Spindle defect and chromosome misalignment occuring in oocyte meiosis induce nondisjunction. Nondisjunction causes Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21. Folic acid (FA) is an essential nutrient composition for fetal growth and development. It has been reported that FA nutritional status is associated with the risk of Down syndrome. However, to our knowledge, little is known about the effect of FA deficiency on abnormal oocytes (spindle defects, chromosome misalignments and immature oocyte) in vivo. In the present study, we investigate the effects of FA deficiency on oocyte meiosis in female mice. In order to induce FA deficiency in mice, female Crl:CD1 mice were fed a FA-free diet for 58 d. The diet also contained an antibiotic which has functions on limiting FA formation by intestinal microorganisms. The level of FA deficiency was determined by measuring the concentration of FA in the liver, hemocyte, uterus, ovary, and urine. FA concentrations in these samples from the FA-deficient group were 50-90% lower. Despite this, the frequency of abnormal oocytes was no different between the FA-deficient and control groups (20.0% vs 14.6%). According to the past research, FA transporter was strongly expressed in oocytes. Hence, it is possible that FA-free diets may not affect the concentration of oocyte FA in mice. To sum up these data, our study concluded that FA deficiency did not adversely affect oocyte meiosis.
We previously performed animal studies that suggested that trehalose potentially prevents the development of metabolic syndrome in humans. To evaluate this possibility, we examined whether trehalose suppressed the progression of insulin resistance in a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial in 34 subjects with a body mass index (BMI) ≥23. The subjects were divided into two groups and were assigned to ingest either 10 g/d of trehalose or sucrose with meals for 12 wk. During the study, body composition and blood biochemical parameters were measured at week 0, 8, and 12. These parameters were also measured 4 wk after the end of intake to confirm the washout of test substances. In the trehalose group, blood glucose concentrations after a 2-h oral glucose tolerance test significantly decreased following 12 wk of intake in comparison with baseline values (0 wk). When a stratified analysis was performed in the subjects whose percentage of truncal fat approached the high end of the normal range, the change in body weight, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure were significantly lower in the trehalose group than in the sucrose group. Our data indicated that a daily intake of 10 g of trehalose improved glucose tolerance and progress to insulin resistance. Furthermore, these results suggested that trehalose can potentially reduce the development of metabolic syndrome and associated lifestyle-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
B vitamins have beneficial roles in mental health functional impairments; however, research on the role of B vitamins in depression among HIV-infected persons is limited. This study assessed the association between dietary B vitamin intake and depressive symptoms in a cohort of HIV-infected persons. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 314 HIV-infected persons (180 men and 134 women) aged 18 to 60 y residing in the Kathmandu, Nepal. The Beck Depression Inventory-I was used to measure depression, with a cutoff score of 20 or higher. Dietary intake was assessed using two nonconsecutive 24-h dietary recalls. The relationships between B vitamins and depressive symptoms were assessed using multiple logistic regression analysis. Twenty-six percent participants (men: 23%; women: 29%) were depressed. More than two thirds of participants’ B vitamins intake were below the estimated average requirements (EAR) level. Low intake of riboflavin was associated with an increased risk of depression in women but not in men. Multivariate OR (95% CI) for depression in the first, second, and third tertiles of riboflavin in total participants were 1 (reference), 0.87 (0.46-1.64), and 0.49 (0.24-0.98), respectively (p for trend=0.048) and in women were 1 (reference), 0.94 (0.36-2.40), and 0.23 (0.07-0.77), respectively (p for trend=0.020). No clear associations were seen between other B vitamins and depressive symptoms in either sex. Low intake of riboflavin was independently associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms in all participants and in HIV-infected women. Further prospective studies are warranted to confirm the role of vitamin B vitamins in depressive symptoms among HIV-infected persons.
Previous studies have identified an association between iron deficiency and thyroid function. We aimed to determine if there is a relationship between iron deficiency and thyroid function during the first trimester of pregnancy. Two thousand five hundred eighty-one pregnant women who presented for the first prenatal care were enrolled and divided into three groups, the mild iron deficiency (MID) group, iron deficiency anemia (IDA) group and normal control (NC) group, according to serum ferritin and hemoglobin levels. The former two groups can be merged into one iron deficiency (ID) group. Thyroid function parameters were compared among the three groups, including free thyroxine (FT4), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), total thyroxine (TT4) and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb). Moreover, the rates of thyroid dysfunction were also compared. Our results show that pregnant women in the MID and IDA groups have higher TSH and lower FT4 status than those in the NC group (p<0.01), and the difference between the IDA group and MID group is significant (p<0.05). TPOAb in the IDA group is higher than in the MID group and NC group. Meanwhile, the rate of hypothyroidism or subclinical hypothyroidism in the IDA group was significantly higher than in the MID group and NC group (p<0.01). And the positive rate of TPOAb is also higher in the IDA group than MID group and NC group (p<0.05). Iron deficiency is related to thyroid function and could lead to hypothyroidism during early pregnancy, which could be explained by thyroid autoimmunity.
