The different compartments of the gastrointestinal tract are inhabited by populations of micro-organisms. By far the most important predominant populations are in the colon where a true symbiosis with the host exists that is a key for well-being and health. For such a microbiota, 'normobiosis' characterises a composition of the gut 'ecosystem' in which micro-organisms with potential health benefits predominate in number over potentially harmful ones, in contrast to 'dysbiosis', in which one or a few potentially harmful micro-organisms are dominant, thus creating a disease-prone situation. The present document has been written by a group of both academic and industry experts (in the ILSI Europe Prebiotic Expert Group and Prebiotic Task Force, respectively). It does not aim to propose a new definition of a prebiotic nor to identify which food products are classified as prebiotic but rather to validate and expand the original idea of the prebiotic concept (that can be translated in 'prebiotic effects'), defined as: 'The selective stimulation of growth and/or activity(ies) of one or a limited number of microbial genus(era)/species in the gut microbiota that confer(s) health benefits to the host.' Thanks to the methodological and fundamental research of microbiologists, immense progress has very recently been made in our understanding of the gut microbiota. A large number of human intervention studies have been performed that have demonstrated that dietary consumption of certain food products can result in statistically significant changes in the composition of the gut microbiota in line with the prebiotic concept. Thus the prebiotic effect is now a well-established scientific fact. The more data are accumulating, the more it will be recognised that such changes in the microbiota's composition, especially increase in bifidobacteria, can be regarded as a marker of intestinal health. The review is divided in chapters that cover the major areas of nutrition research where a prebiotic effect has tentatively been investigated for potential health benefits. The prebiotic effect has been shown to associate with modulation of biomarkers and activity(ies) of the immune system. Confirming the studies in adults, it has been demonstrated that, in infant nutrition, the prebiotic effect includes a significant change of gut microbiota composition, especially an increase of faecal concentrations of bifidobacteria. This concomitantly improves stool quality (pH, SCFA, frequency and consistency), reduces the risk of gastroenteritis and infections, improves general well-being and reduces the incidence of allergic symptoms such as atopic eczema. Changes in the gut microbiota composition are classically considered as one of the many factors involved in the pathogenesis of either inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome. The use of particular food products with a prebiotic effect has thus been tested in clinical trials with the objective to improve the clinical activity and well-being of patients with such disorders. Promising beneficial effects have been demonstrated in some preliminary studies, including changes in gut microbiota composition (especially increase in bifidobacteria concentration). Often associated with toxic load and/or miscellaneous risk factors, colon cancer is another pathology for which a possible role of gut microbiota composition has been hypothesised. Numerous experimental studies have reported reduction in incidence of tumours and cancers after feeding specific food products with a prebiotic effect. Some of these studies (icluding one human trial) have also reported that, in such conditions, gut microbiota composition was modified (especially due to increased concentration of bifidobacteria). Dietary intake of particular food products with a prebiotic effect has been shown, especially in adolescents, but also tentatively in postmenopausal women, to increase Ca absorption as well as bone Ca accretion and bone mineral density. Recent data, both from experimental models and from human studies, support the beneficial effects of particular food products with prebiotic properties on energy homaeostasis, satiety regulation and body weight gain. Together, with data in obese animals and patients, these studies support the hypothesis that gut microbiota composition (especially the number of bifidobacteria) may contribute to modulate metabolic processes associated with syndrome X, especially obesity and diabetes type 2. It is plausible, even though not exclusive, that these effects are linked to the microbiota-induced changes and it is feasible to conclude that their mechanisms fit into the prebiotic effect. However, the role of such changes in these health benefits remains to be definitively proven. As a result of the research activity that followed the publication of the prebiotic concept 15 years ago, it has become clear that products that cause a selective modification in the gut microbiota's composition and/or activity(ies) and thus strengthens normobiosis could either induce beneficial physiological effects in the colon and also in extra-intestinal compartments or contribute towards reducing the risk of dysbiosis and associated intestinal and systemic pathologies.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with osteoporosis and is thought to increase the risk of cancer and CVD. Despite these numerous potential health effects, data on vitamin D status at the population level and within key subgroups are limited. The aims of the present study were to examine patterns of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels worldwide and to assess differences by age, sex and region. In a systematic literature review using the Medline and EMBASE databases, we identified 195 studies conducted in forty-four countries involving more than 168 000 participants. Mean population-level 25(OH)D values varied considerably across the studies (range 4.9-136.2 nmol/l), with 37.3% of the studies reporting mean values below 50 nmol/l. The highest 25(OH)D values were observed in North America. Although age-related differences were observed in the Asia/Pacific and Middle East/Africa regions, they were not observed elsewhere and sex-related differences were not observed in any region. Substantial heterogeneity between the studies precluded drawing conclusions on overall vitamin D status at the population level. Exploratory analyses, however, suggested that newborns and institutionalised elderly from several regions worldwide appeared to be at a generally higher risk of exhibiting lower 25(OH)D values. Substantial details on worldwide patterns of vitamin D status at the population level and within key subgroups are needed to inform public health policy development to reduce risk for potential health consequences of an inadequate vitamin D status.
