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Lithium (Li) is the gold standard treatment for bipolar disorder (BD). However, its mechanisms of action remain unknown but include neurotrophic effects. We here investigated the influence of Li on cortical and local grey matter (GM) volumes in a large international sample of patients with BD and healthy controls (HC).
We analyzed high-resolution T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance imaging scans of 271 patients with BD type I (120 undergoing Li) and 316 HC. Cortical and local GM volumes were compared using voxel-wise approaches with voxel-based morphometry and SIENAX using FSL. We used multiple linear regression models to test the influence of Li on cortical and local GM volumes, taking into account potential confounding factors such as a history of alcohol misuse.
Patients taking Li had greater cortical GM volume than patients without. Patients undergoing Li had greater regional GM volumes in the right middle frontal gyrus, the right anterior cingulate gyrus, and the left fusiform gyrus in comparison with patients not taking Li.
Our results in a large multicentric sample support the hypothesis that Li could exert neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects limiting pathological GM atrophy in key brain regions associated with BD.
The conduct of high-quality nutrition research requires the selection of appropriate markers as outcomes, for example as indicators of food or nutrient intake, nutritional status, health status or disease risk. Such selection requires detailed knowledge of the markers, and consideration of the factors that may influence their measurement, other than the effects of nutritional change. A framework to guide selection of markers within nutrition research studies would be a valuable tool for researchers. A multidisciplinary Expert Group set out to test criteria designed to aid the evaluation of candidate markers for their usefulness in nutrition research and subsequently to develop a scoring system for markers. The proposed criteria were tested using thirteen markers selected from a broad range of nutrition research fields. The result of this testing was a modified list of criteria and a template for evaluating a potential marker against the criteria. Subsequently, a semi-quantitative system for scoring a marker and an associated template were developed. This system will enable the evaluation and comparison of different candidate markers within the same field of nutrition research in order to identify their relative usefulness. The ranking criteria of proven, strong, medium or low are likely to vary according to research setting, research field and the type of tool used to assess the marker and therefore the considerations for scoring need to be determined in a setting-, field- and tool-specific manner. A database of such markers, their interpretation and range of possible values would be valuable to nutrition researchers.
Several Gigantopithecus faunas associated with taxonomically undetermined hominoid fossils and/or stone artifacts are known from southern China. These faunas are particularly important for the study of the evolution of humans and other mammals in Asia. However, the geochronology of the Gigantopithecus faunas remains uncertain. In order to solve this problem, a program of geochronological studies of Gigantopithecus faunas in Guangxi Province was recently initiated. Chuifeng Cave is the first studied site, which yielded 92 Gigantopithecus blacki teeth associated with numerous other mammalian fossils. We carried out combined ESR/U-series dating of fossil teeth and sediment paleomagnetic studies. Our ESR results suggest that the lower layers at this cave can be dated to 1.92 ± 0.14 Ma and the upper layers can be dated to older than 1.38 ± 0.17 Ma. Correlation of the recognized magnetozones to the geomagnetic polarity timescale was achieved by combining magnetostratigraphic, biostratigraphic and ESR data. The combined chronologies establish an Olduvai subchron (1.945–1.778 Ma) for the lowermost Chuifeng Cave sediments. We also analyzed the enamel δ13C values of the Gigantopithecus faunas. Our results show that southern China was dominated by C3 plants during the early Pleistocene and that the Gigantopithecus faunas lived in a woodland-forest ecosystem.
There is substantial evidence to link what we eat to the reduction of the risk of major chronic diseases and/or the improvement of functions. Thus, it is important for public health agencies and the food industry to facilitate the consumption of foods with particular health benefits by providing consumer products and messages based on scientific evidence. Although fragmentary advice is available from a range of sources, there is a lack of comprehensive scientific guidelines for the design, conduct and reporting of human intervention studies to evaluate the health benefits of foods. Such guidelines are needed both to support nutrition science in general, and to facilitate the substantiation of health claims. In the present study, which presents the consensus view of an International Life Sciences Institute Europe Expert Group that included senior scientists from academia and industry, the term ‘foods’ refers to foods, dietary supplements and food constituents, but not to whole diets. The present study is based on an initial survey of published papers, which identified the range and strengths and weaknesses of current methodologies, and was finalised following exchanges between representatives from industry, academia and regulatory bodies. The major factors involved in the design, conduct and reporting of studies are identified, summarised in a checklist table that is based on the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials guidelines, and elaborated and discussed in the text.