This study investigated the effect of a single oral ingestion of alpha-linolenic acid-enriched diacylglycerol (ALA-DAG) on postprandial serum triglyceride (TG) levels. A randomized, double-blind, controlled, crossover study was performed in subjects with normal or moderately high fasting serum TG levels. Subjects ingested 0.00 g [control: triacylglycerol; TAG (rapeseed oil)], 1.25 g (1.25-g: mixture of 1.25 g ALA-DAG and 1.25 g TAG), or 2.50 g (2.50 g) of ALA-DAG in random order with a 6-d washout period. Serum TG levels were evaluated in the fasting state, and at 2, 3, 4, and 6 h after the test meal. Thirty-eight subjects completed the study and were defined as the per protocol set. As the primary outcome, postprandial serum TG levels were significantly lower in the 2.50-g treatment compared with the control. The TG level did not differ significantly between the 1.25-g and control. The suppressive effect of ALA-DAG on the serum TG level correlated significantly with the body mass index and fasting insulin level. ALA-DAG at a dose of 2.50 g had greater effects on serum TG and apolipoprotein B levels in subjects with a higher body mass index (≥25 kg/m2) and higher fasting serum insulin levels (>10 μU/mL). Our findings suggest that ingesting 2.50 g ALA-DAG suppresses the postprandial serum TG level in people with normal and moderately high fasting serum TG levels, presumably as a result of poor re-esterification of dietary fat into TG in the intestinal mucosa.
This study aimed to demonstrate the beneficial effects of nutritional supplementation with dietary milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) on physical performance and skeletal muscle function in healthy adults aged 60 and over with semiweekly light exercise. The study was designed as a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Twenty-two Japanese participants (10 men, 12 women) aged 60-73 y were assigned to one of two groups (11 [5 men, 6 women] in each). One group received MFGM tablets (1 g MFGM/d), and the other received placebo tablets daily for 10 wk. Both groups participated in a twice-weekly light exercise program. Physical function tests and surface electromyography (EMG) were conducted at the baseline and after 5 and 10 wk. Chair stand time significantly shortened in both groups after 10 wk compared with that at the baseline. The average time shortened more considerably in the MFGM group than in the placebo group, although the change was not statistically significant. Both knee extension strength and the cross-sectional area of the quadriceps muscles significantly increased from baseline in the MFGM group but not in the placebo group. Surface EMG showed that muscle fiber conduction velocity increased significantly after 10 wk from the baseline only in the MFGM group. The increase from the baseline was significantly greater in the MFGM group than in the placebo group. Daily supplementation with MFGM increased motor unit action potential conduction and improved muscle strength and physical performance in healthy Japanese adults aged 60 y and over paired with semiweekly light exercise.
As bioactive ingredients of functional foods, dietary fiber and wheat albumin (WA) are known to suppress hyperglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The combined effects of these bioactive ingredients were examined using an animal model of type 2 diabetes mellitus. First, oral starch tolerance tests (OSTTs) with the simultaneous intake of a dietary fiber mixture (DF) and WA were performed as an acute study. Male Goto-Kakizaki rats received a soluble starch solution [700 mg/kg body weight (bw)] containing DF and/or WA (each 300 mg/kg bw). In these OSTTs, the combined intake of DF and WA suppressed hyperglycemia much more effectively than each separate intake. Second, in a chronic intake study, diets containing DF and/or WA were administered to male Zucker diabetic fatty rats over 84 d. The combined effects of DF and WA were not observed in glycosylated hemoglobin concentration levels or fasting blood glucose levels, but appeared as an improvement in liver lipid contents. Variations in the liver lipid contents were similarly reflected in those of the plasma lipid concentrations. In conclusion, this study found that the simultaneous intake of bioactive DF and WA improved the postprandial hyperglycemia and the chronic lipid metabolism disorders in rat models of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Aneurysm is characterized by balloon-like expansion of the arterial wall and eventual rupture of the aorta. The pathogenesis of aneurysm is associated with the degradation of matrix proteins by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) produced by activated macrophages. Although aneurysm is associated with significant mortality and morbidity, surgical intervention is the only proven treatment strategy. Therefore, development of therapeutic agents for aneurysm is greatly anticipated. Here, we demonstrated the protective effects of the major isoflavone puerarin, which is found in kudzu roots and vines. Aneurysms were surgically induced in ten-wk-old male mice using CaPO4. Subsequently, animals were intraperitoneally injected daily with puerarin at 2.5 mg/kg body weight or with vehicle alone for 2 wk. CaPO4-induced aneurysm was significantly suppressed by puerarin administration. In subsequent macrophage activation assays using Tumor necrosis factor (TNFα) and CaPO4 crystals in vitro, puerarin decreased Mmp9 mRNA expression and secreted protein levels. Moreover, induction of IκB, ERK, and p38 phosphorylation by TNFα and CaPO4 in macrophages was suppressed by puerarin treatments. Finally, puerarin attenuated reactive oxygen species production, following induction by TNFα and CaPO4. Taken together, the present data demonstrate that puerarin suppresses macrophage activation by inhibiting IκB, ERK, and p38 activity and reactive oxygen species production in a CaPO4-induced mouse model of aneurysm.
We previously reported lower lymphocyte vitamin C levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus and in individuals with severe Parkinson’s disease. Oxidative stress has been proposed to play a key role in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the association between peripheral levels of vitamin C and the progression of cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. Fifty individuals with Alzheimer’s disease being treated at Shizuoka General Hospital were consecutively enrolled in this study from December 2009 to March 2015 (76.0±9.7 y of age [mean±SD]; 32 men and 18 women; Mini-Mental State Examination Japanese version (MMSE-J) score range, 8-27). Plasma and lymphocyte vitamin C levels in fasting blood samples were measured. The association between the MMSE-J scores and vitamin C levels was estimated using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (ρ) and the criteria defined by Swinscow. Spearman’s ρ for the relationship between peripheral vitamin C levels and the MMSE-J score was ρ=0.17 for plasma vitamin C and ρ=0.26 for lymphocyte vitamin C. Thus, the associations were relatively weak based on the criteria. In contrast with type 2 diabetes mellitus and Parkinson’s disease, lymphocyte vitamin C levels in the peripheral blood may not directly reflect the progression of cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. Additional longitudinal studies are needed to evaluate the clinical importance of changes of peripheral vitamin C status in Alzheimer’s disease.