Low-grade inflammation is a characteristic of the obese state, and adipose tissue releases many inflammatory mediators. The source of these mediators within adipose tissue is not clear, but infiltrating macrophages seem to be especially important, although adipocytes themselves play a role. Obese people have higher circulating concentrations of many inflammatory markers than lean people do, and these are believed to play a role in causing insulin resistance and other metabolic disturbances. Blood concentrations of inflammatory markers are lowered following weight loss. In the hours following the consumption of a meal, there is an elevation in the concentrations of inflammatory mediators in the bloodstream, which is exaggerated in obese subjects and in type 2 diabetics. Both high-glucose and high-fat meals may induce postprandial inflammation, and this is exaggerated by a high meal content of advanced glycation end products (AGE) and partly ablated by inclusion of certain antioxidants or antioxidant-containing foods within the meal. Healthy eating patterns are associated with lower circulating concentrations of inflammatory markers. Among the components of a healthy diet, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and fish are all associated with lower inflammation. AGE are associated with enhanced oxidative stress and inflammation. SFA and trans-MUFA are pro-inflammatory, while PUFA, especially long-chain n-3 PUFA, are anti-inflammatory. Hyperglycaemia induces both postprandial and chronic low-grade inflammation. Vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids decrease the circulating concentrations of inflammatory markers. Potential mechanisms are described and research gaps, which limit our understanding of the interaction between diet and postprandial and chronic low-grade inflammation, are identified.
In a previous clinical study, a probiotic formulation (PF) consisting of Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175 (PF) decreased stress-induced gastrointestinal discomfort. Emerging evidence of a role for gut microbiota on central nervous system functions therefore suggests that oral intake of probiotics may have beneficial consequences on mood and psychological distress. The aim of the present study was to investigate the anxiolytic-like activity of PF in rats, and its possible effects on anxiety, depression, stress and coping strategies in healthy human volunteers. In the preclinical study, rats were daily administered PF for 2 weeks and subsequently tested in the conditioned defensive burying test, a screening model for anti-anxiety agents. In the clinical trial, volunteers participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised parallel group study with PF administered for 30 d and assessed with the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-90), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Perceived Stress Scale, the Coping Checklist (CCL) and 24 h urinary free cortisol (UFC). Daily subchronic administration of PF significantly reduced anxiety-like behaviour in rats (P<0.05) and alleviated psychological distress in volunteers, as measured particularly by the HSCL-90 scale (global severity index, P<0.05; somatisation, P<0.05; depression, P<0.05; and anger-hostility, P.0<05), the HADS (HADS global score, P<0.05; and HADS-anxiety, P<0.06), and by the CCL (problem solving, P.0<05) and the UFC level (P<0.05). L. helveticus R0052 and B. longum R0175 taken in combination display anxiolytic-like activity in rats and beneficial psychological effects in healthy human volunteers.
