Growing evidence has demonstrated that oxidative stress and increased altered oxygen utilization contribute to atherogenesis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) progression. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. The objective of this study was to determine antioxidants status in CVD patients. This cross-sectional study was performed on 71 patients clinically diagnosed with CVD and 63 healthy individuals. Plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) level was measured for lipid peroxidation product and erythrocyte SOD and GPx activities as enzymatic antioxidants. The serum levels of vitamins A and E were assayed using HPLC and vitamin C by the photometric method. Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) was measured using the ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) method. The results showed a significant reduction in antioxidant status (enzymatic and non-enzymatic) with a concomitant increase in the concentrations of lipid peroxidation products in CVD patients. There was a significant inverse correlation among TAC, SOD, GPx and vitamin C with MDA. It can be concluded that the antioxidant defense system plays an important role in preventing the development and progression of CVD with the ability to control oxidative stress.
This study was conducted to examine the characteristics and use of dietary supplements by preschool children in Japan. A survey was conducted among 2,125 parents of preschool children to discover the status of dietary supplement use and their attitudes towards supplement use by their children. Logistic regression models were used to determine which characteristics predict supplement use in this population. For detailed characterization, child supplement users were also categorized as either the users of vitamins and minerals only or the users of other supplement components. For parents of non-user children, the parent's knowledge and attitudes toward supplements for children were investigated. Fifteen percent of children had used dietary supplements. Two parent-related factors were especially important, the frequency with which they referred to nutritional labels and their own supplement use, which had a significant encouraging effect on their children's supplement use. The parents of child supplement users showed limited awareness of the government system concerning diet and food, placed safety over efficacy, selected products with natural ingredients, and did not seek consultations with professionals. These parents, especially those who were aware of the specially designed supplements for children, exhibited positive responses to supplement use by their children. It is likely that parents' knowledge and attitudes toward dietary supplements and nutrition have a striking effect on their children's use of supplements. Unfortunately, their knowledge at present was less than satisfactory. More accurate information on nutrition, dietary intake and dietary supplements must be disseminated.
The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that gastric lavage with soybean isoflavone activates the Notch signaling pathway and prevents apoptosis in the cerebral cortex during experimental strokes. Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to four groups of 10 rats each: sham operation plus vehicle (Sham), middle cerebral artery occlusion plus vehicle (MCAO), MCAO plus low dose soybean isoflavone (10 mg/(kg·d)) and MCAO plus high dose soybean isoflavone (50 mg/(kg·d)). The vehicle (saline, 10 mL/(kg·d)) and soybean isoflavone were administered by gastric lavage for 28 d prior to sham or MCAO operation and for 7 d afterward. The mRNA and protein expression levels of components of the Notch signaling system (Notch1 and Hes5) were measured by in situ hybridization and western blotting, respectively, whereas apoptosis was quantified by TUNEL assay. The results showed that MCAO stimulated expression of Notch1 and Hes5, at both the mRNA and protein levels, and also increased apoptosis. Soybean isoflavone dose-dependently augmented the stimulatory effect of MCAO on Notch1 and Hes5 expression levels but decreased apoptosis. These results identify a possible mechanism by which soybean isoflavone confers neuroprotection in strokes.
This study aimed to clarify the regulatory mechanism of Mg homeostasis on administration of excessive Mg in rats. Six-week-old male Wistar rats (n=30) were fed a Mg-deficient diet (D) or a control diet (M) in addition to which they received subcutaneous injections of saline (S) or additional Mg (M) for 14 d. Feces and urine were collected from the rats for 4 d every week. Between the MS and MM rats and the DS and DM rats, the injection of additional Mg increased Mg retention, but intestinal Mg absorption did not differ. Urinary Mg excretion in the MM rats was significantly greater than that in the MS rats, but fecal Mg excretion did not increase. Mg retention in the DM rats was approximately 30% of that in the MS rats, and urinary Mg excretion did not differ between the 2 groups, although the serum Mg in DM rats was low. There was no significant difference in the femoral Mg between the MM and MS groups. The physiological Mg pool in the bone appears to be limited. Therefore, there is no physiological Mg pool for the storage of excessive Mg, and there appears to be no negative feedback mechanism on intestinal Mg absorption upon administration of excessive Mg in the rats. In conclusion, it appears that the kidney is the only organ that regulates Mg in the body; apart from this, regulatory mechanisms corresponding to the physiological Mg requirement do not exist or are weak.
