This systematic review collated seventy-eight studies exploring waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and waist circumference (WC) or BMI as predictors of diabetes and CVD, published in English between 1950 and 2008. Twenty-two prospective analyses showed that WHtR and WC were significant predictors of these cardiometabolic outcomes more often than BMI, with similar OR, sometimes being significant predictors after adjustment for BMI. Observations from cross-sectional analyses, forty-four in adults, thirteen in children, supported these predictions. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis revealed mean area under ROC (AUROC) values of 0.704, 0.693 and 0.671 for WHtR, WC and BMI, respectively. Mean boundary values for WHtR, covering all cardiometabolic outcomes, from studies in fourteen different countries and including Caucasian, Asian and Central American subjects, were 0.50 for men and 0.50 for women. WHtR and WC are therefore similar predictors of diabetes and CVD, both being stronger than, and independent of, BMI. To make firmer statistical comparison, a meta-analysis is required. The AUROC analyses indicate that WHtR may be a more useful global clinical screening tool than WC, with a weighted mean boundary value of 0.5, supporting the simple public health message 'keep your waist circumference to less than half your height'.
Epidemiological studies have shown a positive relationship between dietary fat intake and obesity. Since rats and mice show a similar relationship, they are considered an appropriate model for studying dietary obesity. The present paper describes the history of using high-fat diets to induce obesity in animals, aims to clarify the consequences of changing the amount and type of dietary fats on weight gain, body composition and adipose tissue cellularity, and explores the contribution of genetics and sex, as well as the biochemical basis and the roles of hormones such as leptin, insulin and ghrelin in animal models of dietary obesity. The major factors that contribute to dietary obesity - hyperphagia, energy density and post-ingestive effects of the dietary fat - are discussed. Other factors that affect dietary obesity including feeding rhythmicity, social factors and stress are highlighted. Finally, we comment on the reversibility of high-fat diet-induced obesity.
In adipocytes the hydrolysis of TAG to produce fatty acids and glycerol under fasting conditions or times of elevated energy demands is tightly regulated by neuroendocrine signals, resulting in the activation of lipolytic enzymes. Among the classic regulators of lipolysis, adrenergic stimulation and the insulin-mediated control of lipid mobilisation are the best known. Initially, hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) was thought to be the rate-limiting enzyme of the first lipolytic step, while we now know that adipocyte TAG lipase is the key enzyme for lipolysis initiation. Pivotal, previously unsuspected components have also been identified at the protective interface of the lipid droplet surface and in the signalling pathways that control lipolysis. Perilipin, comparative gene identification-58 (CGI-58) and other proteins of the lipid droplet surface are currently known to be key regulators of the lipolytic machinery, protecting or exposing the TAG core of the droplet to lipases. The neuroendocrine control of lipolysis is prototypically exerted by catecholaminergic stimulation and insulin-induced suppression, both of which affect cyclic AMP levels and hence the protein kinase A-mediated phosphorylation of HSL and perilipin. Interestingly, in recent decades adipose tissue has been shown to secrete a large number of adipokines, which exert direct effects on lipolysis, while adipocytes reportedly express a wide range of receptors for signals involved in lipid mobilisation. Recently recognised mediators of lipolysis include some adipokines, structural membrane proteins, atrial natriuretic peptides, AMP-activated protein kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase. Lipolysis needs to be reanalysed from the broader perspective of its specific physiological or pathological context since basal or stimulated lipolytic rates occur under diverse conditions and by different mechanisms.
Butyrate is a natural substance present in biological liquids and tissues. The present paper aims to give an update on the biological role of butyrate in mammals, when it is naturally produced by the gastrointestinal microbiota or orally ingested as a feed additive. Recent data concerning butyrate production delivery as well as absorption by the colonocytes are reported. Butyrate cannot be detected in the peripheral blood, which indicates fast metabolism in the gut wall and/or in the liver. In physiological conditions, the increase in performance in animals could be explained by the increased nutrient digestibility, the stimulation of the digestive enzyme secretions, a modification of intestinal luminal microbiota and an improvement of the epithelial integrity and defence systems. In the digestive tract, butyrate can act directly (upper gastrointestinal tract or hindgut) or indirectly (small intestine) on tissue development and repair. Direct trophic effects have been demonstrated mainly by cell proliferation studies, indicating a faster renewal of necrotic areas. Indirect actions of butyrate are believed to involve the hormono-neuro-immuno system. Butyrate has also been implicated in down-regulation of bacteria virulence, both by direct effects on virulence gene expression and by acting on cell proliferation of the host cells. In animal production, butyrate is a helpful feed additive, especially when ingested soon after birth, as it enhances performance and controls gut health disorders caused by bacterial pathogens. Such effects could be considered for new applications in human nutrition.