Demand for organic foods is partially driven by consumers' perceptions that they are more nutritious. However, scientific opinion is divided on whether there are significant nutritional differences between organic and non-organic foods, and two recent reviews have concluded that there are no differences. In the present study, we carried out meta-analyses based on 343 peer-reviewed publications that indicate statistically significant and meaningful differences in composition between organic and non-organic crops/crop-based foods. Most importantly, the concentrations of a range of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were found to be substantially higher in organic crops/crop-based foods, with those of phenolic acids, flavanones, stilbenes, flavones, flavonols and anthocyanins being an estimated 19 (95% CI 5, 33) %, 69 (95% CI 13, 125) %, 28 (95% CI 12, 44) %, 26 (95% CI 3, 48) %, 50 (95% CI 28, 72)% and 51 (95% CI 17, 86)% higher, respectively. Many of these compounds have previously been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, including CVD and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers, in dietary intervention and epidemiological studies. Additionally, the frequency of occurrence of pesticide residues was found to be four times higher in conventional crops, which also contained significantly higher concentrations of the toxic metal Cd. Significant differences were also detected for some other (e.g. minerals and vitamins) compounds. There is evidence that higher antioxidant concentrations and lower Cd concentrations are linked to specific agronomic practices (e.g. non-use of mineral N and P fertilisers, respectively) prescribed in organic farming systems. In conclusion, organic crops, on average, have higher concentrations of antioxidants, lower concentrations of Cd and a lower incidence of pesticide residues than the non-organic comparators across regions and production seasons.
Although resveratrol has widely been studied for its potential health benefits, little is known about its metabolic effects in humans. Our aims were to determine whether the polyphenol resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic patients and to gain some insight into the mechanism of its action. After an initial general examination (including blood chemistry), nineteen patients enrolled in the 4-week-long double-blind study were randomly assigned into two groups: a resveratrol group receiving oral 2 x 5 mg resveratrol and a control group receiving placebo. Before and after the second and fourth weeks of the trial, insulin resistance/sensitivity, creatinine-normalised ortho-tyrosine level in urine samples (as a measure of oxidative stress), incretin levels and phosphorylated protein kinase B (pAkt):protein kinase B (Akt) ratio in platelets were assessed and statistically analysed. After the fourth week, resveratrol significantly decreased insulin resistance (homeostasis model of assessment for insulin resistance) and urinary ortho-tyrosine excretion, while it increased the pAkt:Akt ratio in platelets. On the other hand, it had no effect on parameters that relate to beta-cell function (i.e. homeostasis model of assessment of beta-cell function). The present study shows for the first time that resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity in humans, which might be due to a resveratrol-induced decrease in oxidative stress that leads to a more efficient insulin signalling via the Akt pathway.
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an important pulse crop grown and consumed all over the world, especially in the Afro-Asian countries. It is a good source of carbohydrates and protein, and protein quality is considered to be better than other pulses. Chickpea has significant amounts of all the essential amino acids except sulphur-containing amino acids, which can be complemented by adding cereals to the daily diet. Starch is the major storage carbohydrate followed by dietary fibre, oligosaccharides and simple sugars such as glucose and sucrose. Although lipids are present in low amounts, chickpea is rich in nutritionally important unsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic and oleic acids. beta-Sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol are important sterols present in chickpea oil. Ca, Mg, P and, especially, K are also present in chickpea seeds. Chickpea is a good source of important vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, folate and the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene. As with other pulses, chickpea seeds also contain anti-nutritional factors which can be reduced or eliminated by different cooking techniques. Chickpea has several potential health benefits, and, in combination with other pulses and cereals, it could have beneficial effects on some of the important human diseases such as CVD, type 2 diabetes, digestive diseases and some cancers. Overall, chickpea is an important pulse crop with a diverse array of potential nutritional and health benefits.
The human intestine is colonised by 10(13) to 10(14) micro-organisms, the vast majority of which belong to the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Although highly stable over time, the composition and activities of the microbiota may be influenced by a number of factors including age, diet and antibiotic treatment. Although perturbations in the composition or functions of the microbiota are linked to inflammatory and metabolic disorders (e.g. inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome and obesity), it is unclear at this point whether these changes are a symptom of the disease or a contributing factor. A better knowledge of the mechanisms through which changes in microbiota composition (dysbiosis) promote disease states is needed to improve our understanding of the causal relationship between the gut microbiota and disease. While evidence of the preventive and therapeutic effects of probiotic strains on diarrhoeal illness and other intestinal conditions is promising, the exact mechanisms of the beneficial effects are not fully understood. Recent studies have raised the question of whether non-viable probiotic strains can confer health benefits on the host by influencing the immune system. As the potential health effect of these non-viable bacteria depends on whether the mechanism of this effect is dependent on viability, future research needs to consider each probiotic strain on a case-by-case basis. The present review provides a comprehensive, updated overview of the human gut microbiota, the factors influencing its composition and the role of probiotics as a therapeutic modality in the treatment and prevention of diseases and/or restoration of human health.
