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Coffee is an important source of bioactive compounds, including caffeine, trigonelline, and phenolic compounds. Several studies have highlighted the preventive effects of coffee consumption on major cardiometabolic diseases, but the impact of coffee dosage on markers of cardiometabolic risk is not well understood. Moreover, the pool of coffee-derived circulating metabolites in real-life settings is unknown. This study evaluated the bioavailability and effects on recognised cardiometabolic markers of coffee bioactives, considering different levels of consumption. An innovative experimental design, including both a chronic and an acute sub-study, and a comprehensive analytical approach were used.
A 3-arm, randomised, crossover trial was conducted in 21 healthy volunteers (age, 23 ± 2 y; BMI, 22.3 ± 2.5 kg/m2) (Mena et al., Trials 2017, 18, 527). Volunteers were assigned to consume 3 treatments for 4 weeks, including 1 cup of espresso coffee/day, 3 cups of espresso coffee/day, and 1 cup of espresso coffee plus 2 cocoa-based confectionary products containing-coffee twice per day. The last day of each treatment, blood and urine samples were collected at specific time points for 24 hours. Dietary intake, body weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting glucose, insulin, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, nitric oxide, inflammatory markers (IL-8, TNFα, VEGF), trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), DNA damage, DNA catabolites, and eicosanoids were assessed. The pool of coffee-derived circulating metabolites was also assessed in acute conditions. Untargeted metabolomics was performed.
Energy intake did not change among treatments after 4 weeks, while significant differences were observed in the intake of saturated fatty acids and carbohydrates. The effect of different coffee dosages on the set of cardiometabolic markers assessed was negligible. Plasma and urinary pharmacokinetic profiles were evaluated for 6 caffeine metabolites, 3 trigonelline derivatives, and up to 40 phenolic metabolites. Pharmacokinetics highlighted the different “waves” of circulating metabolites occurring upon repeated coffee consumption. Differences in several pharmacokinetic parameters were observed among treatments, which may support the long-term cardiometabolic benefits of certain patterns of coffee consumption. Multivariate analyses clearly differentiated treatments on the basis of the urinary metabolome.
This work provided a comprehensive picture of the impact of different coffee dosages on the pool of coffee-derived circulating metabolites, the urinary metabolome, and a wide number of cardiometabolic markers. Multivariate analyses focused on inter-individual differences are ongoing to better understand the effect of coffee on cardiometabolic health.
In Europe, the label information on food is regulated by the Reg. (EU) n.1169/2011 but many other regulated declarations (e.g. nutrition or heath claims (NHC), presence of gluten) can be provided on the pack. All this information could influence the perception of food quality and thus the consumers’ intention-to-buy. However, whether the nutritional quality of food products is comparable among products with different characteristics (e.g. presence/absence of NHC, gluten free (GF) declaration, brand) has been barely studied.
Based on these premises, the Food Labelling of Italian Products (FLIP) Study aims to systematically investigate the overall nutritional quality of the main food categories sold on the Italian market. The present work focused on sweet cereal-based products (biscuits, breakfast cereals, and sweet snacks).
Products were selected from the website of thirteen retailers present on the Italian market and data were collected from the complete images of all the sides of the pack. Then, biscuits, breakfast cereals, and sweet snacks were further sub-grouped for specific comparisons considering i) descriptive name reported, ii) presence/absence of GF declaration, iii) presence/absence of NHC declaration, iv) brand/own label. Data of energy, nutrient and salt contents per 100 grams of product for each product category were considered and comparisons among the sub-groups were performed (Mann Whitney test or Kruskal Wallis one-way ANOVA based on two or multiple independent samples, respectively) (ver. 25.0, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). In addition, a Principal Component Analysis was performed for all products and for each product sub-category by considering energy and nutrient contents per 100 grams of product to better describe the inter-product nutritional variability.
A total of 814 biscuits, 371 breakfast cereals and 476 sweet snacks were included. Limited differences were found between branded and own label products and between GF and gluten-containing products. Conversely, interesting differences were observed between products with and without NHC. For instance, biscuits with nutrition claims resulted with an overall lower content of total energy, total fats and sugars compared to product without these claims, in agreement with previous investigations. Finally, a high inter-product variability was observed among the different sub-categories for the three product categories.
