Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent all over the world and dietary intakes of vitamin D are very low in China. In this study we aimed to determine whether vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) among Chinese type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients aged over 50 y. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations were measured in a cross-sectional sample of 270 T2DM patients aged over 50 y from Zhejiang. Data on demographic characteristics, anthropometry and other variables were collected. The mean of serum 25(OH)D was 22.93 ng/mL, and percentages of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were 43.71% and 39.63%, respectively. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were significantly lower in subjects with MetS than in those without MetS (21.74 vs 24.96 ng/mL, p=0.001), and the prevalence of MetS significantly increased according to tertiles of serum 25(OH)D concentrations. After adjusting for multivariate factors, the adverse effect of lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations was significant (OR: 3.26, 95% CI: 1.03-7.34; p=0.044) in the group with BMI≥24 kg/m2 while the change in OR of MetS for each 10 ng/mL decrease in the serum 25(OH)D concentrations was 2.03 (95% CI: 1.10-3.79). These results suggest that serum 25(OH)D deficiency may be a risk factor of MetS among Chinese type 2 diabetic patients, especially in the T2DM with BMI≥24 kg/m2. The challenge is determining the mechanisms of vitamin D action for recommendation of vitamin D supplementation that reduces the risks of MetS and progression to T2DM.
To find a functional biomarker of B-group vitamins, we collected 24-h urine samples from young Japanese women who lived in the community (n=29) to measure branched-chain 2-oxo acids such as 2-oxo-3-methylbutanoic acid, 2-oxo-3-methylpentanoic acid, and 2-oxo-4-methylpentanoic acid because B-group vitamins are involved in the catabolism of branched-chain amino acids. The relationships between each pair of the three urinary 2-oxo acids were very high (2-oxo-3-methylbutanoic acid and 2-oxo-3-methylpentanoic acid, p<0.001; 2-oxo-3-methylbutanoic acid and 2-oxo-4-methylpentanoic acid, p<0.001; 2-oxo-3-methylpentanoic acid and 2-oxo-4-methylpentanoic acid, p<0.001). The participants were divided into three groups using the upper (n=10), middle (n=9), and lower tertiles (n=10) based on the urinary excretion amounts of the sum of the three branched-chain 2-oxo acids. The administration of capsules containing the daily necessary amounts of B-group vitamins led to a decrease in the urinary excretion of the sum of the three types of branched-chain 2-oxo acids in participants belonging to the upper tertile. A similar phenomenon was observed in the middle tertile, but not in the lower tertile. Intakes of B-group vitamins and the urinary excretion amounts of B-group vitamins were not observed to be significantly different among the upper, middle, and lower tertiles. These results indicate that some young Japanese women need much higher levels of B-group vitamins than the Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese. Thus, urinary branched-chain 2-oxo acids are useful functional biomarkers for B-group vitamins in humans.
Sarcopenia is known to increase the risk of adverse outcomes, including disability, loss of independence, hospitalization, longer length of hospital stay, and mortality, but there is little data about the prevalence of sarcopenia and the factors associated with increased physical dependency and cognitive decline among older patients hospitalized in a long-term care (LTC) ward in Japan. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 79 consecutive patients (34 men, 45 women) with a median age of 81 y hospitalized in an LTC hospital. Sarcopenia was defined according to the recommended algorithm of the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia. Skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) was assessed by using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Physical dependency and cognitive decline were evaluated by the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). Nutritional status was evaluated by using the Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form and daily intake of energy and protein. Multivariate analyses were applied to examine factors associated with increased physical dependency and cognitive decline. Median SMI was 4.9 kg/m2 (interquartile range [IQR], 4.0-5.3 kg/m2) in men and 3.3 kg/m2 (IQR, 2.9-3.8 kg/m2) in women, showing that all participants had an SMI below the cut-off value. Seventy participants (88.6%) were unable to perform the hand grip strength test, and all participants were unable to perform the gait speed test. Multivariate analysis showed that oral nutritional access and daily energy intake were associated both with physical and cognitive level (p<0.05).