Feeding stimulates robust increases in muscle protein synthesis (MPS); however, ageing may alter the anabolic response to protein ingestion and the subsequent aminoacidaemia. With this as background, we aimed to determine in the present study the dose-response of MPS with the ingestion of isolated whey protein, with and without prior resistance exercise, in the elderly. For the purpose of this study, thirty-seven elderly men (age 71 (SD 4) years) completed a bout of unilateral leg-based resistance exercise before ingesting 0, 10, 20 or 40 g of whey protein isolate (W0-W40, respectively). Infusion of L-[1-C-13]leucine and L-[ring-C-13(6)] phenylalanine with bilateral vastus lateralis muscle biopsies were used to ascertain whole-body leucine oxidation and 4 h post-protein consumption of MPS in the fed-state of non-exercised and exercised leg muscles. It was determined that whole-body leucine oxidation increased in a stepwise, dose-dependent manner. MPS increased above basal, fasting values by approximately 65 and 90% for W20 and W40, respectively (P<0.05), but not with lower doses of whey. While resistance exercise was generally effective at stimulating MPS, W20 and W40 ingestion post-exercise increased MPS above W0 and W10 exercised values (P<0.05) and W40 was greater than W20 (P<0.05). Based on the study, the following conclusions were drawn. At rest, the optimal whey protein dose for non-frail older adults to consume, to increase myofibrillar MPS above fasting rates, was 20 g. Resistance exercise increases MPS in the elderly at all protein doses, but to a greater extent with 40 g of whey ingestion. These data suggest that, in contrast to younger adults, in whom post-exercise rates of MPS are saturated with 20 g of protein, exercised muscles of older adults respond to higher protein doses.
Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) has been shown to correlate with increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Small, observational studies suggest an action for vitamin D in improving insulin sensitivity and/or insulin secretion. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of improved vitamin D status on insulin resistance (IR), utilising randomised, controlled, double-blind intervention administering 100 mu g (4000IU) vitamin D-3 (n 42) or placebo (n 39) daily for 6 months to South Asian women, aged 23-68 years, living in Auckland, New Zealand. Subjects were insulin resistant - homeostasis model assessment 1 (HOMA1) > 1.93 and had serum 25(OH)D concentration 50nmol/l. Exclusion criteria included diabetes medication and vitamin D supplementation >25 mu g (1000 IU)/d. The HOMA2 computer model was used to calculate outcomes. Median (25th, 75th percentiles) serum 25(OH)D3 increased significantly from 21 (11, 40) to 75 (55, 84) nmol/l with supplementation. Significant improvements were seen in insulin sensitivity and IR (P=0.003 and 0.02, respectively), and fasting insulin decreased (P=0.02) with supplementation compared with placebo. There was no change in C-peptide with supplementation. IR was most improved when endpoint serum 25(OH)D reached >= 80 nmol/l. Secondary outcome variables (lipid profile and high sensitivity C-reactive protein) were not affected by supplementation. In conclusion, improving vitamin D status in insulin resistant women resulted in improved IR and sensitivity, but no change in insulin secretion. Optimal vitamin D concentrations for reducing IR were shown to be 80-119 nmol/l, providing further evidence for an increase in the recommended adequate levels. Registered Trial No. ACTRN12607000642482.
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) may play an important role in chronic diseases through the activation of inflammatory responses. The type of diet consumed is of major concern for the prevention and treatment of these diseases. Evidence from animal and human studies has shown that LPS can diffuse from the gut to the circulatory system in response to the intake of high amounts of fat. The method by which LPS move into the circulatory system is either through direct diffusion due to intestinal paracellular permeability or through absorption by enterocytes during chylomicron secretion. Considering the impact of metabolic diseases on public health and the association between these diseases and the levels of LPS in the circulatory system, this review will mainly discuss the current knowledge about high-fat diets and subclinical inflammation. It will also describe the new evidence that correlates gut microbiota, intestinal permeability and alkaline phosphatase activity with increased blood LPS levels and the biological effects of this increase, such as insulin resistance. Although the majority of the studies published so far have assessed the effects of dietary fat, additional studies are necessary to deepen the understanding of how the amount, the quality and the structure of the fat may affect endotoxaemia. The potential of food combinations to reduce the negative effects of fat intake should also be considered in future studies. In these studies, the effects of flavonoids, prebiotics and probiotics on endotoxaemia should be investigated. Thus, it is essential to identify dietetic strategies capable of minimising endotoxaemia and its postprandial inflammatory effects.
