = 0.011]. This association was particularly prominent in women (β = 1.38 points, 95% CI 0.44–2.33, p = 0.004). COVID-19 was associated with 62% increased odds of elevated depression risk (BDI-II ≥ 14) post-COVID-19 when adjusted for confounders (odds ratio; 95% CI 1.13–2.30, p = 0.008).
COVID-19 was associated with long-term depression risk in older adults with overweight/obesity and metabolic syndrome, particularly in women. Thus, long-term evaluations of the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and preventive public health initiatives are warranted in older adults.
The NOVA classification of food items has become increasingly popular and is being used in several observational studies as well as in nutritional guidelines and recommendations. We propose that there is a need for this classification and its use in the formulation of public health policies to be critically discussed and re-appraised. The terms ‘processing’ and ‘ultra-processing’, which are crucial to the NOVA classification, are ill-defined, as no scientific, measurable or precise reference parameters exist for them. Likewise, the theoretical grounds of the NOVA classification are unclear and inaccurate. Overall, the NOVA classification conflicts with the classic, evidence-based evaluation of foods based on composition and portion size because NOVA postulates that the food itself (or how much of it is eaten) is unimportant, but rather that dietary effects are due to how the food is produced. We contend that the NOVA system suffers from a lack of biological plausibility so the assertion that ultra-processed foods are intrinsically unhealthful is largely unproven, and needs further examination and elaboration.
The burden of depression is increasing worldwide, specifically in older adults. Unhealthy dietary patterns may partly explain this phenomenon. In the Spanish PREDIMED-Plus study, we explored (1) the cross-sectional association between the adherence to the Prime Diet Quality Score (PDQS), an a priori-defined high-quality food pattern, and the prevalence of depressive symptoms at baseline (cross-sectional analysis) and (2) the prospective association of baseline PDQS with changes in depressive symptomatology after 2 years of follow-up. After exclusions, we assessed 6612 participants in the cross-sectional analysis and 5523 participants in the prospective analysis. An energy-adjusted high-quality dietary score (PDQS) was assessed using a validated FFQ. The cross-sectional association between PDQS and the prevalence of depression or presence of depressive symptoms and the prospective changes in depressive symptoms were evaluated through multivariable regression models (logistic and linear models and mixed linear-effects models). PDQS was inversely associated with depressive status in the cross-sectional analysis. Participants in the highest quintile of PDQS (Q5) showed a significantly reduced odds of depression prevalence as compared to participants in the lowest quartile of PDQS (Q1) (OR (95 %) CI = 0·82 (0·68, 0·98))). The baseline prevalence of depression decreased across PDQS quintiles (Pfor trend = 0·015). A statistically significant association between PDQS and changes in depressive symptoms after 2-years follow-up was found (β (95 %) CI = −0·67 z-score (–1·17, −0·18). A higher PDQS was cross-sectionally related to a lower depressive status. Nevertheless, the null finding in our prospective analysis raises the possibility of reverse causality. Further prospective investigation is required to ascertain the association between PDQS and changes in depressive symptoms along time.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of liver disease in Western countries and is strongly associated with obesity and insulin resistance-related comorbidities. Moreover, there is some evidence of a relationship between NAFLD and depression. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of two personalized energy-restricted diets on liver fat and depressive symptoms in overweight or obese subjects with NAFLD after a 6-month follow-up.
Materials and methods:
Ninety-eight overweight or obese adults with NAFLD were enrolled and randomized to follow one of two different personalized energy-restricted diets (American Heart Association vs. FLiO diet) accompanied by healthy lifestyle advice. Study registered as FLiO: Fatty Liver in Obesity; NCT03183193. Anthropometry, body composition, biochemical features and liver status were assessed at baseline and after a 6-month follow-up. Liver fat was evaluated by Magnetic Resonance Imaging and depressive symptoms using the Beck's Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II).
Participants of both groups showed significant reductions in body weight, total fat mass, glucose, insulin and alanine aminotransferase (p < 0.001 for all these parameters in both groups). A significant decrease in liver fat (p < 0.001 in both groups) and depressive symptoms (p < 0.01 in both groups) was observed after the follow-up. The effects of the intervention in the evaluated variables did not differ when both diets were compared. Consequently, the two groups were considered together as one sample for the further analyses. Correlation analyses evidenced a positive association between the decrease in depressive symptoms and the reduction in body weight (r = 0.241; p = 0.044) and liver fat (r = 0.251; p = 0.046).