Future researches performed within the FLIP study will allow to have a clearer picture about the nutritional quality of food products sold in Italy and to understand if specific food characteristics might be considered as a “marker” of the overall quality of food products
Triticum heritage varieties and ancient species are gaining interest of consumers due to the perception of a healthier nutrition profile than other modern wheat. Although still limited, several findings highlighted the real potential beneficial role of ancient wheat-based products consumption on several cardiometabolic factors(1). However, a lack of information is still present, especially for their effect on postprandial glycaemia. Evolutionary populations (EPs) are plants within the same species in one field characterized by a high level of genetic diversity(2). EPs are evolving as a function of several environmental variables and in turn characterized by a high level of adaptability and biodiversity. EPs can drive agronomic advantages, especially under organic and low-input agricultural conditions, or in less favourable growing conditions(3). The aim of the present study, which is a part of a more comprehensive project called “BIO2”(4), was to evaluate the impact of breads made with EPs of heritage varieties and a modern variety, all produced under organic farming in mountain areas of Emilia Romagna Region (Italy), on postprandial glycaemic and insulin responses. The study is a randomized controlled trial in which 13 healthy subjects were enrolled for consuming 8 non-commercial breads made either with EPs (EPs named “BIO2” and “GROSSI” – of local heritage varieties, and EP “Solibam”) or with a modern variety (Bologna) produced with a standard recipe, but 2 different leavening techniques (S. Cerevisiae and sourdough). Subjects consumed breads in a portion containing 50 g of available carbohydrates and blood was collected for quantifying glycaemia and insulin during 2 hours. Incremental area under curves (IAUCs) and maximum peaks were compared among treatments. No differences were found in IAUCs and peaks for both the markers, showing that none of the tested EPs was effective in lowering glycaemic and insulin responses compared to the modern variety. Moreover, sourdough did not determine a lower blood glucose and insulin within the same type of flour, which is in contrast with previous studies describing the role of sourdough in lowering glycaemic response. Future studies will better elucidate the possible implication of consuming ancient wheat-based products on the modulation of post-prandial glucose metabolism.
This study has been funded by Measure 16.1.01 of the Rural Development Programme 2014–2020 of the Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy).
The prevalence of overweight, obesity, and their related complications is increasing worldwide. We aimed to summarise and critically evaluate the effects of different popular diets on anthropometric parameters and metabolic risk factors.
Material and methods:
An umbrella review of meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials was conducted according to the Joanna Briggs Institute Umbrella Review Methodology. The review protocol has been registered on PROSPERO (ID: CRD42019126103). Medline, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Web of Science were searched from inception to April 2019 to identify meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials that examined the effects of different diets on anthropometric parameters and metabolic risk factors. For each association, we estimated the summary effect size by random-effects and fixed-effects models, the 95% confidence interval, and the 95% prediction interval. We also assessed the between-study heterogeneity and evidence for small-study effects. We further applied standardized methodological criteria to evaluate the epidemiological credibility of the statistically significant associations.
Overall, 80 articles reporting 495 unique meta-analyses were examined, covering a wide range of popular diets: low-carbohydrate (n = 21 articles), high-protein (n = 8), low-fat (n = 9), palaeolithic (n = 2), low glycaemic index/load (n = 12), intermittent energy restriction (n = 6), Mediterranean (n = 11), Nordic (n = 2), vegetarian (n = 9), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH (n = 6), and portfolio dietary pattern (n = 1). The methodological quality of most articles (n = 65; 81%), evaluated using the AMSTAR-2 questionnaire, was low or critically low. The strength of evidence was generally weak. The most consistent evidence was reported for Mediterranean diet, with suggestive evidence of an improvement in weight, body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure. Suggestive evidence of an improvement in weight and blood pressure was also reported for DASH diet. Low-carbohydrate, high-protein, low-fat and low-glycaemic index/load diets showed suggestive and/or weak evidence of a reduction in weight and BMI, but contrasting evidence for lipid, glycaemic and blood pressure parameters, suggesting potential risks of unfavourable effects. Finally, evidence for palaeolithic, intermittent energy restriction, Nordic, vegetarian and portfolio dietary patterns was graded as weak or not statistically significant.
Most meta-analyses showed low methodological quality and the strength of evidence, assessed using evidence classification criteria, was generally weak. Among all the diets evaluated, Mediterranean diet had the strongest and most consistent evidence of a positive effect on both anthropometric parameters and metabolic risk factors.
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