Previous research has shown that nutrients and certain food items influence inflammation. However, little is known about the associations between diet, as a whole, and inflammatory markers. In the present study, we examined the ability of a FFQ-derived dietary inflammatory index (DII) to predict inflammation. Data from a Belgian cross-sectional study of 2524 generally healthy subjects (age 35-55 years) were used. The DII is a population-based, literature-derived dietary index that was developed to predict inflammation and inflammation-related chronic diseases. The DII was calculated from FFQ-derived dietary information and tested against inflammatory markers, namely C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6, homocysteine and fibrinogen. Analyses were performed using multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for energy, age, sex, BMI, smoking status, education level, use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, blood pressure, use of oral contraceptives, anti-hypertensive therapy, lipid-lowering drugs and physical activity. Multivariable analyses showed significant positive associations between the DII and the inflammatory markers IL-6 (>1.6 pg/ml) (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.04, 1.36) and homocysteine (>15 mu mol/l) (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.25, 1.94). No significant associations were observed between the DII and the inflammatory markers CRP and fibrinogen. These results reinforce the fact that diet, as a whole, plays an important role in modifying inflammation.
Obesity is associated with complications during pregnancy and increased health risks in the newborn. The objective of the present study was to establish possible relationships between gut microbiota, body weight, weight gain and biochemical parameters in pregnant women. Fifty pregnant women were classified according to their BMI in normal-weight (n 34) and overweight (n 16) groups. Gut microbiota composition was analysed by quantitative real-time PCR in faeces and biochemical parameters in plasma at 24 weeks of pregnancy. Reduced numbers of Bifidobacterium and Bacieroides and increased numbers of Staphylococcus, Enterobacteriaceae and Escherichia coli were detected in overweight compared with normal-weight pregnant women. E. coli numbers were higher in women with excessive weight gain than in women with normal weight gain during pregnancy, while Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia muciniphila showed an opposite trend. In the whole population, increased total bacteria and Staphylococcus numbers were related to increased plasma cholesterol levels. Increased Bacteroides numbers were related to increased HDL-cholesterol and folic acid levels, and reduced TAG levels. Increased Bifidobacterium numbers were related to increased folic acid levels. Increased Enterobacteriaceae and E. coli numbers were related to increased ferritin and reduced transferrin, while Bifidobacterium levels showed the opposite trend. Therefore, gut microbiota composition is related to body weight, weight gain and metabolic biomarkers during pregnancy, which might be of relevance to the management of the health of women and infants.
Introduction: Cardiovascular disease remains the commonest health problem in developed countries, and residual risk after implementing all current therapies is still high. The use of marine omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) has been recommended to reduce cardiovascular risk by multiple mechanisms. Objectives: To update the current evidence on the influence of omega-3 on the rate of cardiovascular events. Review Methods: We used the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases to identify clinical trials and randomized controlled trials of omega-3 fatty acids (with quantified quantities) either in capsules or in dietary intake, compared to placebo or usual diet, equal to or longer than 6 months, and written in English. The primary outcome was a cardiovascular event of any kind and secondary outcomes were all-cause mortality, cardiac death and coronary events. We used RevMan 5.1 (Mantel-Haenszel method). Heterogeneity was assessed by the I-2 and Chi(2) tests. We included 21 of the 452 pre-selected studies. Results: We found an overall decrease of risk of suffering a cardiovascular event of any kind of 10% (OR 0.90; [0.85-0.96], p = 0.001), a 9% decrease of risk of cardiac death (OR 0.91; [0.83-0.99]; p = 0.03), a decrease of coronary events (fatal and non-fatal) of 18% (OR 0.82; [0.75-0.90]; p < 1 x 10(-4)), and a trend to lower total mortality (5% reduction of risk; OR 0.95; [0.89-1.02]; p = 0.15. Most of the studies analyzed included persons with high cardiovascular risk. Conclusions: marine omega-3 fatty acids are effective in preventing cardiovascular events, cardiac death and coronary events, especially in persons with high cardiovascular risk.