Probiotics, defined as living micro-organisms that provide a health benefit to the host when ingested in adequate amounts, have been used traditionally as food components to help the body to recover from diarrhoea. They are commonly ingested as part of fermented foods, mostly in fresh fermented dairy products. They can interact with the host through different components of the gut defence systems. There is mounting clinical evidence that some probiotics, but not all, help the defence of the host as demonstrated by either a shorter duration of infections or a decrease in the host's susceptibility to pathogens. Different components of the gut barrier can be involved in the strengthening of the body's defences: the gut microbiota, the gut epithelial barrier and the immune system. Many studies have been conducted in normal free-living subjects or in subjects during common infections like the common cold and show that some probiotic-containing foods can improve the functioning of or strengthen the body's defence. Specific probiotic foods can be included in the usual balanced diet of consumers to help them to better cope with the daily challenges of their environment.
Normal functioning of the immune system is crucial to the health of man, and diet is one of the major exogenous factors modulating individual immunocompetence. Recently, nutrition research has focused on the role of foods or specific food components in enhancing immune system responsiveness to challenges and thereby improving health and reducing disease risks. Assessing diet-induced changes of immune function, however, requires a thorough methodological approach targeting a large spectrum of immune system parameters. Currently, no single marker is available to predict the outcome of a dietary intervention on the resistance to infection or to other immune system-related diseases. The present review summarises the immune function assays commonly used as markers in human intervention studies and evaluates their biological relevance (e.g. known correlation with clinically relevant endpoints), sensitivity (e.g. within- and between-subject variation), and practical feasibility. Based on these criteria markers were classified into three categories with high, medium or low suitability. Vaccine-specific serum antibody production, delayed-type hypersensitivity response, vaccine-specific or total secretory IgA in saliva and the response to attenuated pathogens, were classified as markers with high suitability. Markers with medium suitability include natural killer cell cytotoxicity, oxidative burst of phagocytes, lymphocyte proliferation and the cytokine pattern produced by activated immune cells. Since no single marker allows conclusions to be drawn about the modulation of the whole immune system, except for the clinical outcome of infection itself, combining markers with high and medium suitability is currently the best approach to measure immunomodulation in human nutrition intervention studies. It would be valuable to include several immune markers in addition to clinical outcome in future clinical trials in this area, as there is too little evidence that correlates markers with global health improvement.
Antimutagenic properties of various dietary components have been investigated
in many studies, in order to find compounds protective against the various steps of
carcinogenesis. Indeed, cancer is now the principal cause of death in industrialised
countries and treatment is still difficult. Thus, research in prevention is of extreme
importance. While, the etiology of most cancers has an environmental component,
colon or breast cancers are highly linked to dietary habits (up to 50% of colorectal
cancers are due to diet; Riboli et al. 1996). In this context, Boutron et al. (1996)
showed inverse correlation between consumption of dairy products and colorectal
cancer in France.
Milk and yogurt constitute a major source of dietary protein. The nutritive value
of dietary proteins is linked to subsequent postprandial amino acid availability in the
portal blood (Rérat, 1988). Portal absorption of nutrients cannot be studied in
humans, but pigs provide a valid model for studying protein digestion in humans
(Rowan et al. 1994).
