Tocotrienols are forms of vitamin E that are present in several important food crops. Compared to tocopherols, less research has been conducted on these compounds because of their low bioavailability and distribution in plant tissues. Both tocotrienols and tocopherols are known for their antioxidant and anticancer activities, which are beneficial for both humans and animals. Moreover, tocotrienols possess certain properties which are not found in tocopherols, such as neuroprotective and cholesterol-lowering activities. The contents of tocotrienols in plants vary. Tocotrienols constitute more than 70% and tocopherols less than 30% of the total vitamin E content in palm oil, which is the best source of vitamin E. Accumulation of tocotrienols also occurs in non-photosynthetic tissues, such as the seeds, fruits and latex of some monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plant species. The use of biotechnological techniques to increase the tocotrienol content in plants, their biological functions, and benefits to human health are discussed in this review.
Osteoporosis and fragility fractures have been regarded as important public health concerns. We investigated their possible association with vitamin D receptor (VDR) FOK1 polymorphisms (rs10735810) and dietary parameters such as calcium and vitamin D intake. A total of 264 Iranian obese women (BMI>30 kg/m2) were categorized based on the FOK1 genotype and divided into two groups: group one with the FF genotype (n=184) and the f allele carrier group with the Ff or ff genotype (n=80). The body composition, dietary intake and bone mineral density were assessed for all cases. The frequency of the F and f alleles for FOK1 in the study were 71.5% and 28.5%, respectively. Women with the f allele had a higher BMI (p=0.05), as well as parathyroid hormone (PTH) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) concentration (p=0.05, p=0.01, respectively). Participants with calcium intakes of more than 1,000 mg/d and the ff genotype had a higher L2_L4 Z-score. Moreover, women with vitamin D intakes of less than 600 IU/d and the ff genotype had a higher total T-score and total Z-score. Although women whose dietary intake of vitamin D was higher than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA>600 IU/d) and had the FF genotype had a higher total T-score and total Z-score, as well. Our findings suggest that interactions between FOK1 polymorphisms in Iranian obese women and dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D may play a decisive role in bone mineral density and osteoporosis among these women.
Platelet granule release is considered an important target for preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Cyanidin-3-glucoside (Cy-3-g) is a predominant bioactive anthocyanin compound in many edible plants and has been reported to be protective against CVDs by attenuating platelet dysfunction. However, direct evidence of the action of Cy-3-g on platelet granule secretion in purified platelets from in vivo assays is still poor. In the present study, we demonstrated that dietary supplementation of purified Cy-3-g reduces serum lipid levels and facilitates down-regulation of the platelet granule release of substances such as P-selectin, CD40L, 5-HT, RANTES and TGF-β1 in gel-filtered platelets, in addition to attenuating serum PF4 and β-TG levels in mice fed high-fat diets. These results provide evidence that Cy-3-g protects against thrombosis and CVDs by inhibiting purified platelet granule release in vivo.
Myostatin, a member of the TGF-β superfamily, is a negative regulator of skeletal muscle cell growth and differentiation, and binds with high affinity to the activin type IIB receptor (ActRIIB). The soluble ligand-binding domain of ActRIIB fused to the Fc domain of IgG (ActRIIB-Fc) potently binds and inhibits TGF-β family members in muscle, leading to rapid and marked muscle growth. The present study was designed to assess the effectiveness of the co-delivery of myostatin-targeting siRNA (Mstn-siRNA) and ActRIIB-Fc into skeletal muscle as a potential treatment of atrophic myopathies. Eleven-week-old, male C57BL/6 mice were injected with atelocollagen (ATCOL)-mediated Mstn-siRNA with/without ActRIIB-Fc locally into the masseter muscle twice a week. Inhibition of myostatin function by the combination of Mstn-siRNA and ActRIIB-Fc increased muscle weight and myofibril size in murine masseter muscle. Real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed significant downregulation of myostatin mRNA expression in both the Mstn-siRNA-treated and the combination treatment group. Furthermore, myogenin mRNA expression was upregulated in the combination treatment group, while MuRF-1 and Atrogin-1 mRNA expression was downregulated compared to administration of each compound alone. These findings suggest that double inhibition of myostatin is a potentially useful treatment strategy to increase muscle mass and fiber size and could be a useful treatment of patients with various muscle atrophies, including muscular dystrophy.
