To investigate vitamin D status in children with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and explore the association between vitamin D deficiency and the immune response in CAP children, 77 children with CAP were retrospectively analyzed. The baseline characteristics of patients were obtained from medical records. Based on the blood samples collected during diagnosis of CAP, the routine blood examination results and proportions of lymphocyte subsets were assessed. There were 71.4% (55/77) of patients with vitamin D deficiency among CAP children. The serum 25(OH)D level significantly decreased with age. Patients with vitamin D deficiency had a significantly higher neutrophil percentage, but significantly lower lymphocyte percentage and count as well as proportion of CD19 positive lymphocytes (CD19+). Spearman’s rho test further confirmed these positive correlations and negative correlations. Moreover, significant associations of vitamin D deficiency with age and the above immune markers were also confirmed by univariate logistic regression analysis. However, only age entered the backward stepwise regression model in multivariate analysis. Vitamin D status in CAP children was negatively associated with age. Age-related vitamin D deficiency may affect the immune response in children with CAP.
It is well known nutrition education for 3- to 5-y-old children is important, and it is necessary to assess their nutrition knowledge before and after nutrition education to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational program. This study aimed to determine the necessary questions for inclusion in a questionnaire designed to assess the nutrition knowledge of young Japanese children in order to assess the effectiveness of the Shokuiku nutrition education program. Eighty and 124 children from 9 nursery schools in Japan participated in the intervention and control groups, respectively. A 15-item questionnaire was completed by the intervention group before and after total of 16 nutrition education lessons. The control group completed the questionnaire only once. The necessary questions for inclusion in the questionnaire were evaluated by comparing the frequency of correct answers given by the pre- and post-intervention groups using McNemar and Wilcoxon’s signed rank sum tests, and by the post-intervention and control groups using Chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests. The frequency of correct answers given to questions in all categories except “Breakfast and life rhythm” significantly differed between the pre- and post-intervention groups (p<0.05). The frequency of correct answers given by the post-intervention group was significantly higher than that of the control group only in the category of “Three colors food groups” (p<0.05). The results suggest that it is necessary to include questions about functions of food and nutrients such as the role of food groups to assess the nutrition knowledge of young Japanese children in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the Shokuiku program.
There has been little epidemiological evidence that has comprehensively clarified whether alterations in lifestyle, such as sleep quality and dietary intake, explain changes in the skin condition of healthy young adults. Therefore, the aim of our study was to elucidate the association between skin condition and lifestyle behaviors such as diet and sleep, after statistically controlling confounding factors. The subjects were 54 participants who were aged 20-32 y, and who attended college in the Kanto region (in Japan). Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) was obtained by putting a probe on the skin surface based on the European Society of Contact Dermatitis guidelines for TEWL measurements. Self-administered questionnaires on demographic characteristics, dietary habits, and health status, such as sleep condition, depression, and fatigue, were handed to participants on the day of measurement. We found that lower sleep efficiency was significantly associated with higher TEWL (p=0.023), while other demographic factors, dietary intakes, and eating behaviors were not (p>0.05). This significant association remained unchanged after controlling for confounding variables, such as sex, BMI, and dietary intake. Our findings may have important implications in the development of valuable health strategies that may suggest behavior modifications for young to middle-aged men and women.
We studied the effects of fish oil and apple polyphenol combined with a high cholesterol diet in rats, and assessed serum and liver lipids concentrations, serum oxidative stress and fecal bile acid excretion. Young male rats were fed a diet containing the control (Control), apple polyphenol (AP), fish oil (FO) or fish oil+apple polyphenol (FO+AP) for 4 wk. The control diet contained a lard component. Posterior abdominal wall fat and testicle peripheral fat weights decreased in the FO+AP group compared to the AP group. The concentration of total cholesterol in the serum and liver decreased in the FO group and the FO+AP group compared to the Control and the AP groups. The concentration of adiponectin and biological antioxidant potential in the serum increased in the FO group compared to the other groups. The diacron-reactive oxygen metabolites in serum decreased in the FO group and the FO+AP group compared to the Control and the AP groups. The bile acid excretion in feces increased in the AP group, the FO group and the FO+AP group compared to the Control group. These results suggested that the combination of fish oil and apple polyphenol in the diet improved serum and liver lipids, which should assist in the prevention and improvement of metabolic syndrome.