The aim of the present study was to assess reproducibility and relative validity of a self-administered FFQ used in the PREDIMED Study, a clinical trial for primary prevention of CVD by Mediterranean diet in a population at high cardiovascular risk. The FFQ was administered twice (FFQ1 and FFQ2) to explore reproducibility at 1 year. Four 3d dietary records (DR) were used as reference to explore validity; participants therefore recorded their food intake over 12 d in the course of 1 year. The degree of misclassification in the FFQ was also evaluated by a contingency table of quintiles comparing the information from the FFQ2 and the DR. A total of 158 men and women (aged 55-80 years) were asked not to modify their dietary habits during the study period. Reproducibility for food groups, energy and nutrient intake, explored by the Pearson correlation coefficient (r) raneed 0.50-0.82, and the intraclass correlation coefficient ([CC) ranged from 0.63 to 0.90. The FFQ2 tended to report higher energy and nutrient intake than the DR. The validity indices of the FFQ in relation to the DR for food groups and energy and nutrient intake ranged (r) from 0.24 to 0.72, while the ranee of the ICC: was between 0.40 and 0.84. With regard to food groups, 68-83 % of individuals were in the same or adjacent quintile in both methods, a figure which decreased to 55-75 % for enemy and nutrient intake. We concluded that FFQ measurements had :good reproducibility and a relative validity similar to those of FFQ used in other prospective studies.
Phytosterols (PS, comprising plant sterols and plant stanols) have been proven to lower LDL-cholesterol concentrations. The dose-response relationship for this effect has been evaluated in several meta-analyses by calculating averages for different dose ranges or by applying continuous dose-response functions. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. So far, the calculation of averages for different dose ranges has not been done for plant sterols and stanols separately. The objective of the present meta-analysis was to investigate the combined and separate effects of plant sterols and stanols when classified into different dose ranges. Studies were searched and selected based on predefined criteria. Relevant data were extracted. Average LDL-cholesterol effects were calculated when studies were categorised by dose, according to random-effects models while using the variance as weighing factor. This was done for plant sterols and stanols combined and separately. In total, 124 studies (201 strata) were included. Plant sterols and stanols were administered in 129 and fifty-nine strata, respectively; the remaining used a mix of both. The average PS dose was 2.1 (range 0.2-9.0) g/d. PS intakes of 0.6-3.3 g/d were found to gradually reduce LDL-cholesterol concentrations by, on average, 6-12%. When plant sterols and stanols were analysed separately, clear and comparable dose-response relationships were observed. Studies carried out with PS doses exceeding 4 g/d were not pooled, as these were scarce and scattered across a wide range of doses. In conclusion, the LDL-cholesterol-lowering effect of both plant sterols and stanols continues to increase up to intakes of approximately 3 g/d to an average effect of 12 %.
Excessive consumption of acidic drinks and foods contributes to tooth erosion. The aims of the present in vitro study were twofold: (1) to assess the erosive potential of different dietary substances and medications; (2) to determine the chemical properties with an impact on the erosive potential. We selected sixty agents: soft drinks, an energy drink; sports drinks, alcoholic drinks, juice, fruit, mineral water, yogurt, tea; coffee, salad dressing and medications. The erosive potential of the tested agents was quantified as the changes in surface hardness (Delta SH) of enamel specimens within the first 2 min (Delta SH2-0 = SH2min - SHbaseline) and the second 2 min exposure (Delta SH4-2 = SH4min - SH2min To characterise these agents, various chemical properties, e.g. pH, concentrations of Ca, P-i and F, titratable acidity to pH 7.0 and buffering capacity at the original pH value (beta), as well as degree of saturation (pK - pI) with respect to hydroxyapatite (HAP) and fluorapatite (FAP), were determined. Erosive challenge caused a statistically significant reduction in SH for all agents except for coffee; some medications and alcoholic drinks, and non-flavoured mineral waters, teas and yogurts (P<0.01). By multiple linear regression analysis, 52% of the variation in ASH after 2 min and 61% after 4 min immersion were explained by pH, beta and concentrations of F and Ca (P<0.05). pH was the variable with the highest impact in multiple regression and bivariate correlation analyses. Furthermore, a high bivariate correlation was also obtained between (pK - pI)(HAP), (pK -pI)(FAP) and Delta SH.