The human intestinal microbial ecosystem plays an important role in maintaining health. A multitude of diseases including diarrhoea, gastrointestinal inflammatory disorders, such as necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) of neonates, and obesity are linked to microbial composition and metabolic activity. Therefore, research on possible dietary strategies influencing microbial composition and activity, both preventive and curative, is being accomplished. Interest has focused on pre- and probiotics that stimulate the intestinal production of beneficial bacterial metabolites such as butyrate, and beneficially affect microbial composition. The suitability of an animal model to study dietary linked diseases is of much concern. The physiological similarity between humans and pigs in terms of digestive and associated metabolic processes places the pig in a superior position over other non-primate models. Furthermore, the pig is a human-sized omnivorous animal with comparable nutritional requirements, and shows similarities to the human intestinal microbial ecosystem. Also, the pig has been used as a model to assess microbiota-health interactions, since pigs exhibit similar syndromes to humans, such as NEC and partly weanling diarrhoea. In contrast, when using rodent models to study diet-microbiota-health interactions, differences between rodents and humans have to be considered. For example, studies with mice and human subjects assessing possible relationships between the composition and metabolic activity of the gut microbiota and the development of obesity have shown inconsistencies in results between studies. The present review displays the similarities and differences in intestinal microbial ecology between humans and pigs, scrutinising the pig as a potential animal model, with regard to possible health effects.
Breakfast is recommended as part of a healthy diet because it is associated with healthier macro- and micronutrient intakes, BMI and lifestyle. Breakfast is also widely promoted to improve cognitive function and academic performance, leading to the provision of breakfast initiatives by public health bodies. Despite this positive and intuitive perception of cognitive benefits, there has been no systematic review of the evidence. Systematic review methodology was employed to evaluate the effects of breakfast on cognitive performance in well-nourished children and nutritionally at-risk or stunted children. Acute experimental studies. school feeding programmes and studies of habitual breakfast intake are reviewed. Comparisons of breakfast v. no breakfast and breakfasts differing in energy and macronutrient composition are discussed. Included are forty-five studies described in forty-one papers published between 1950 and 2008. The evidence indicates that breakfast consumption is more beneficial than skipping breakfast, but this effect is more apparent in children whose nutritional status is compromised. There is a lack of research comparing breakfast type, precluding recommendations for the size and composition of an optimal breakfast for children's cognitive function. Few studies examined adolescents. Studies of school breakfast programmes suggest that such interventions can have positive effects on academic performance, but this may be in part explained by the increased school attendance that programmes encourage. The present systematic review considers methodological issues in this field and makes recommendations for future research design and policy priorities.
The health benefits of breast-feeding have been recognised for a long time. In particular, breast-feeding is associated with lower incidence of necrotising enterocolitis and diarrhoea during the early period of life and with lower incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases, type 2 diabetes and obesity later in life. The higher nutritional and protective degree of human milk is related to its nutritional composition that changes over the lactation period and to the biological activities of specific components while lower growth rate of breast-fed infants may be attributed to their self-regulation of milk intake at a lower level than formula-fed infants. Many results now suggest that the developmental changes in intestinal and pancreatic function that occur postnatally are modulated by the diet. Indeed, formula-feeding induces intestinal hypertrophy and accelerates maturation of hydrolysis capacities; it increases intestinal permeability and bacterial translocation, but does not induce evident differences in microbiota composition. Whether these changes would be beneficial for enhancing absorptive capacities and for educating the gut-associated immune system remains to be further studied. Moreover, it is evident that formula-feeding increases basal blood glucose and decreases plasma ketone body concentrations, while discrepancies on postprandial glycaemia, insulin and incretin responses in both human studies and experimental studies are inconclusive. Manipulating the composition of formula, by reducing protein content, adding prebiotics, growth factors or secretory IgA can modulate intestinal and pancreatic function development, and thereby may reduce the differential responses between breast-fed and formula-fed neonates. However, the developmental responses of the digestive tract to different feeding strategies must be elucidated in terms of sensitivity to developing diseases, taking into account the major role of the intestinal microbiota.
