The purpose of this study was to investigate the status of retinol, beta-carotene, and alpha-tocopherol serum concentrations in adolescents with dyslipidemia. A case series dyslipidemia study was conducted, with an attached control group, including 104 adolescents of public schools in Recife during the months of March/April 2013. Retinol, beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol serum concentrations were analysed by high efficiency liquid chromatography. Sociodemographic, anthropometric, clinical and biochemical variables were analysed. Dyslipidemic adolescents had high serum concentrations of both retinol (p=0.007) and beta-carotene/apolipoprotein A-I ratio (p=0.034); they also had low concentrations of beta-carotene/total cholesterol (p<0.0001) and beta-carotene/apolipoprotein B ratios (p=0.033) when compared to the controls. The alpha-tocopherol serum status was not associated with dyslipidemia. Overweight, abdominal obesity, lipid profile markers, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were more prevalent in dyslipidemic adolescents. The findings show an association between vitamin A and dyslipidemia in adolescents. However, additional investigations of this risk group are necessary to clarify the mechanisms of action of this nutrient in the pathogenesis of this syndrome, aiming at reducing cardiometabolic risks as of earlier ages.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that functions as a cofactor for biotin-dependent carboxylases. The biochemical and physiological roles of biotin in brain regions have not yet been investigated sufficiently in vivo. Thus, in order to clarify the function of biotin in the brain, we herein examined biotin contents, biotinylated protein expression (e.g. holocarboxylases), and biotin-related gene expression in the brain of biotin-deficient rats. Three-week-old male Wistar rats were divided into a control group, biotin-deficient group, and pair-fed group. Rats were fed experimental diets from 3 wk old for 8 wk, and the cortex, hippocampus, striatum, hypothalamus, and cerebellum were then collected. In the biotin-deficient group, the maintenance of total biotin and holocarboxylases, increases in the bound form of biotin and biotinidase activity, and the expression of an unknown biotinylated protein were observed in the cortex. In other regions, total and free biotin contents decreased, holocarboxylase expression was maintained, and bound biotin and biotinidase activity remained unchanged. Biotin-related gene (pyruvate carboxylase, sodium-dependent multivitamin transporter, holocarboxylase synthetase, and biotinidase) expression in the cortex and hippocampus also remained unchanged among the dietary groups. These results suggest that biotin may be related to cortex functions by binding protein, and the effects of a biotin deficiency and the importance of biotin differ among the different brain regions.
In the skin vitamin D3 is synthesized from cholesterol, which leaves the question whether a feedback mechanism controlling the level of blood cholesterol exists. Here we investigate the effects of vitamin D3 supplementation on serum lipids in professional rowers. The rowers were divided into two groups following the same training schedule for 4 wk: one received placebo (TP) while the second received 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day (TD3). Plasma total antioxidant status, total triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol (LDL-C) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D3) were determined in pre- and post-intervention. The ratios of TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C were also calculated. Furthermore, maximal oxygen uptake was also measured at baseline. There were significant decreases over time in the TD3 group in TC 186±18 vs 163±21 (p<0.05) and HDL-C; LDL-C also decreased, but the changes were not statistically significant. Moreover, the supplementation caused a significant rise in blood 25-OH-D3 (+98%). Neither training nor vitamin D3 supplementation had an effect on total antioxidant status. In conclusion, the alterations in the lipoprotein profile seen in this study would suggest that effects of regular exercise on lipoprotein profile may linked to vitamin D3 status.