The role of very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets (VLCKD) in the long-term management of obesity is not well established. The present meta-analysis aimed to investigate whether individuals assigned to a VLCKD (i.e. a diet with no more than 50 g carbohydrates/d) achieve better long-term body weight and cardiovascular risk factor management when compared with individuals assigned to a conventional low-fat diet (LFD; i.e. a restricted-energy diet with less than 30% of energy from fat). Through August 2012, MEDLINE, CENTRAL, ScienceDirect, Scopus, LILACS, SciELO, ClinicalTrials.gov and grey literature databases were searched, using no date or language restrictions, for randomised controlled trials that assigned adults to a VLCKD or a LFD, with 12 months or more of follow-up. The primary outcome was body weight. The secondary outcomes were TAG, HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, glucose, insulin, HbA(1c) and C-reactive protein levels. A total of thirteen studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria. In the overall analysis, five outcomes revealed significant results. Individuals assigned to a VLCKD showed decreased body weight (weighted mean difference -0.91 (95% CI -1.65, -0.17)kg, 1415 patients), TAG (weighted mean difference -0.18 (95% CI -0.27, -0.08) mmol/l, 1258 patients) and diastolic blood pressure (weighted mean difference -1.43 (95% CI -2.49, -0.37) mmHg, 1298 patients) while increased HDL-C (weighted mean difference 0.09 (95% CI 0.06, 0.12) mmol/l, 1257 patients) and LDL-C (weighted mean difference 0.12 (95% CI 0.04, 0.2) mmol/l, 1255 patients). Individuals assigned to a VLCKD achieve a greater weight loss than those assigned to a LFD in the long term; hence, a VLCKD may be an alternative tool against obesity.
The intake of sugar-sweetened soft drinks has been reported to be associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, but it is unclear whether this is because of the sugar content or related lifestyle factors, whether similar associations hold for artificially sweetened soft drinks, and how these associations are related to BMI. We aimed to conduct a systematic literature review and dose-response meta-analysis of evidence from prospective cohorts to explore these issues. We searched multiple sources for prospective studies on sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks in relation to the risk of type 2 diabetes. Data were extracted from eleven publications on nine cohorts. Consumption values were converted to ml/d, permitting the exploration of linear and non-linear dose-response trends. Summary relative risks (RR) were estimated using a random-effects meta-analysis. The summary RR for sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks were 1 20/330 ml per d (95% CI 1.12, 1.29, P<0.001) and 1.13/330 ml per d (95% CI 1.02, 1.25, P= 0.02), respectively. The association with sugar-sweetened soft drinks was slightly lower in studies adjusting for BMI, consistent with BMI being involved in the causal pathway. There was no evidence of effect modification, though both these comparisons lacked power. Overall between-study heterogeneity was high. The included studies were observational, so their results should be interpreted cautiously, but findings indicate a positive association between sugar-sweetened soft drink intake and type 2 diabetes risk, attenuated by adjustment for BMI. The trend was less consistent for artificially sweetened soft drinks. This may indicate an alternative explanation, such as lifestyle factors or reverse causality. Future research should focus on the temporal nature of the association and whether BMI modifies or mediates the association.
The present systematic review examined the relationship between nutrition knowledge and dietary intake in adults (mean age >= 18 years). Relevant databases were searched from the earliest record until November 2012. Search terms included: nutrition; diet or food knowledge and energy intake; feeding behaviour; diet; eating; nutrient or food intake or consumption. Included studies were original research articles that used instruments providing quantitative assessment of both nutrition knowledge and dietary intake and their statistical association. The initial search netted 1193393 potentially relevant articles, of which twenty-nine were eligible for inclusion. Most of them were conducted in community populations (n 22) with fewer (n 7) in athletic populations. Due to the heterogeneity of methods used to assess nutrition knowledge and dietary intake, a meta-analysis was not possible. The majority of the studies (65 center dot 5%: community 63 center dot 6%; athletic 71 center dot 4%) reported significant, positive, but weak (r<0 center dot 5) associations between higher nutrition knowledge and dietary intake, most often a higher intake of fruit and vegetables. However, study quality ranged widely and participant representation from lower socio-economic status was limited, with most participants being tertiary educated and female. Well-designed studies using validated methodologies are needed to clarify the relationship between nutrition knowledge and dietary intake. Diet quality scores or indices that aim to evaluate compliance to dietary guidelines may be particularly valuable for assessing the relationship between nutrition knowledge and dietary intake. Nutrition knowledge is an integral component of health literacy and as low health literacy is associated with poor health outcomes, contemporary, high-quality research is needed to inform community nutrition education and public health policy.