Previous studies have reported that the prevalence of depression in patients with chronic liver disease (including NAFLD) is higher than in the general population and that major depressive disorder is associated with more severe hepatic steatosis and with worse outcomes in the treatment of NAFLD subjects. In our study, both healthy personalized energy-restricted diets were able to improve metabolic parameters, liver fat content and depressive symptoms in overweight and obese participants with NAFLD. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report an association between the changes in depressive symptoms and the decrease in liver fat after a dietary randomized controlled trial. Further investigation is needed to clarify the relationship between depression and the development and treatment of NAFLD.
Adipose tissue is an endocrine organ involved in a variety of regulatory functions beyond simple fat storage. Excessive fat accumulation in the visceral tissue has been related to obesity associated comorbidities and manifestations such as hypertension, hyperglycaemia, hypercholesterolemia, and inflammatory processes. In the later stages of life, there is a shift of fat distribution from subcutaneous to visceral depots, which is associated to the development of several age-related diseases. Epigenetics has been described as a potential contributor in aging processes, being also associated with diseases and fat deposition that progress with age. The aim of this research was to investigate the relationships between aging, epigenetic processes and visceral adipose tissue.
The study population included 269 adult subjects recruited in the University of Navarra, Spain. Methylation data was assessed by Infinium MethylationEPIC beadchip from Illumina. Epigenetic age acceleration was calculated using the method GrimAge (AgeAccGrim), available in the website DNA methylation Age Calculator (https://dnamage.genetics.ucla.edu/home). Anthropometric, biochemical and blood pressure measurements were assessed following standardized methods. Body composition measurements by DXA were also carried out.
Statistically significant correlations were found between age acceleration and waist circumference, some DXA-measured variables (lean mass, trunk fat mass, android fat mass, visceral adipose tissue mass), glucose, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides levels and C-reactive protein. Linear regression models showed that visceral adipose tissue mass and HDL-cholesterol were conjointly influencing the epigenetic age acceleration. In addition, a mediation by HDL-cholesterol in the relationship between AgeAccGrim and visceral adipose tissue mass was found.
Collectively, these findings demonstrated that visceral adiposity and dyslipidaemia are associated with accelerated aging effects, contributing to understand the development of age-related diseases.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic liver condition, whose prevalence increases in parallel with obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome (MetS) rates. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationships between the triglyceride glucose-body mass index (TyG-BMI) with lifestyle, dietary variables, and metabolic risk factors linked to NAFLD in subjects diagnosed with MetS.
Materials and methods
A baseline cross-sectional study on 331 participants (aged 65.8 ± 5.1 years) recruited in Navarra was conducted. Subjects were stratified by tertiles of the TyG-BMI index. Dietetic, Mediterranean diet adherence (MedDiet-17 points) and physical activity data were assessed through validated questionnaires. Sociodemographic, lifestyle, anthropometric and biochemical parameters were also recoreded. The Cockcroft-Gault equation was performed to estimate clearance of creatinine. For comparisons between TyG-BMI tertiles and several variables, ANCOVA and chi-square test analyses were performed.
Subjects in T3 of TyG-BMI index were more likely to have diabetes (50.9%). Interestingly, physical activity decreases across tertiles (p = 0.030). There were no differences between tertiles in energy intake and MedDiet adherence. However, total meat consumption is highest in T3. ANCOVA test after adjustment for potential confounders revealed that participants in T3 showed more several clinical and metabolic alterations. Moreover, ALT (p = 0.002) and GGT (p = 0.047) levels increased and mean corpuscular volume decreased across tertiles of the TyG-BMI index.
Obesity, MetS and insulin resistance (IR) play a key role in the development of NAFLD promoting lipotoxicity and overproduction of proinflammatory mediators. This state induces hepatic steatosis and liver injury. Some studies suggest TyG-BMI index as a surrogate marker of IR and risk to NAFLD(1). In our study, patients in the highest TyG-BMI tertile showed more adverse cardio-metabolic profile, lower physical activity and higher total meat intake. In summary, the TyG-BMI index could be a simple and reliable marker to characterize the risk of NAFLD among individuals diagnosed with MetS.