Traditionally, nutrition research has focused on individual nutrients, and more recently dietary patterns. However, there has been relatively little focus on dietary intake at the level of a 'meal'. The purpose of the present paper was to review the literature on adults' meal patterns, including how meal patterns have previously been defined and their associations with nutrient intakes and diet quality. For this narrative literature review, a comprehensive search of electronic databases was undertaken to identify studies in adults aged >= 19 years that have investigated meal patterns and their association with nutrient intakes and/or diet quality. To date, different approaches have been used to define meals with little investigation of how these definitions influence the characterisation of meal patterns. This review identified thirty-four and fourteen studies that have examined associations between adults' meals patterns, nutrient intakes and diet quality, respectively. Most studies defined meals using a participant-identified approach, but varied in the additional criteria used to determine individual meals, snacks and/or eating occasions. Studies also varied in the types of meal patterns, nutrients and diet quality indicators examined. The most consistent finding was an inverse association between skipping breakfast and diet quality. No consistent association was found for other meal patterns, and little research has examined how meal timing is associated with diet quality. In conclusion, an understanding of the influence of different meal definitions on the characterisation of meal patterns will facilitate the interpretation of the existing literature, and may provide guidance on the most appropriate definitions to use.
Prebiotics are non-digestible (by the host) food ingredients that have a beneficial effect through their selective metabolism in the intestinal tract. Key to this is the specificity of microbial changes. The present paper reviews the concept in terms of three criteria: (a) resistance to gastric acidity, hydrolysis by mammalian enzymes and gastrointestinal absorption; (b) fermentation by intestinal microflora; (c) selective stimulation of the growth and/or activity of intestinal bacteria associated with health and wellbeing. The conclusion is that prebiotics that currently fulfil these three criteria are fructo-oligosaccharides, galacto-oligosaccharides and lactulose, although promise does exist with several other dietary carbohydrates. Given the range of food vehicles that may be fortified by prebiotics, their ability to confer positive microflora changes and the health aspects that may accrue, it is important that robust technologies to assay functionality are used. This would include a molecular-based approach to determine flora changes. The future use of prebiotics may allow species-level changes in the microbiota, an extrapolation into genera other than the bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, and allow preferential use in disease-prone areas of the body.
Probiotics are usually defined as products which contain viable non-pathogenic micro-organisms able to confer health benefits to the host. There are specific gastrointestinal effects of probiotics such as alleviating inflammatory bowel disease, reducing acute diarrhoea in children, inhibiting Salmonella and Helicobacter pylori, removing cholesterol, secreting enzymes and bacteriocins and immunomodulation. However, many of the effects obtained from viable cells of probiotics are also obtained from populations of dead cells. Heat-killed cells of Enterococcus faecalis stimulate the gastrointestinal immune system in chicks. Dead bifidobacteria induce significant increases in TNF-alpha production. Administration of heat-killed E. faecalis to healthy dogs increases neutrophil phagocytes. The probiotic paradox is that both live and dead cells in probiotic products can generate beneficial biological responses. The action of probiotics could be a dual one. Live probiotic cells influence both the gastrointestinal microflora and the immune response whilst the components of dead cells exert an anti-inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal tract. This is quite analogous to a proposed mode of action of antimicrobial growth promoters in animal production. This has several implications for the production and application of probiotics, as it will be difficult to assess the relative proportions of live and dead cells in a probiotic culture. Variable amounts of dead cells might contribute to the variation in response often seen with live probiotic cultures. However, the use of dead probiotics as biological response modifiers has several attractive advantages; such products would be very safe and have a long shelf-life.
