Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is the collective name for a group of geometric and positional isomers of octadecadienoic acid (18: 2) with conjugated double bonds. Interest in CLA has increased in the past decade as a result of its potential beneficial health effects on experimental animals. We summarize in this review the occurrence in food, biological effects and typical human consumption of CLA. We also review the efficacy and some problems of CLA supplementation as a weight loss agent, and the findings from animal studies and in vitro studies. Since CLA is biologically produced by the rumen bacteria of ruminant animals, ruminant meat and milk contain relatively higher amounts of CLA. The predominant isomers in those foods are 9-cis, 11-trans CLA. On the other hand, chemically synthesized CLA products which are commercially available in the US generally contain equal amounts of 9-cis, 11-trans and 10-trans, 12-cis CLA. The CLA isomers have been shown in animal models to protect against chemically induced cancer and atherosclerosis, and to reduce body fat. Although CLA appears to reduce fat mass in rodents such as mice and rats, we need more evidence to clarify the fat-reducing effect and safety of CLA in humans.
This study examines the relationship between food intake frequency and the awareness, knowledge and attitude to health practices from school health education. The subjects of the analysis were 522 senior high school students comprising 234 males and 288 females. The survey was carried out in September 2001. The intake frequency of fish, meat, light-colored vegetables, bean curd and eggs was high, but of dark-colored vegetables, fruit, milk and seaweed was low. The level of health awareness was not high in respect of not eating breakfast, eating late at night and not taking sufficient exercise. However, interest in lifestyle-related diseases was apparent. The average score attained for the 15 items of health knowledge in health textbooks was 64.4%. The attitude to health (sleeping, smoking, drinking, exercise, breakfast intake, etc.) was encouraging. Those who had a high score for their food intake frequency also had highly developed health awareness. Their lifestyle was healthy, and they were also highly interested in lifestyle-related diseases. They had also acquired knowledge of health, and education about their attitude to health had been effectively achieved. These findings indicate simple surveys on the importance of the right eating habits can be utilized as part of the curriculum for school health education.
This study was carried out to determine whether a food delivery service can improve the nutritional status and immunity of elderly persons living at home. The subjects were 32 elderly persons (67-89 years age range; 80.5±5.3 years average age) living in a town in Miyazaki Prefecture. After providing the food delivery service for 5 months, the intake of all the food groups except cereals had increased and the intake of each nutrient had also increased. Although the height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and proportion of body fat had not changed in the subjects, the serum total protein, serum albumin, erythrocytes, hematocrit, and transferrin levels related to nutritional status had all increased. Increases were also apparent in the number of lymphocytes, leukocytes and CD8 cells, and there was a decrease in CD4/CD8 ratio. These results suggest that the food delivery service had improved the nutritional status and immune status of the elderly subjects, and that nutritional care services run by municipalities may be beneficial for preventing infection that is the main cause of death in elderly persons.
Dietary therapy is extremely important for renal failure patients, and the diet for these patients should be based on low-protein and high-energy foods. Low-protein and high-energy rice and noodles as staple foods have already been developed and utilized for dietary therapy, although low-protein and high-energy bread is not presently available. We made low-protein and high-energy loaf samples exclusively for kidney disease patients by using starch flour that is designated as a food for special dietary use. We compared this exclusive bread to ordinary bread made of hard flour, and performed organoleptic tests (n=56), textural measurements and color recognition tests. The exclusive loaf samples made from starch flour gave high-preference scores in the organoleptic tests. In comparison to wheat bread, the nutritive values of the sample loaves were lower in protein (-32%, -45%) higher in energy (+37%, +40%), lower in phosphorus (-16%, -20%), lower in potassium (-16%, -20%) and lower in sodium (-67%, -66%). We conclude from these results that this exclusive bread made from starch flour is potentially useful as a staple food in dietary therapy for renal failure patients who require special foods.