A large number of studies have shown that a diet rich in vegetables may provide protection against many chronic diseases. We reviewed approximately 560 studies published since 1990, divided into four groups: 1) epidemiological studies on a high intake of vegetables, 2) human studies on vegetable ingredients, 3) animal studies on vegetable ingredients, and 4) physiological studies on each vegetable. Many cohort and case-control studies have reported that a higher consumption of vegetables was inversely related to the risk of chronic diseases. This epidemiological evidence has shown the preventive effect on the incidence of cardiovascular disease and on all types of cancer, specifically of cancer of the lung, stomach and colon. This effect has been suggested to be attributable to the ingestion of micronutrients and numerous phytochemicals in vegetables. Some reports have shown the physiological effects on humans of specific ingredients such as carotenoids and flavonoids. Reports on the physiological effects of vegetable ingredients on experimental animals are increasing, the effects on the liver, cancer, immunization, and nervous and circulatory systems having been well investigated. Some vegetables have been reported to possess such physiological functions as anti-cancer, immune-enhancing and hypolipidemic effects. It would appear that major public health benefits could be achieved by substantially increasing the consumption of vegetables. However, the some studies have also shown null and/or negative effects on health from an increased consumption of vegetables. It is therefore necessary to continue searching for scientific evidence about the role of vegetables.
We investigated the relationship between the primary factors for obesity in preschool children and the eating behavior and dietary consciousness of their mothers. Physical signs, biochemical data and frequency of food intake were collected, and a questionnaire on living conditions and life styles was conducted on 245 preschool children aged 4-5 years and their mothers who lived in suburban and rural areas. The physical characteristics of the children were a height of 105.2±4.5cm (mean±SD) and a weight of 17.7±2.7kg. The degree of obesity was 3.3±11.7%, and 26 (10.6%) of the children were considered to be obese. The rate of skipping breakfast was 25%, while the same rate for dinner was 7% among all the subjects. There were some significant differences between the non-obese and obese children regarding their eating behavior. For example, the rate of “eating quickly” in the obese group was higher than in the non-obese group. In respect of the dietary consciousness of the mothers, their attitude toward cooking and their interest in food labeling were not related to the childrens' obesity. To assess the relationship between the primary factors for obesity in the children and the dietary consciousness of the mothers, a principal component analysis was performed regarding the overall dietary consciousness and eating behavior of the mothers. The following four factors were identified: the method of providing meals (first principal component), the mothers' interest in nutrition (second principal component), the mothers' interest in calorie control (third principal component), and the frequency of eating out (fourth principal component). The score for the third principal component was significantly higher in the obese group than in the non-obese group. Some significant relationships were apparent between the individual factor score of the principal components and the eating behavior of the children. The variables of “have a snack after dinner”, “enjoyment while eating” and “eating quickly” showed a positive correlation, and “eating slowly” while “chewing slowly” showed a negative correlation with the third principal component; namely, carefully controlling the caloric intake.
The health-related quality of life (QOL) and nutritional status in patients with chronic renal failure was assessed by using the SF-36 questionnaire. Thirty-two chronic renal failure patients and 41 healthy subjects (group C) were enrolled. The chronic renal failure patients were classified into three groups: group I demonstrated a creatinine clearance level over 50ml/min, group II showed a range of 20-50ml/min, and group III showed a level below 20ml/min. The mean subject ages were 51.8±17.2, 56.3±13.0, 53.9±17.2 and 50.1±3.3 years in groups I, II, III and C. The QOL score for group III was lower than that for group C. However, the general health (GH) perception score in all chronic renal failure groups was significantly lower than that of group C. The mean energy intake was 33.4±3.6kcal/kg in group I, 29.7±6.4kcal/kg in group II and 30.6±10.3kcal/kg in group III, while the protein intake was 0.9±0.3kcal/kg in group I, 0.9±0.3g/kg in group II and 0.7±0.1g/kg in group III. The energy and protein intakes satisfied the guidelines for the three numbered groups. The protein intake by group III was significantly lower than that by group II or III (p<0.05). Although the nutritional status was considered good according to the serum albumin value, the hematocrit value for group III was significantly lower than that in group I or II (p<0.05). Renal anemia was the factor that reduced the QOL score in the chronic renal failure patients. This evaluation should help medical staff to facilitate the management of these patient symptoms.
We investigated the relationships of the bone mineral density with the nutritional intake, physical activity habit, and other life-style factors among elderly residents of Hisayama for application to preventive medicine. The number of male smokers was significantly higher than no-smokers and former smokers. There was no significant difference among each female smoking group. There was no significant difference among each male physical activity group, but the sedentary group had significantly lower activity (4-7days/week) among the females. The sodium intake by the males was significantly different among the H-group and L-group, but there was no significant difference in the intake of other nutrients among the three groups. The energy intake by the females was significantly different among the H-group and L-group. There was no significant difference among the in three male groups in the percentages of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for nutrition. The percentage RDA values for energy and protein were significantly different among the female H-group and L-group. A factor analysis gave a significantly lower second factor score in the L-group than in the M-group and H-group of both males and females. The second factor was interpreted as a “bread-style diet” and “rice style diet”. These results suggest that a sexual difference exists in the factors which affect the bone mineral density, especially the nutritional factor. It is therefore necessary to recommend reducing the sodium (NaCl) intake by men to prevent a fall in the bone mineral density, while the women need to ensure sufficient protein and calcium to meet the RDA values. It is also necessary to counsel the elderly women in a food consumption pattern that provides an easily acceptable intake of calcium.
The effects of garlic components extracted with organic solvents on the carbohydrate and fat metabolism of rats were investigated. Rats fed on a diet prepared according to the AIN-76 formula were given either the garlic extract or saline for 5 weeks via an intra-peritoneal injection. The liver weight of the garlic group decreased, but their thyroid glands increased significantly in wet weight compared to the control group. The weight of the carcass was suppressed in the garlic group, and crude fat content in the carcass significantly decreased. The glycogen synthetase activity in the liver cytosol of the garlic-supplemented rats was also significantly decreased, as was the plasma insulin concentration, while the plasma glucagon concentration of the garlic group was elevated. It is suggested from these data that dietary supplementation with the garlic extract might have promoted the catabolism of glucose and/or fatty acid (combustion) in the rats.
Recommended Dietary Allowance for Japanese (RDA-J), the 6th revision (2000) newly introduced the concept of dietary reference intakes (DRIs). In this study, to review possible problems of RDA-J, the 6th revision, we conducted an questionnaire survey to the members of the Japanese society of nutrition and dietetics in 2002. Among randomly selected 1000 members, a total of 478 individuals responded to the questionnaire. The result indicated that RDA-J, the 6th revision could not be easily applied to individuals with diseases or elderly people in practical settings (51.3%, 43.4%, respectively). The RDAs of fatty acids (17.2%), vitamin A (13.8%) and beta-carotene (14.3%) might have some problems to use for preparing menu, diet surveys and so on, because appropriate values were not available for these nutrients on food composition table, the 5th revision. The needs for opportunities to attend training courses on the application of RDA and DRIs were large (85.4%). These data suggest that technical supports are important to solve some problems in practical uses of RDA and DRIs.