The present review has the objective of summarising chronobiological aspects of shift work and obesity. There was a systematic search in PubMed databases, using the following descriptors: shift work; obesity; biological clock. Shift work is extremely frequent in several services and industries, in order to systematise the needs for flexibility of the workforce, necessary to optimise productivity and business competitiveness. In developing countries, this population represents a considerable contingent workforce. Recently, studies showed that overweight and obesity are more prevalent in shift workers than day workers. In addition, the literature shows that shift workers seem to gain weight more often than those workers submitted to a usual work day. In conclusion, there is considerable epidemiological evidence that shift work is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes and CVD, perhaps as a result of physiological maladaptation to chronically sleeping and eating at abnormal circadian times. The impact of shift work on metabolism supports a possible pathway to the development of obesity and its co-morbities. The present review demonstrated the adverse cardiometabolic implications of circadian misalignment, as occurs chronically with shift workers.
Available evidence on the bioactive, nutritional and putative detrimental properties of gut microbial metabolites has been evaluated to support a more integrated view of how prebiotics might affect host health throughout life. The present literature inventory targeted evidence for the physiological and nutritional effects of metabolites, for example, SCFA, the potential toxicity of other metabolites and attempted to determine normal concentration ranges. Furthermore, the biological relevance of more holistic approaches like faecal water toxicity assays and metabolomics and the limitations of faecal measurements were addressed. Existing literature indicates that protein fermentation metabolites (phenol, p-cresol, indole, ammonia), typically considered as potentially harmful, occur at concentration ranges in the colon such that no toxic effects are expected either locally or following systemic absorption. The endproducts of saccharolytic fermentation, SCFA, may have effects on colonic health, host physiology, immunity, lipid and protein metabolism and appetite control. However, measuring SCFA concentrations in faeces is insufficient to assess the dynamic processes of their nutrikinetics. Existing literature on the usefulness of faecal water toxicity measures as indicators of cancer risk seems limited. In conclusion, at present there is insufficient evidence to use changes in faecal bacterial metabolite concentrations as markers of prebiotic effectiveness. Integration of results from metabolomics and metagenomics holds promise for understanding the health implications of prebiotic microbiome modulation but adequate tools for data integration and interpretation are currently lacking. Similarly, studies measuring metabolite fluxes in different body compartments to provide a more accurate picture of their nutrikinetics are needed.
A growing number of studies focusing on the developmental origin of health and disease hypothesis have identified links among early nutrition, epigenetic processes and diseases also in later life. Different epigenetic mechanisms are elicited by dietary factors in early critical developmental ages that are able to affect the susceptibility to several diseases in adulthood. The studies here reviewed suggest that maternal and neonatal diet may have long-lasting effects in the development of non-communicable chronic adulthood diseases, in particular the components of the so-called metabolic syndrome, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, obesity, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, and CVD. Both maternal under-and over-nutrition may regulate the expression of genes involved in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Early postnatal nutrition may also represent a vital determinant of adult health by making an impact on the development and function of gut microbiota. An inadequate gut microbiota composition and function in early life seems to account for the deviant programming of later immunity and overall health status. In this regard probiotics, which have the potential to restore the intestinal microbiota balance, may be effective in preventing the development of chronic immune-mediated diseases. More recently, the epigenetic mechanisms elicited by probiotics through the production of SCFA are hypothesised to be the key to understand how they mediate their numerous health-promoting effects from the gut to the peripheral tissues.