We compared the effects of purified meat proteins on postprandial thermogenesis and on the secretion of and responsiveness to thyroid hormones (THs) in rats. Body temperatures at 2 h after feeding were significantly higher in the chicken and mutton protein groups than in the other groups, and these proteins seem to have a strong thermogenic effect. There were no significant differences in plasma TH concentrations among the groups, but levels of TH-responsive Spot 14 protein in the liver and brown adipose tissue were significantly higher in the chicken and mutton protein groups than in the other groups. Levels of malic enzyme 1 protein in the liver and brown adipose tissue were significantly higher in the chicken protein group than in the other groups except for the mutton protein group. Furthermore, levels of uncoupling protein 1 were higher in the chicken and mutton protein groups than in the other groups. The results suggest that the difference in postprandial thermogenesis of meat is strongly dependent on meat proteins; chicken and mutton proteins are strong promoters of postprandial thermogenesis, and THs may contribute to this effect. Since strong postprandial thermogenesis and high expression levels of TH target genes and their products were not observed in the amino acid group, chicken and mutton proteins or their digested peptides might contribute to these effects.
A Japanese-style diet consists of meals that include grain (shushoku), fish and meat (shusai), and vegetable dishes (fukusai). Little is known about the association of such meals (designated well-balanced meals hereafter) with nutrient intake. We therefore examined the frequency of well-balanced meals required to prevent nutrient deficiency. Participants were Japanese people, ages 40 to 59 y, from Toyama, recruited for INTERMAP, in an international population-based study. Each person provided 4 in-depth 24-h dietary recalls (149 men, 150 women). The prevalence of risk ratios of not meeting the Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (2015) was calculated. Well-balanced diets were assessed by the Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top. We counted the frequencies of meals in which participants consumed 1.0 or more servings of all 3 dishes categories. We divided the frequency of consumption of well-balanced meals into the following 4 groups: <1.00 time/d, 1.00-1.49 times/d, 1.50-1.74 times/d, and ≥1.75 times/d. Compared with participants in the highest frequency group for well-balanced meals, those who consumed well-balanced meals less than once a day had a higher risk of not meeting the adequate intake for potassium and the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin A. Those who consumed well-balanced meals on average less than 1.50 times per day had a higher risk of not meeting the recommended dietary allowance for calcium and vitamin C. Our results suggest that individuals should on average consume well-balanced meals more than 1.5 times per day to prevent calcium and vitamin C deficiencies.
The incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is increasing in Western and Asian countries, including Japan. NAFLD includes the condition of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which can progress to end-stage liver disease. Weight reduction based on basal energy expenditure (BEE) is considered to be the only established treatment for patients with NAFLD. However, a formula that is suitable for predicting BEE in Japanese patients with NAFLD remains to be determined. We enrolled 77 Japanese patients who were diagnosed with NAFLD according to histological findings. Their BEE was measured (mBEE) by indirect calorimetry. Physical findings, laboratory data and their predicted BEE (pBEE) values were compared with the mBEE values. All pBEE values were evaluated as a root mean squared error (RMSE) and an accurate estimation. The mBEE values correlated with the patient’s weight, skeletal muscle mass, and age. Most of predictive formulae overestimated BEE in NAFLD patients in the present study. In contrast, the Kyoto equation provided an accurate prediction. Most prediction formulae included body weight as a reference of the skeletal muscle mass and were established using data from a healthy study population. However, differences in muscle mass exist among different races, and body composition differs between healthy individuals and those with high BMIs. The improved accuracy of the Kyoto equation is likely due to the similar backgrounds of the patients in the present study. The Kyoto equation is the most suitable formula for estimating BEE in Japanese patients with NAFLD.
Dietary assessment of community-dwelling Japanese older adults who live alone using Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) is limited. The present study aimed to estimate the prevalence of inadequate nutrient intake among Japanese community-dwelling older adults by sex and young-old and old-old population groups to identify the most vulnerable groups that need support. A cross-sectional survey was conducted from October 2012 to October 2013 with community-dwelling adults aged 65 y or older who lived alone. Participants were drawn from six cities in four Japanese prefectures. We used two days of dietary survey data to estimate participants’ usual intake. The proportion of inadequate intake was assessed using the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) cut-point method, Tolerable Upper Intake Level, and the tentative dietary goal for preventing life-style related diseases (DG) based on DRIs for Japanese, 2015. Data for 494 participants (162 male, 332 female) over 988 d were examined to assess nutrient intake. We calculated the proportion of inadequate intake between males and females and between young-old and old-old population groups (65-74 y and ≥75 y) using chi-square or Fisher’s exact tests. For six nutrients, the estimated proportion of participants with a usual intake below EAR was higher in males than females. In addition, a higher estimated proportion of female participants was within the DG range for the percentage of energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and had a usual intake of two nutrients above DG than males. Our findings showed that among Japanese older adults, males were more vulnerable in terms of inadequate nutrient intake compared with females.