Breast feeding is the first and most important step of a healthy diet. Breast milk contains important vitamins and trace elements such as iron, zinc, copper, and vitamin A. The aim of our study was to evaluate the levels of hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, serum iron, iron binding capacity, ferritin, serum zinc, copper and vitamin A in three groups of infants, which were determined based on feeding practices. The infants in all groups were not given prophylactic iron in the first 6 mo. Two hundred fifty-nine infants were included in the study. One hundred fifty-one (58.3%) were fed with breast milk, 91 (35.1%) were fed with breast milk+formula, and 17 (6.6%) were fed with formula only. Serum copper and vitamin A levels were found to be low in formula-only fed infants compared to other groups with a statistically significant difference (p=0.017, p=0.022 respectively). The serum zinc level was found to be low in 15.9% of the breast fed infants, 17.6% of the breast milk+formula fed infants, and 23.5% of the formula-only fed infants. Although the formula-only fed infants had lower values, the difference was not statistically significant among groups (p=0.716). We think that formula fed infants potentially have low levels of copper and vitamin A in the first 6 mo and may be offered supplements. Alternatively, formula mineral and vitamin contents could be enriched. We think that further studies on this subject are needed.
Egg yolk is an important source of nutrients and contains different bioactive substances. In the present study, we studied the benefits of egg yolk in preventing low-protein-diet-induced fatty liver in rats. Rats were fed the following diets, which were based on the AIN-76 formula, for 2 wk: an adequate-protein diet containing 20% casein (C), a low-protein diet containing 5% casein (LP-C), a low-protein diet supplemented with 12.5% egg yolk (LP-EY), and a low-protein diet supplemented with 4.1% egg yolk oil (LP-EYO). The low-protein diets were adjusted to contain 4.13% protein and 4.7% lipids. The LP-C diet resulted in a greater increase in the liver trigriceride (TG) and the vacuolation and a greater decrease in the serum TG and free fatty acid (FFA) than did the C diet. These deviations in the serum and liver TG, serum FFA levels and the liver histopathology were corrected in rats fed the LP-EY diet but not in those fed the LP-EYO diet. Compared to rats fed the LP-C diet, although the activities of lipogenesis-related enzymes (fatty acid synthase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and malic enzyme) decreased in rats fed both of the LP-EY and LP-EYO diets, the level of the microsomal TG transfer protein (MTP) increased only in rats fed the LP-EY diet. Collectively, these results suggest that dietary egg yolk supplementation decreases the LP diet-induced accumulation of TG in the liver by increasing transport of TG in the liver, and egg yolk oil alone is not sufficient enough to bring about these benefits.
Western diets induce obesity associated with an increased risk of hypercholesterolaemia. Indeed, obesity-induced hypercholesterolaemia is correlated with increased coronary cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Male C57BL/6J mice were fed a normal diet, high-fat and high-sucrose diet (HF/HS), HF/HS with green tea extract powder diet (HF/HS+GT), HF/HS with eriodictyol diet (HF/HS+Eri), or HF/HS with green tea extract powder and eriodictyol diet (HF/HS+GT+Eri) for 8 wk. Body weight was lower in the HF/HS+GT+Eri group than in the HF/HS group (−8.3%, p<0.01). The HF/HS diet elicited an upregulation of total cholesterol levels (−63%, p<0.001), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels (−89%, p<0.001) were significantly suppressed by the GT+Eri diet. Conversely, no change (p>0.05) was observed in the HF/HS+GT and HF/HS+Eri groups. The HF/HS diet-induced hepatic mRNA increase in 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) was ameliorated (−73%) by the oral administration of green tea extract and eriodictyol. Moreover, the GT+Eri diet suppressed HF/HS diet-induced upregulation of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A synthase (HMGCS) (−75%, p<0.05). Furthermore, the LDL receptor (LDLR) levels were higher in the HF/HS+GT+Eri group (+50%, p<0.05) than in the HF/HS group. These results suggest that a combination of green tea and eriodictyol decreases cholesterol levels, particularly LDL levels, accompanied by the suppression of HMGCR and HMGCS levels and upregulation of LDLR levels in the liver.