Breast milk is considered to be the best nutrient source for infants. However, nutritional compositions of breast milk in developing countries, especially among malnourished women, have not been fully investigated. This study aimed to assess nutritional status and nutrient composition of breast milk in lactating mothers in rural Vietnam. Sixty breastfeeding mothers at 6 to 12 mo postpartum, free from any medical disorder and/or medication, and not pregnant were randomly selected in Yen The, Bac Giang, Vietnam. Their nutritional status, breast milk concentration and dietary intakes were assessed. Among the study participants, anemia (39.0%) and low serum zinc concentration (55.4%) were frequently observed. Dietary assessment revealed lower intakes of iron (10.2±2.5 mg/d) and zinc (10.4±2.2 mg/d) than estimated requirements. The breast milk concentration of iron, zinc and copper was 0.43±0.15 mg/L, 0.56 (0.37, 0.82) mg/L and 0.19±0.05 mg/L, respectively. The breast milk concentration of iron, zinc and copper was not correlated to the serum concentration or dietary intakes. In conclusion, we uncovered a high prevalence of anemia and zinc deficiency in lactating mothers in rural Vietnam. The findings demonstrate a low breast milk zinc concentration among the participants, but need further investigation.
These studies aimed to compare the effects of α-linolenic acid (ALA)+eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)+docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on plasma-lipid concentrations and preferential fat intake of rats fed a lard diet (LD). Each of 2 groups of 4-wk-old male rats was used in studies 1 and 2. In studies 1 and 2, two groups of rats received the LD (LD group) and the fish-oil diet (FD; FD group), and the LD and the perilla-oil diet (PD; PD group), respectively (dietary treatment period). After 6 wk, 6 rats per group were sacrificed. The remaining rats in studies 1 and 2 were placed on a self-selection regimen of the LD and the FD, and the LD and the PD, respectively, for 3 wk (self-selection period). After the dietary treatment period, plasma lipid concentrations in the FD group were lower than those in the LD group. However, no significant difference in the concentrations was observed between the LD group and the PD group. At the beginning of the self-selection period, the ratio of the FD intake of the LD group was higher than that of the FD group. As the the ratio of the LD group decreased and that of the FD group increased no significant difference in the ratio was observed after the 9th day during the self-selection period. No significant difference in the ratio of the PD intake was observed between the LD group and the PD group during the self-selection period. Thus, although the FD decreased plasma lipid concentration and increased the preferential FD intake of the LD group at the beginning of the self-selection period, the PD did not. Our studies clearly show that dietary EPA+DHA and ALA have different physiologic effects.
This paper describes a preference for two disaccharides in the diets of Zn-adequate and Zn-deficient rats. Maltose and sucrose were used as a source of carbohydrate in the diet and the selection patterns of rats were analyzed for 28 d by a two-choice selection method. Diets provided as a set of two either Zn-adequate or Zn-deficient diets were changed in position daily. Control Zn-adequate and Zn-deficient rats both exclusively selected the sucrose diet at days 1 and 2, after onset of the feeding experiment, and then gradually selected the maltose-diet. After changing their preference from sucrose to maltose, the Zn-adequate control rats selected widely from both the maltose and sucrose diets, while the Zn-deficient rats exclusively and continuously selected the maltose diet from the two diets over the experimental period. The level of selection of sucrose-diet on day 28 had a correlation with the intestinal sucrase activity in the control rats. The sum of daily maltose and sucrose diet intake in rats fed a Zn-deficient diet showed a characteristic variation with the cyclic period of 3.6±0.2 d. The daily body-weight change of rats fed a Zn-deficient diet was well synchronized with their own food intake cycle. The day before changing preference from sucrose to maltose in rats fed a Zn-deficient diet represented a trough in their own food intake and body-weight cycles. These results suggest that one sign of a change in preference from sucrose to maltose in Zn-deficient rats is caused by a stage of negative energy balance.
Although the intracellular de novo synthesis of the polyamines decreases with age, there is no similar trend in blood polyamine levels, but rather there is wide individual variability. We hypothesized that dietary polyamines attenuate a decrease in blood polyamine levels with age and augment the previously observed individual variability. The effect of a polyamine rich diet, in both mice and humans, on blood polyamine concentrations was examined in this study. Jc1:ICR male mice were fed test diets containing 3 different polyamine concentrations. Healthy human male volunteers added 50 to 100 g of the polyamine-rich fermented soybean product, natto, to their daily intake. After 26 wk, the mean blood spermine concentration in mice receiving the test diet with high polyamine concentrations was 10.1±2.4 μmol/L, while the mean concentrations found in mice fed with a diet with normal or low polyamine concentrations were 5.2±0.9 and 4.7±0.5 μmol/L, respectively (p<0.05). A mean daily intake of 66.4±3.7 g (range=46.4-89.3 g) of natto for 2 mo by human volunteers increased the mean blood spermine concentration by a factor of 1.39 (n=10) (p<0.01), while in control volunteers (n=7), asked to exclude polyamine-rich foods from their diet, blood spermine concentration remained unchanged. The individual variability of blood polyamine levels was enhanced after polyamine intake in mice and, to a lesser extent, in humans. The long-term oral intake of enhanced polyamine diets increases blood polyamine levels in both mice and humans.