Dietary components are contributing factors in the development of Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The glycaemic index (GI), glycaemic load (GL) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) have been considered potential dietary tools influencing diet–disease relationships. The aim of this study was to evaluate associations of the dietary GI, GL, TAC and insulin resistance (IR) condition with hepatic fat in NAFLD adults.
Material and methods: 112 overweight/obese adults with NAFLD (age: 50.8 ± 9 years old) were included in the trial. Dietary intake was assessed by a validated 137-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Anthropometric, glycemic and lipid profiles, fatty liver quantification by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and IR measured by the Homeostatic Model Assessment of IR (HOMA-IR) were assessed at baseline. This study was registered as FLiO: Fatty Liver in Obesity study; NCT03183193.
Results: The median of liver fat content by MRI was 6.4 (3.8–10.9) in the recruited population. Participants with higher liver fat content showed significantly increased values of glucose, insulin, HbA1c and HOMA-IR than those with lower liver fat content (p < 0.05). Correlation analyses revealed relevant positive associations of hepatic fat with GI (r = 0.17; p = 0.077) and GL (r = 0.19; p = 0.047). Also, a negative association between liver fat content and TAC (r = -0.22; p = 0.023) was found. Linear regression analyses were used to examine the associations of hepatic fat and dietary quality indicators as well as IR adjusted for potential confounders (sex, age and physical activity). The final models showed that HOMA-IR, GI, GL and TAC were able to explain between 22.4 and 22.8 % (p < 0.001) of the variability of liver fat content.
The pathophysiology of NAFLD is thought to be associated with dietary determinants that contribute to metabolic dysregulation such as IR, ectopic liver fat deposition and hepatic damage. In accordance with other authors, we suggest that monitoring GI, GL and TAC may be useful approaches for the dietary treatment of NAFLD since they are related to hepatic fat. Additionally, it is important to highlight the essential role of IR in NAFLD as a key mediator in the development of NAFLD. Certainly, findings of the present study revealed a significant association of hepatic fat accumulation and IR.
In summary, GI, GL and TAC are potential markers of diet quality, with an impact on susceptible population at hepatic risk.
The Paleolithic diet (PaleoDiet) is an allegedly healthy dietary pattern inspired by the consumption of wild foods and animals assumed to be consumed in the Paleolithic era. Despite gaining popularity in the media, different operational definitions of this Paleolithic nutritional intake have been used in research. Our hypothesis is that specific components used to define the PaleoDiet may modulate the association of this diet with several health outcomes. We comprehensively reviewed currently applied PaleoDiet scores and suggested a new score based on the food composition of current PaleoDiet definitions and the theoretical food content of a staple dietary pattern in the Paleolithic age. In a PubMed search up to December 2019, fourteen different PaleoDiet definitions were found. We observed some common components of the PaleoDiet among these definitions although we also found high heterogeneity in the list of specific foods that should be encouraged or banned within the PaleoDiet. Most studies suggest that the PaleoDiet may have beneficial effects in the prevention of cardiometabolic diseases (type 2 diabetes, overweight/obesity, CVD and hyperlipidaemias) but the level of evidence is still weak because of the limited number of studies with a large sample size, hard outcomes instead of surrogate outcomes and long-term follow-up. Finally, we propose a new PaleoDiet score composed of eleven food items, based on a high consumption of fruits, nuts, vegetables, fish, eggs and unprocessed meats (lean meats); and a minimum content of dairy products, grains and cereals, and legumes and practical absence of processed (or ultra-processed) foods or culinary ingredients.
The control over the materials structure is crucial for the modulation of its properties, in order to achieve this control is important to know the formation mechanism of the material as function of parameters used. For this purpose, the effect of temperature (120, 140, 160 and 180 °C) on the hydrothermal synthesis of zinc sulphide is evaluated and a proposal of the sequence of reactions formation of zinc sulphur is presented. ZnS nanostructures with blend-phase were obtained, the temperature increment induces the growth of the nanostructure ranged between .62 and 12.72 nm, furthermore, increase the crystallinity of the ZnS nanostructures. The proposed reactions suggest the formation of a complex of thioacetamide with the Zn+2 and its subsequent decomposition into ZnS.