Tree nuts contain an array of phytochemicals including carotenoids, phenolic acids, phytosterols and polyphenolic compounds such as flavonoids, proanthocyanidins (PAC) and stilbenes, all of which are included in nutrient databases, as well as phytates, sphingolipids, alkylphenols and lignans, which are not. The phytochemical content of tree nuts can vary considerably by nut type, genotype, pre- and post-harvest conditions, as well as storage conditions. Genotype affects phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes and phytosterols, but data are lacking for many other phytochemical classes. During the roasting process, tree nut isoflavones, flavanols and flavonols were found to be more resistant to heat than the anthocyanins, PAC and trans-resveratrol. The choice of solvents used for extracting polyphenols and phytosterols significantly affects their quantification, and studies validating these methods for tree nut phytochemicals are lacking. The phytochemicals found in tree nuts have been associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, antiviral, chemopreventive and hypocholesterolaemic actions, all of which are known to affect the initiation and progression of several pathogenic processes. While tree nut phytochemicals are bioaccessible and bioavailable in humans, the number of intervention trials conducted to date is limited. The objectives of the present review are to summarise tree nut: (1) phytochemicals; (2) phytochemical content included in nutrient databases and current publications; (3) phytochemicals affected by pre- and post-harvest conditions and analytical methodology; and (4) bioactivity and health benefits in humans.
The consequences of early-life nutritional programming in man and other mammalian species have been studied chiefly at the metabolic level. Very few studies, if any, have been performed in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) as the target organ, but extensive GIT studies are needed since the GIT plays a key role in nutrient supply and has an impact on functions of the entire organism. The possible deleterious effects of nutritional programming at the metabolic level were discovered following epidemiological studies in human subjects, and confirmed in animal models. Investigating the impact of programming on GIT structure and function would need appropriate animal models due to ethical restrictions in the use of human subjects. The aim of the present review is to discuss the use of pigs as an animal model as a compromise between ethically acceptable animal studies and the requirement of data which can be interpolated to the human situation. In nutritional programming studies, rodents are the most frequently used model for man, but GIT development and digestive function in rodents are considerably different from those in man. In that aspect, the pig GIT is much closer to the human than that of rodents. The swine species is closely comparable with man in many nutritional and digestive aspects, and thus provides ample opportunity to be used in investigations on the consequences of nutritional programming for the GIT. In particular. the 'sow-piglets' dyad could be a useful tool to simulate the 'human mother-infant' dyad in studies which examine short-, middle- and long-term effects and is suggested as the reference model.
Cognitive decline may lead to dementia whose most frequent cause is Alzheimer's disease (AD). Among the many potential risk factors of cognitive decline and AD, diet raises increasing interest. Most studies considered diet in the frame of a single nutrient approach with inconsistent results. A novel approach to examine the link between nutrition and cognitive function is the use of dietary patterns. The aim of the present review was to update and complete the body of knowledge about dietary patterns in relationship with various cognitive outcomes in the elderly. Two approaches can be used: a priori and a posteriori patterns. A priori patterns are defined by the adhesion to a pre-defined healthy diet using a score such as the Mediterranean diet (MeDi) score, the Healthy Eating Index, the Canadian Healthy Eating Index, the French National Nutrition and Health Programme (Programme National Nutrition Sante) Guideline Score (PNNS-GS), the Recommended Food Score (RFS) and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). MeDi score, RFS, PNNS-GS and DASH have been associated with lower risks of cognitive impairment, cognitive decline, and dementia or AD. Principal components analysis, reduced rank regression and clustering methods allow the identification of 'healthy' patterns associated with lower risk of cognitive decline. However, some studies did not report any associations with cognitive outcomes and results are discordant especially regarding MeDi and the risk of dementia. Several methodological challenges should be overcome to provide a higher level of evidence supporting the development of nutritional policies to prevent cognitive decline and AD.
The present review examines the pig as a model for physiological studies in human subjects related to nutrient sensing, appetite regulation, gut barrier function, intestinal microbiota and nutritional neuroscience. The nutrient-sensing mechanisms regarding acids (sour), carbohydrates (sweet), glutamic acid (umami) and fatty acids are conserved between humans and pigs. In contrast, pigs show limited perception of high-intensity sweeteners and NaCl and sense a wider array of amino acids than humans. Differences on bitter taste may reflect the adaptation to ecosystems. In relation to appetite regulation, plasma concentrations of cholecystokinin and glucagon-like peptide-1 are similar in pigs and humans, while peptide YY in pigs is ten to twenty times higher and ghrelin two to five times lower than in humans. Pigs are an excellent model for human studies for vagal nerve function related to the hormonal regulation of food intake. Similarly, the study of gut barrier functions reveals conserved defence mechanisms between the two species particularly in functional permeability. However, human data are scant for some of the defence systems and nutritional programming. The pig model has been valuable for studying the changes in human microbiota following nutritional interventions. In particular, the use of human flora-associated pigs is a useful model for infants, but the long-term stability of the implanted human microbiota in pigs remains to be investigated. The similarity of the pig and human brain anatomy and development is paradigmatic. Brain explorations and therapies described in pig, when compared with available human data, highlight their value in nutritional neuroscience, particularly regarding functional neuroimaging techniques.