Sphingomyelinases (SMases) are key enzymes involved in many diseases which are caused by oxidative stress, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. SMases hydrolyze sphingomyelin to generate ceramide, a well-known pro-apoptotic lipid. SMases are classified into five types based on pH optimum, subcellular localization, and cation dependence. Previously, we demonstrated that elevation of secretory sphingomyelinase (sSMase) activity increased the plasma ceramide concentration under oxidative stress induced by diabetes and atherosclerosis in murine models. These results suggest that sSMase inhibitors can prevent the progress of these diseases. The present study demonstrated that sSMase activity was activated by oxidation and inhibited by reduction. Furthermore, we examined whether catechins inhibited the sSMase activity in a physiological plasma concentration. Among catechins, (−)-epicatechin 3-O-gallate (ECg) exhibited strong inhibitory effect on sSMase (IC50=25.7 μM). This effect was attenuated by methylation at the 3″- or 4″-position. On the other hand, (−)-epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate (EGCg) and (−)-catechin 3-O-gallate (Cg) exhibited weaker inhibitory activity than ECg, and (−)-epicatechin and (−)-epigallocatechin did not affect sSMase activity. Additionally, one synthetic catechin, (−)-3′-O-methylepigallocatechin 3-O-gallate (EGCg-3′-O-Me), showed the strongest inhibitory effect (IC50=1.7 μM) on sSMase. This phenomenon was not observed for (−)-4′-O-methylepigallocatechin 3-O-gallate. These results suggest that the reduction potential, the presence of the galloyl residue at the C-3 position, and the steric requirement to interact with sSMase protein are important for effective inhibition of sSMase.
The biosynthetic pathway of the pyrimidine moiety of thiamin was studied in the archaean Halobacterium salinarum. Thiamin is biosynthesized from 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine (pyrimidine) and 5-(2-hydroxyethyl)-4-methylthiazole (thiazole). The pyrimidine and the thiazole are biosynthesized de novo in microorganisms. The biosynthetic routes of pyrimidine in microorganisms differ between eukaryote and eubacteria. In the eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae, histidine and pyridoxine are the precursors of pyrimidine, while in the eubacterium Escherichia coli, pyrimidine is biosynthesized from 5-aminoimidazole ribonucleotide (AIR), an intermediate of purine biosynthesis. Tracer investigations revealed that [15N]-, [1-13C]- and [2-13C] glycine, precursors of AIR, were incorporated into the pyrimidine in H. salinarum. These results suggested that the biosynthetic route of the pyrimidine in H. salinarum is similar to that of E. coli.
Green tea is thought to be a primary source of folate in the Japanese diet, based on folate content analyzed by a microbiological assay. Green tea also contains high amount of catechins, in particular, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), which was demonstrated to be able to inhibit the digestive enzyme activities and microbial growth in the folate assay. In the present study, we examined whether tea catechins interfered with components of the folate assay for green tea. A marked inhibitory effect of EGCg on microbial growth was observed at an inhibitory concentration of higher than 10 μg/mL. Tea catechins without the galloyl moiety did not show an inhibitory effect. EGCg inhibited the activity of the three enzymes used for assay sample preparation at an inhibitory concentration of higher than 750 μg/mL for α-amylase, 1,000 μg/mL for protease, and 50 μg/mL for conjugase. However, with each step of the assay, the actual concentration of EGCg was decreased to below the inhibitory concentration of each analytical step. Lack of influence of EGCg on green tea folate assay was confirmed by an addition of folate standard in tea infusion. These results suggested that tea catechins have no practical impact on folate analysis in green tea, using the general microbiological assay.