Since stable isotopes are suitable to distinguish the exogenous from endogenous
protein fraction in the intestinal lumen, intrinsic isotopic labelling of milk proteins
has been considered a useful technique for nutritional investigations (Gaudichon et
al. 1995; Gaudichon et al. 1999; Mahé et al. 1994). Recently, the use of
milk proteins were used to distinguish exogenous from endogenous N fractions in the
human intestine after ingestion of 15N-milk or 15N-yogurt (Gaudichon et al. 1995).
These authors pointed out that the jejunal flux of 15N was different for milk and
yogurt. It is known that milk proteins and lactose undergo preliminary hydrolysis
during lactic fermentation (Tamine & Deeth, 1980). It is also suggested that lactic
fermentation enhances the nutritional value of milk proteins (Vass et al. 1984).
The present study evaluates the influence of different amounts of fat added to starch on postprandial glucose metabolism (exogenous and endogenous). Nine women (24 (SE 2) YEARS OLD, BMI 20·4 (se 0·7) kg/m2) ingested 1 week apart 75 g glucose equivalent of 13C-labelled starch in the form of pasta without (low fat; LF) or with 15 (medium fat; MF) or 40 (high fat; HF) g sunflower oil. During the 7 h following meal consumption, plasma glucose, non-esterified fatty acids, triacylglycerols (TG) and insulin concentrations, and endogenous (using [6,6-2H2]glucose) and exogenous glucose turnover were determined. With MF and HF meals, a lower postprandial glucose peak was observed, but with a secondary recovery. A decrease in exogenous glucose appearance explained lower glycaemia in HF. At 4 h after the HF meal the insulin, insulin:glucose and postprandial blood TG were higher than those measured after the LF and MF meals. Despite higher insulinaemia, total glucose disappearance was similar and endogenous glucose production was suppressed less than after the LF and MF meals, suggesting insulin resistance. Thus, the addition of a large amount of fat appears to be unfavourable to glucose metabolism because it leads to a feature of insulin resistance. On the contrary, the MF meal did not have these adverse effects, but it was able to decrease the initial glycaemic peak.
Callista chione is the most prominent suspension-feeding bivalve species inhabiting the soft bottoms of the Bay of Banyuls-sur-Mer. Ingestion rates and absorption efficiencies when fed monospecific cultures of either phytoplankton (Pavlova lutheri) or bacteria (one natural strain isolated from the marine environment) were determined using 14C radioactive pulse–chase feeding experiments. Microalgae were ingested at a rate five to six times higher than bacteria (i.e. 2.31×10−3 against 0.40×10−3 mg DW mg SFDW−1 h−1). Such differences were attributed to differences in average particle sizes. Bacteria were also less absorbed than microalgae (i.e. 64.3 vs 83.8%). Together with existing data regarding the ratio of free to attached bacteria in the oceanographic environment, these results suggest that free bacteria probably contribute to meet only a small portion of the energy requirements of adult C. chione populations.
The aim of the present study was to assess, in healthy volunteers and under physiological conditions, the acceptability, clinical tolerance and effects on colonic motility of chronic supplementation of the usual diet with new dietary fibre sources. Three studies were carried out, one after a period of habitual diet, and two after randomized 3-week periods of supplementation with fibre extracted either from pea hulls or carrots, added to the meals as a fine powder. The 24 h motility was recorded on an unprepared colon at five levels to determine the initiation site and the number of high amplitude propagated contractions (HAPC) and to quantify motor activity every 30 min, particularly in the two periods following lunch and breakfast. With the habitual diet the motility pattern was an irregular alternation of quiescence and sporadic non-propagated contractions. HAPC always started from the ascending colon and occurred mainly after breakfast. With either type of fibre the 24 h motor profiles, the 24 h variations and the number of HAPC were not significantly modified but a more distal initiation of HAPC was found. The colonic postprandial motor response was more diffuse after dietary enrichment with carrot fibre than after enrichment with pea-hull fibre. In healthy volunteers the long-term addition of fibre extracted from pea hulls and carrots to the usual diet was easy and well-tolerated without clinical side-effects, but with limited colonic motor effects. However, the more distal initiation of HAPC observed could be deleterious.
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