The glycaemic index (GI) concept was originally introduced to classify different sources of carbohydrate (CHO)-rich foods, usually having an energy content of > 80 % from CHO, to their effect on post-meal glycaemia. It was assumed to apply to foods that primarily deliver available CHO, causing hyperglycaemia. Low-GI foods were classified as being digested and absorbed slowly and high-GI foods as being rapidly digested and absorbed, resulting in different glycaemic responses. Low-GI foods were found to induce benefits on certain risk factors for CVD and diabetes. Accordingly it has been proposed that GI classification of foods and drinks could be useful to help consumers make 'healthy food choices' within specific food groups. Classification of foods according to their impact on blood glucose responses requires a standardised way of measuring such responses. The present review discusses the most relevant methodological considerations and highlights specific recommendations regarding number of subjects, sex, subject status, inclusion and exclusion criteria, pre-test conditions, CHO test dose, blood sampling procedures, sampling times, test randomisation and calculation of glycaemic response area under the curve. All together, these technical recommendations will help to implement or reinforce measurement of GI in laboratories and help to ensure quality of results. Since there is current international interest in alternative ways of expressing glycaemic responses to foods, some of these methods are discussed.
Research into the analysis, physical properties and health effects of dietary fibre has continued steadily over the last 40-50 years. From the knowledge gained, countries have developed guidelines for their populations on the optimal amount of fibre to be consumed each day. Food composition tables from many countries now contain values for the dietary fibre content of foods, and, from these, combined with dietary surveys, population intakes have been determined. The present review assessed the uniformity of the analytical methods used, health claims permitted, recommendations and intakes, particularly from national surveys across Europe and around the world. It also assessed current knowledge on health effects of dietary fibre and related the impact of different fibre types on health. The overall intent was to be able to provide more detailed guidance on the types of fibre which should be consumed for good health, rather than simply a total intake figure, the current situation. Analysis of data indicated a fair degree of uniformity in the definition of dietary fibre, the method used for analysis, the recommended amount to be consumed and a growing literature on effects on digestive health and disease risk. However, national dietary survey data showed that intakes do not reach recommendations and very few countries provide guidance on the types of fibre that are preferable to achieve recommended intakes. Research gaps were identified and ideas suggested to provide information for more detailed advice to the public about specific food sources that should be consumed to achieve health benefits.
Following the discovery of TNF-alpha and leptin as secretory products of adipocytes in the early 1990s. subsequent obesity research focused on the new functional role of adipose tissue. as an active endocrine or.-an. Many more inflammatory peptides have been linked to adiposity, which ultimately characterised obesity as a state of low-grade systemic inflammation, or 'metaflammation' which may link obesity to its co-morbidities. The aim of the present review is to examine the effects of weight loss on inflammation in overweight and obese, but otherwise healthy, Populations. Studies were broadly classified into four types (diet, physical activity, diet and physical activity combined, and surgical interventions) and discussed according to the method used to induce weight loss. All studies measured at least one obesity-related inflammatory marker (ORIM). The overall finding from the present review is that weight loss does improve inflammation in terms of both the inflammatory (C-reactive protein, TNF-alpha, IL-6 and leptin) and anti-inflammatory (adiponectin) ORIM. Within this, the greatest improvements in ORIM are observed in studies achieving a weight loss of at least 10%. However, a number of methodological issues have been identified its potential limitations within the literature including the sex and age of subjects, sample size, study duration and the assessment of body composition. In conclusion, although a period of weight loss per se is capable of reversing the unfavourable inflammatory profile evident in the obese state, further Studies are required to determine the time needed, in which a reduced weight is maintained, in order to benefit from improved inflammatory status long term.