Poverty-related food insecurity can be viewed as a form of economic and nutritional uncertainty that can lead, in some situations, to a desire for more filling and satisfying food. Given the current obesogenic food environment and the nature of the food supply, those food choices could engage a combination of sensory, neurophysiological, and genetic factors as potential determinants of obesity.
Traditionally, personalised nutrition was delivered at an individual level. However, the concept of delivering tailored dietary advice at a group level through the identification of metabotypes or groups of metabolically similar individuals has emerged. Although this approach to personalised nutrition looks promising, further work is needed to examine this concept across a wider population group. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to: (1) identify metabotypes in a European population and (2) develop targeted dietary advice solutions for these metabotypes. Using data from the Food4Me study (n 1607), k-means cluster analysis revealed the presence of three metabolically distinct clusters based on twenty-seven metabolic markers including cholesterol, individual fatty acids and carotenoids. Cluster 2 was identified as a metabolically healthy metabotype as these individuals had the highest Omega-3 Index (6·56 (sd 1·29) %), carotenoids (2·15 (sd 0·71) µm) and lowest total saturated fat levels. On the basis of its fatty acid profile, cluster 1 was characterised as a metabolically unhealthy cluster. Targeted dietary advice solutions were developed per cluster using a decision tree approach. Testing of the approach was performed by comparison with the personalised dietary advice, delivered by nutritionists to Food4Me study participants (n 180). Excellent agreement was observed between the targeted and individualised approaches with an average match of 82 % at the level of delivery of the same dietary message. Future work should ascertain whether this proposed method could be utilised in a healthcare setting, for the rapid and efficient delivery of tailored dietary advice solutions.
Individual response to dietary interventions can be highly variable. The phenotypic characteristics of those who will respond positively to personalised dietary advice are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to compare the phenotypic profiles of differential responders to personalised dietary intervention, with a focus on total circulating cholesterol. Subjects from the Food4Me multi-centre study were classified as responders or non-responders to dietary advice on the basis of the change in cholesterol level from baseline to month 6, with lower and upper quartiles defined as responder and non-responder groups, respectively. There were no significant differences between demographic and anthropometric profiles of the groups. Furthermore, with the exception of alcohol, there was no significant difference in reported dietary intake, at baseline. However, there were marked differences in baseline fatty acid profiles. The responder group had significantly higher levels of stearic acid (18 : 0, P=0·034) and lower levels of palmitic acid (16 : 0, P=0·009). Total MUFA (P=0·016) and total PUFA (P=0·008) also differed between the groups. In a step-wise logistic regression model, age, baseline total cholesterol, glucose, five fatty acids and alcohol intakes were selected as factors that successfully discriminated responders from non-responders, with sensitivity of 82 % and specificity of 83 %. The successful delivery of personalised dietary advice may depend on our ability to identify phenotypes that are responsive. The results demonstrate the potential use of metabolic profiles in identifying response to an intervention and could play an important role in the development of precision nutrition.
To characterise clusters of individuals based on adherence to dietary recommendations and to determine whether changes in Healthy Eating Index (HEI) scores in response to a personalised nutrition (PN) intervention varied between clusters.
Food4Me study participants were clustered according to whether their baseline dietary intakes met European dietary recommendations. Changes in HEI scores between baseline and month 6 were compared between clusters and stratified by whether individuals received generalised or PN advice.
Individuals in cluster 1 (C1) met all recommended intakes except for red meat, those in cluster 2 (C2) met two recommendations, and those in cluster 3 (C3) and cluster 4 (C4) met one recommendation each. C1 had higher intakes of white fish, beans and lentils and low-fat dairy products and lower percentage energy intake from SFA (P<0·05). C2 consumed less chips and pizza and fried foods than C3 and C4 (P<0·05). C1 were lighter, had lower BMI and waist circumference than C3 and were more physically active than C4 (P<0·05). More individuals in C4 were smokers and wanted to lose weight than in C1 (P<0·05). Individuals who received PN advice in C4 reported greater improvements in HEI compared with C3 and C1 (P<0·05).