We previously reported that taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid; dose: 0.5 mg/g body weight) administration after treadmill running at 25 m/min for 90 min increased the glycogen concentration in the skeletal muscle of ICR mice at 120 min after the exercise (Takahashi et al. 2014). In the current study, we further investigated the effects of taurine administration on glycogen repletion and carbohydrate metabolism in the tibialis anterior muscle after endurance exercise. The metabolomic profiles of the tibialis anterior muscle at 120 min after the exercise were analyzed by a capillary electrophoresis-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (n=6). Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (F1,6P), a glycogenolytic/glycolytic intermediate produced by phosphofructokinase, was significantly lower in the taurine-treated group than that in the control group (p<0.01). Dihydroxyacetonephosphate (DHAP), a downstream product of F1,6P was lower (p=0.05) and glycerol 3-phosphate, a downstream product of F1,6P and DHAP, tended to be lower (p=0.09) in the taurine-treated group than in the controls. At that time, phosphorylated Ser293 on the E1α subunit of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) tended to be higher in the taurine-treated mice than in the controls (p=0.09, n=5). There was a positive correlation between phosphorylation of the PDH E1α subunit at Ser293 and glycogen concentration (r=0.73, p<0.05). Our results showed that the enhanced glycogen repletion in skeletal muscle by taurine treatment during the post-exercise phase was accompanied by the lower levels of glycogenolytic/glycolytic intermediates.
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), and glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) were three key enzymes in the hepatic metabolism. This study aimed to investigate the effect of homocysteine (Hcy) metabolism gene polymorphisms and serum Hcy and folate level on the hepatic functions in a Chinese hypertensive population. A representative sample with 480 subjects aged 28-75 was enrolled in 2005.9-2005.12 from six hospitals in different Chinese regions. Serum ALT, AST and GGT were measured by using an automatic biochemistry analyzer. Serum Hcy was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography, and serum folate was measured by chemiluminescent immunoassay. Known genotypes were detected by PCR-RFLP methods. The results showed that the MTHFR C677T mutation was related a decreased serum AST level (r=−0.11, p=0.026), whereas the MTHFR A1298C mutation elevated serum AST level (r=0.11, p=0.032). Furthermore, multiple regression analysis showed that folate deficiency was associated with higher serum ALT (β (SE): 0.13 (0.06), p=0.031) and GGT level (β (SE): 0.18 (0.07), p=0.011). However, serum Hcy level may not affect the hepatic functions. Our data suggested that hepatic functions were affected by MTHFR gene polymorphisms and serum folate level. Further studies are needed to confirm these correlations in a larger population.
The turnover of the oxidized form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) has attracted interest in regard to longevity. Thus, compounds that can rapidly increase the cellular NAD+ concentration have been surveyed by many researchers. Of those, β-nicotinamide mononucleotide (β-NMN) has been focused on. Studies on the biosynthesis of NAD+ from β-NMN have been reported at the cellular level, but not at the whole animal level. In the present study, we investigated whether β-NMN is superior to nicotinamide (Nam) as a precursor of NAD+ in whole animal experiments. To this end we compared the NAD+ concentration in the blood and the urinary excretion amounts of NAD+ catabolites. Rats were intraperitoneally injected with β-NMN or Nam. After the injection, blood samples and urine samples were collected at 3-h intervals. The concentration of blood total NAD (NAD11NADH) in each sample showed no significant differences between the two groups. The urinary excretion amounts of NAD+ catabolites in the urine samples collected at 3-6 h after the injection were lower in the β-NMN group than in the Nam group. These results suggest that β-NMN is retained in the body for longer than Nam.
We recently suggested that proline might decrease the suppressive effect of histidine on food intake. Our purpose in the present study was to investigate the influence of proline on the suppressive effect of histidine on food intake and accumulation of body fat. Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups and allowed free access to the following diets for 3 wk: control (C), 5% proline (P), 5% histidine (H), or 5% histidine plus 10% proline (HP) diets. Food intake for 7 d and retroperitoneal fat tissue weight at the end of the experimental period of the HP diet group were greater than those of the H diet group, whereas no significant difference existed between the HP diet group and the C diet group. Our results indicate that proline inhibits the influence of histidine on food intake and accumulation of body fat.