There have been reports that hyperglycemia suppresses osteoclast (OCL) differentiation, although the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here we demonstrated that high glucose suppresses OCL differentiation through activation of liver X receptor (LXR) β, a recently reported glucose-sensing nuclear receptor. The effect of hyperglycemia on osteoclastogenesis was tested in RAW264.7 cells, a murine macrophage cell line. Cells were treated with receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) under normoglycemic (5.5 mM glucose), normoglycemic with high osmotic pressure (5.5 mM glucose + 10.0 mM mannitol), and hyperglycemic (15.5 mM glucose) conditions. RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis was significantly suppressed by high-glucose treatment. Mannitol treatment also significantly suppressed osteoclastogenesis, but the inhibitory effect was lower than for high-glucose treatment. The suppression of mRNA expression of Lxrβ by RANKL was significantly restored by high glucose, but not mannitol. Additionally, the deactivation of Lxrβ by siRNA attenuated high-glucose-induced suppression of osteoclastogenesis. Although further validation of the underlying pathway is necessary, targeting LXRβ is a potential therapeutic approach to treating osteoporosis.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural (5-HMF) on liver fibrosis induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) and alcohol. Male ICR mice were treated with CCl4 dissolved in olive oil (10% v/v, 2.5 μg/L) intraperitoneally (i.p.), and given at a dose of 2.5×10−5 mg/kg B.W. twice a week for 7 wk. Concurrently, mice received drinking water with or without alcohol. The mice in treatment groups and positive control group were gavaged with 5-HMF (7.5, 15, and 30 mg/kg B.W.) or Huganpian (350 mg/kg B.W.) daily starting in the fourth week and lasting for 4 wk. The blood samples were analyzed for biochemical markers of hepatic injury and tissue samples were subjected for estimation of liver antioxidants and histopathological studies. The concentrations of HA (hyaluronic acid), LN (laminin), CIV (collagen type IV), and MDA (malondialdehyde), as well as the serum levels of ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase) were markedly reduced by 5-HMF. On the other hand, enzymatic antioxidants SOD (superoxide dismutase), CAT (catalase) and GSH-Px (glutathione peroxidase) were markedly elevated in liver tissue treated with 5-HMF. Histopathological examination revealed that 5-HMF treatment noticeably prevented hepatocyte apoptosis, fatty degeneration and inflammatory cell infiltration on liver fibrosis induced by CCl4 and alcohol. Hoechst 33258 staining also revealed hepatocyte apoptosis. 5-HMF could exert protective effects against liver injury and reduce liver fibrosis induced by CCl4 and alcohol in mice.
Various physiological functions of dietary sphingolipids, such as preventing inflammation and improving the skin barrier function, have been recently demonstrated. The sphingolipid most commonly used as a foodstuff is glucosylceramide from plant sources, which is composed of sphingoid bases that are distinctive from those found in mammals. Although the structure of sphingoid bases in higher plants is more complicated than the structure of those in mammals, the fate of dietary sphingolipids of plant origin is still not understood. In the present study, we investigated the absorption of 4,8-sphingadienine that originated from maize glucosylceramide in the rat intestine by using a lipid absorption assay of lymph collected from the thoracic duct. The cumulative recovery of 4,8-sphingadienine in the lymph was lower than that of sphingosine. Verapamil, a P-glycoprotein inhibitor, significantly increased the absorption of 4,8-sphingadienine but did not affect the absorption of sphingosine. Plant-derived sphingoid bases were detected in the ceramide fraction of lymph fluid by using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. These results indicate that 4,8-sphingadienine that originates from the glucosylceramide of higher plants is poorly absorbed in the intestine because of efflux by P-glycoprotein and can be incorporated into a ceramide moiety, at least in part, in intestinal endothelial cells.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between dietary flavonoid intake and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among Korean women aged ≥30 y. This study used data collected from the 2007-2012 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We excluded subjects who had energy intake <500 kcal or ≥5,000 kcal, were diagnosed with chronic disease, were taking medication, or were pregnant or lactating. The final subjects included 7,963 women, and they were divided into 2 groups, the normal fasting glucose (NFG) group (n=7,738) and the T2DM group (n=225). The intake of flavonoids was estimated on the basis of the flavonoid database. After adjustment for confounding factors, the mean intakes of fruits, anthocyanidins, and flavones were significantly lower in the T2DM group than in the NFG group. In multiple regression analysis, the dietary flavone intake was negatively associated with systolic blood pressure, triglyceride, TG/HDL-cholesterol, and homesostatic model assessment of insulin resistance. Daily intake of flavones above the 25th percentile was associated with a lower prevalence of T2DM compared with intake below the 25th percentile (OR=0.593, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.414-0.847). These study results showed that dietary flavone intake may have some beneficial effects in reducing CVD risks and prevalence of T2DM in Korean women.