The cluster where the fewest recommendations were met (C4) reported greater improvements in HEI following a 6-month trial of PN whereas there was no difference between clusters for those randomised to the Control, non-personalised dietary intervention.
To characterise participants who dropped out of the Food4Me Proof-of-Principle study.
The Food4Me study was an Internet-based, 6-month, four-arm, randomised controlled trial. The control group received generalised dietary and lifestyle recommendations, whereas participants randomised to three different levels of personalised nutrition (PN) received advice based on dietary, phenotypic and/or genotypic data, respectively (with either more or less frequent feedback).
Seven recruitment sites: UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Poland and Greece.
Adults aged 18–79 years (n 1607).
A total of 337 (21 %) participants dropped out during the intervention. At baseline, dropouts had higher BMI (0·5 kg/m2; P<0·001). Attrition did not differ significantly between individuals receiving generalised dietary guidelines (Control) and those randomised to PN. Participants were more likely to drop out (OR; 95 % CI) if they received more frequent feedback (1·81; 1·36, 2·41; P<0·001), were female (1·38; 1·06, 1·78; P=0·015), less than 45 years old (2·57; 1·95, 3·39; P<0·001) and obese (2·25; 1·47, 3·43; P<0·001). Attrition was more likely in participants who reported an interest in losing weight (1·53; 1·19, 1·97; P<0·001) or skipping meals (1·75; 1·16, 2·65; P=0·008), and less likely if participants claimed to eat healthily frequently (0·62; 0·45, 0·86; P=0·003).
Attrition did not differ between participants receiving generalised or PN advice but more frequent feedback was related to attrition for those randomised to PN interventions. Better strategies are required to minimise dropouts among younger and obese individuals participating in PN interventions and more frequent feedback may be an unnecessary burden.
The interplay between the fat mass- and obesity-associated (FTO) gene variants and diet has been implicated in the development of obesity. The aim of the present analysis was to investigate associations between FTO genotype, dietary intakes and anthropometrics among European adults. Participants in the Food4Me randomised controlled trial were genotyped for FTO genotype (rs9939609) and their dietary intakes, and diet quality scores (Healthy Eating Index and PREDIMED-based Mediterranean diet score) were estimated from FFQ. Relationships between FTO genotype, diet and anthropometrics (weight, waist circumference (WC) and BMI) were evaluated at baseline. European adults with the FTO risk genotype had greater WC (AAv. TT: +1·4 cm; P=0·003) and BMI (+0·9 kg/m2; P=0·001) than individuals with no risk alleles. Subjects with the lowest fried food consumption and two copies of the FTO risk variant had on average 1·4 kg/m2 greater BMI (Ptrend=0·028) and 3·1 cm greater WC (Ptrend=0·045) compared with individuals with no copies of the risk allele and with the lowest fried food consumption. However, there was no evidence of interactions between FTO genotype and dietary intakes on BMI and WC, and thus further research is required to confirm or refute these findings.
An efficient and robust method to measure vitamin D (25-hydroxy vitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) and 25-hydroxy vitamin D2 in dried blood spots (DBS) has been developed and applied in the pan-European multi-centre, internet-based, personalised nutrition intervention study Food4Me. The method includes calibration with blood containing endogenous 25(OH)D3, spotted as DBS and corrected for haematocrit content. The methodology was validated following international standards. The performance characteristics did not reach those of the current gold standard liquid chromatography-MS/MS in plasma for all parameters, but were found to be very suitable for status-level determination under field conditions. DBS sample quality was very high, and 3778 measurements of 25(OH)D3 were obtained from 1465 participants. The study centre and the season within the study centre were very good predictors of 25(OH)D3 levels (P<0·001 for each case). Seasonal effects were modelled by fitting a sine function with a minimum 25(OH)D3 level on 20 January and a maximum on 21 July. The seasonal amplitude varied from centre to centre. The largest difference between winter and summer levels was found in Germany and the smallest in Poland. The model was cross-validated to determine the consistency of the predictions and the performance of the DBS method. The Pearson’s correlation between the measured values and the predicted values was r 0·65, and the sd of their differences was 21·2 nmol/l. This includes the analytical variation and the biological variation within subjects. Overall, DBS obtained by unsupervised sampling of the participants at home was a viable methodology for obtaining vitamin D status information in a large nutritional study.