Studies examining the impact of menstrual cycle phases on the cardiac autonomic nervous system have produced inconsistent results. This study aimed to investigate this relationship, controlling for the confounding effects of diet, physical activity, and sleep, which can be affected by the menstrual cycle. Fifteen female college students with regular menses were enrolled. Data regarding 24-h heart rate variability (HRV), dietary intake, eating behavior, menstrual distress, and sleep and activity parameters were obtained during the follicular and luteal phases. Power spectral analysis of HRV was used to calculate low-frequency (0.04-0.15 Hz, LF), high-frequency (>0.15 Hz, HF), and total spectral power (TP). Cardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system activity indicators were evaluated as LF/HF and HF/TP, respectively. Intake of protein and fat, as well as total sleep time and number of awakenings, were higher in the luteal phase than in the follicular phase (p<0.05). Tendencies for increased mean activity counts, emotional eating scores, and behavioral change scores in the Menstrual Distress Questionnaire were observed in the luteal phase (p<0.10). Although LF/HF was higher in the luteal phase (p=0.036), the relationship was weakened after controlling for diet, physical activity, and sleep (p=0.113). Our findings suggest that altering sympathetic nervous system activity during the menstrual cycle was not independent from major lifestyle factors (diet, physical activity, and sleep). Menstrual cycle phase and changes of these parameters should be considered when assessing the cardiac autonomic function among menstruating woman.
Undernutrition caused by difficulties in masticating is of growing concern among the elderly. Soft diets are often served at nursing homes; however, the styles differ with nursing homes. Improperly modified food texture and consistency may lead to further loss of nutritive value. Therefore, we developed a method to produce a soft diet using chicken. The texture-modified chicken was prepared by boiling a mixture of minced chicken and additive foodstuff that softened the meat. The best food additive was determined through testing cooking process, size after modification and texture. The optimum proportions of each component in the mixture were determined measuring food texture using a creep meter. Teriyaki chicken was cooked using the texture-modified chicken, and provided to a nursing home. The amount of food intake by elderly residents was subsequently surveyed. This study involved 22 residents (1 man and 21 women; mean age 91.4±5.3 y). Consequently, yakifu, which was made from wheat gluten, was the most suitable additive foodstuff. The hardness of the texture-modified chicken, with proportions of minced chicken, yakifu, and water being 50%, 10%, and 40% respectively, was under 40,000 N/m2. The intake amount of the texture-modified chicken of subjects whose intake amount of conventional chicken using chicken thigh was not 100% was significantly higher. These findings suggest that properly modified food textures could contribute to improve the quality of meals by preventing undernutrition among the elderly with mastication difficulties.
Aphanothece sacrum (Sur.) Okada is a species of cyanobacteria found in Japan. Although it has been used in local cuisine in Kyushu, Japan, for 250 y, little is known about its beneficial effect as food. The daily intake of health beneficial phytochemicals is believed to be useful for preventing lifestyle-related diseases, such as diabetic cataracts. In this study, the inhibitory effect of freeze-dried A. sacrum (Asa) on the formation of diabetic cataracts (DCs) was evaluated. Type 1 diabetes was induced in mice using streptozotocin (STZ). The mice were divided into two groups: one was fed a normal diet (DM-control group) and the other was fed a diet containing 1% Asa (DM-Asa group). During the study, changes in blood glucose levels and the amount of food and water consumed were measured. After 3 mo, the amount of Nε-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML), an oxidative stress marker, in the lens was measured using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Although the blood glucose levels (p=0.91) and food consumption did not significantly change in any group, the oral administration of Asa tended to suppress CML accumulation (p=0.15) and significantly inhibited the progression of cataractogenesis in the diabetic lens compared with that reported for the normal diet (p=0.009). These results suggested that the daily intake of A. sacrum prevents the pathogenesis of cataracts, and indicated that may reduce the number of DC patients.
Gut microbiota are deeply associated with the prevalence of obesity. Agarose is hydrolyzed easily to yield oligosaccharides, designated as agaro-oligosaccharides (AGO). This study evaluated the effects of AGO on obese phenotype and gut microbial composition in mice. Mice were administered AGO in drinking water (AGO-receiving mice). 16S rRNA gene sequencing analyses revealed their fecal microbiota profiles. Serum bile acids were ascertained using a LC-MS/MS system. Compared to the control group, AGO administration significantly reduced epididymal adipose tissue weights and serum non-esterified fatty acid concentrations, but the cecal content weights were increased. Data from the serum bile acid profile show that concentrations of primary bile acids (cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid), but not those of secondary bile acids (deoxycholic acid, lithocholic acid, and ursodeoxycholic acid), tended to increase in AGO-receiving mice. 16S rRNA gene sequencing analyses showed that the relative abundances of 15 taxa differed significantly in AGO-receiving mice. Of these, the relative abundances of Rikenellaceae and Lachnospiraceae were found to be positively correlated with epididymal adipose tissue weight. The relative abundances of Bacteroides and Ruminococcus were correlated negatively with epididymal adipose tissue weight. Although the definitive role of gut microbes of AGO-received mice is still unknown, our data demonstrate the possibility that AGO administration affects the gut microbial composition and inhibits obesity in mice.