Glycation, a non-enzymatic glycosylation of proteins, induces tissue damage in association with various diseases and aging phenomena. Pentosidine, an advanced glycation end product, is involved in aging phenomena such as tissue stiffness. In this study, we aimed to find a potent anti-glycation food material and to verify its health benefits by clinical trial. From among 681 hot water plant extracts, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis; LB) leaf extract was selected and revealed to have more potent inhibitory activity for pentosidine formation than a representative anti-glycation agent, aminoguanidine. Rosmarinic acid (RA), a typical polyphenol in Lamiaceae plants, was identified as a major active component in LB extract (LBE). Furthermore, LBE or RA dose-dependently suppressed glycation-associated reactions such as increased fluorescence, yellowing of collagen fiber sheets, and degeneration of the fibrous structure of elastin fiber sheets. An open-label, parallel-group comparative trial was conducted in 28 healthy Japanese subjects aged 31-65 y who consumed LB tea (LB group) or barley tea (Control group) for 6 wk. The LB group showed significant reductions in brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity, reflecting arterial stiffness, and b* (yellow) color values in forearm skin compared with the Control group. A gender-stratified analysis revealed that cheek skin elasticity was significantly improved in the LB group compared with the Control group only in female subjects. It is concluded that the hot water extract of LB leaf has the potential to provide health benefits with regard to glycation-associated tissue damage in blood vessels and skin of healthy adults.
Winged beans are an important natural source of some micronutrients. This paper presents the first complete characterization of folate derivatives including polyglutamyl 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-CH3-H4PteGlun), folate species and total folate accumulating in pods and immature seeds of winged beans from 9 cultivars and 7 growth stages. 5-CH3-H4PteGlun and folate species were determined with a UHPLC-MS/MS method. Accurate determination of 5-CH3-H4PteGlun and folate species was optimized and validated according to EMA guidelines including method selectivity, sensitivity, linearity, accuracy, precision, matrix effect and carry-over. The level of total folate is in the range of 73-200 μg/100 g in the pods and 33-61 μg/100 g in the immature seeds. The predominant folate species in winged beans is 5-CH3-H4PteGlu1. 5-CH3-H4PteGlu5 is the major polyglutamyl folate derivative. The level of total folate is increased about 4 fold with advancing maturity. For pods, the chain length is increased with growth which shifts from 5-CH3-H4PteGlu1 in the early stage to 5-CH3-H4PteGlu5 and 5-CH3-H4PteGlu6 in the 7th stage. Our findings demonstrate that winged beans are good source of folate. The validated UHPLC-MS/MS method allows for the determination of 5-CH3-H4PteGlun and folate species from other vegetable matrices.
We examined the effect of 1α-hydroxyvitamin D3 [1α(OH)D3] on mice in the forced swimming test. Intragastric administration of 1.0 μg/kg of 1α(OH)D3 reduced immobility time in the forced swimming test. At all concentrations tested (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 μg/kg), 1α(OH)D3 had no effect on locomotor activity, compared with controls. These results suggest that 1α(OH)D3 may have antidepressant-like activity.