The present study analyses the gene expression profile of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from obese boys. The aims of the present study were to identify baseline differences between low responders (LR) and high responders (HR) after 10 weeks of a moderate energy-restricted dietary intervention, and to compare the gene expression profile between the baseline and the endpoint of the nutritional intervention. Spanish obese boys (age 10–14 years) were advised to follow a 10-week moderate energy-restricted diet. Participants were classified into two groups based on the association between the response to the nutritional intervention and the changes in BMI standard deviation score (BMI-SDS): HR group (n 6), who had a more decreased BMI-SDS; LR group (n 6), who either maintained or had an even increased BMI-SDS. The expression of 28 869 genes was analysed in PBMC from both groups at baseline and after the nutritional intervention, using the Affymetrix Human Gene 1.1 ST 24-Array plate microarray. At baseline, the HR group showed a lower expression of inflammation and immune response-related pathways, which suggests that the LR group could have a more developed pro-inflammatory phenotype. Concomitantly, LEPR and SIRPB1 genes were highly expressed in the LR group, indicating a tendency towards an impaired immune response and leptin resistance. Moreover, the moderate energy-restricted diet was able to down-regulate the inflammatory ‘mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling pathway’ in the HR group, as well as some inflammatory genes (AREG and TNFAIP3). The present study confirms that changes in the gene expression profile of PBMC in obese boys may help to understand the weight-loss response. However, further research is required to confirm these findings.
Reported associations between the consumption of fried foods and the incidence of obesity or weight gain make it likely that fried food consumption might also be associated with the development of hypertension. However, evidence from long-term prospective studies is scarce. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to longitudinally evaluate this association in a prospective cohort. The SUN (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra) project is a Mediterranean cohort study of university graduates conducted in Spain, which started in December 1999 and is still ongoing. In the present study, we included 13 679 participants (5059 men and 8620 women), free of hypertension at baseline with a mean age of 36·5 (sd 10·8) years. Total fried food consumption was estimated at baseline. The outcome was the incidence of a medical diagnosis of self-reported hypertension during the follow-up period. To assess the association between the consumption of fried foods and the subsequent risk of developing incident hypertension during the follow-up period, Cox regression models were used. During a median follow-up period of 6·3 years, 1232 incident cases of hypertension were identified. After adjusting for potential confounders, the adjusted hazard ratios for developing hypertension were 1·18 (95 % CI 1·03, 1·36) and 1·21 (95 % CI 1·04, 1·41) for those consuming fried foods 2–4 and >4 times/week, respectively, compared with those consuming fried foods < 2 times/week (P for trend = 0·009). In conclusion, frequent consumption of fried foods at baseline was found to be associated with a higher risk of hypertension during the follow-up period in a Mediterranean cohort of university graduates.
Epidemiological research confirms that the prevalence of suboptimal micronutrient intakes across Europe is an emerging concern in terms of public health. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between a new index of carbohydrate (CHO) quality and micronutrient intake adequacy in the ‘Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN)’ cohort. The baseline assessment extended from 1999 to March 2012. We assessed 16 841 participants who completed a validated 136-item semi-quantitative FFQ at baseline. We created a new index to evaluate CHO quality for the following four criteria: dietary fibre intake; glycaemic index; whole grains:total grains ratio; solid CHO:total CHO ratio. The subjects were classified into quintiles according to this index. We evaluated the intakes of Zn, I, Se, Fe, Ca, K, P, Mg, Cr and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, A, D, E and folic acid. The probability of intake adequacy was evaluated using the estimated average requirement cut-point approach and the probabilistic approach. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the nutritional adequacy according to the CHO quality index (CQI). Participants in the highest quintile of CQI were found to have the lowest prevalence of inadequacy. A higher quality of CHO intake was found to be associated with a lower risk of nutritional inadequacy in comparison with the lowest quintile of CQI (adjusted OR 0·06, 95 % CI 0·02, 0·16; P for trend < 0·001). A higher CQI was found to be strongly associated with better micronutrient intake adequacy in the young Mediterranean cohort, stressing the importance of focusing nutritional education not only on CHO quantity, but also on quality.