The present study was designed to gain insight into the effects of s-limonene on the brain after 1-wk administration. For this purpose, neurotransmitters such as dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamic acid (Glu) and some of their metabolites (DOPAC and 5-HIAA) were determined by HPLC-ECD and amino acid analyzer after 1-wk administration of s-limonene of different concentrations (0, 5, 25, 50 mg/kg). Significant changes, such as GABA, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and 5-HT, were confirmed. At the same time, basal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity after 1-wk administration of s-limonene was evaluated by corticosterone. Considering the increment of GABA and the changes of other neurotransmitters, anti-stress effects after 1-wk administration were observed. The experimental results showed that s-limonene could inhibit HPA activity under physical stress and this anti-stress effect of s-limonene may act through the GABAA receptor.
The effects of dietary docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6n-3) connecting phospholipids on the learning ability and fatty acid composition of the brain were investigated in hypercholesterolemic mice. ICR mice were subjected to a very low level of n-3 fatty acids through two generations. At 4 wk of age, the F1 generation, n-3 fatty acid deficient male mice were provided with an experimental diet containing four kinds of lipids (safflower oil: Saf, DHA connecting triacylglycerols: DHA-TG, DHA connecting phospholipids: DHA-PL, soybean phospholipids: Soy-PL) for 5 wk. Another group of ICR mice were obtained and fed a commercial diet (CE-2, CLEA Japan, Inc.) as a control. The learning and memory abilities of the mice were evaluated by the modified avoidance procedure. The learning and memory ability level was significantly higher in mice fed the DHA-PL diet than in those fed the Saf and Soy-PL diets, and was the same level as the control. The DHA levels of phosphatidylethanolamine in the brain were significantly higher in the mice fed the two types of DHA-containing diets than in those fed the Saf and Soy-PL diets and was not significantly different between DHA-TG and DHA-PL. The dimethylacetal levels in the brain were significantly higher in the mice fed the DHA-PL diet than in those fed the Saf and DHA-TG diets. These results suggest that the dietary DHA connecting phospholipids have the effect of improving memory learning, and may be related to the both the DHA and plasmalogen levels in the brain.
There are several methods for measuring the rate of myofibrillar protein degradation using 3-methylhistidine (3-MeHis) levels in urine, plasma and isolated muscle. However, these methods lack the accuracy of rate measurements. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a new method for determining the rate of myofibrillar protein degradation. We characterized an arteriovenous difference method using 3-MeHis plasma concentration. Rats were fasted overnight and subsequently administered leucine (135 mg/100 g BW) or fed a 20% casein diet. The rate of myofibrillar protein degradation was calculated by multiplying the femoral artery blood flow rate by the arteriovenous difference in 3-MeHis concentrations (vein−artery). The blood was collected from the femoral vein and abdominal aorta. The release of 3-MeHis from hindlimb muscle was significantly suppressed (p<0.05) in rats fed leucine or the 20% casein diet, indicating that myofibrillar protein degradation was suppressed. These results suggest that the evaluation of the rate of myofibrillar protein degradation using the arteriovenous difference method reflects nutritional conditions in a more physiological manner.
Total dietary fiber (DF) was extracted from the inedible parts of vegetables such as peel of taro and Chinese yam, pea pod, broad bean pod, and broad bean testa. Effects of these fibers on the growth of bifidobacteria were determined by two kinds of experiments: one was to determine the increase of Bifidobacterium longum JCM1217 (B. longum) in medium containing DF, the other was an in vitro fermentation of the DF by anaerobic slurries of mixed human fecal or rat cecal microbiota. Anaerobic culture was carried out for 48 h in both experiments. In the pure culture of B. longum, the significant increase of bacterial number was observed as compared with 0 h in the medium containing the DF from peel of Chinese yam, pea pod and broad bean pod (p<0.05). On the other hand, bacterial number was decreased in the medium containing the DF from the peel of taro and broad bean testa. We selected the DF from pea pod because of its highest bifidogenic property in human fecal microbiota. In the fermentation of DF from pea pod by rat cecal microbiota, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli were increased. Bacteroidaceae and clostridia were decreased. These results suggested that DF from pea pod had possibility as a prebiotic. The bifidogenic property was affected by the sugar composition of DF.