Skeletal muscle plays crucial roles in locomotion, protein reservoir, and maintenance of metabolic homeostasis. Loss of muscle, known as muscle atrophy, causes the metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and so on. Therefore, great efforts have been devoted to prevent the muscle atrophy. Policosanols are a mixture of long chain fatty alcohols extracted from various natural sources. They have long been used as functional foods to lower the level of serum lipids, including triacylglycerol and cholesterol, and to protect against inflammatory stress. In this study, we examine the protective effect and molecular mechanism of Cuban policosanol on skeletal muscle cell death and mitochondrial dysfunction using lipopolysaccharide-treated C2C12 cells. Our results demonstrated that policosanol significantly rescued cell survival (40% vs. 88%; LPS vs. LPS+policosanol) via activation of the Akt pathway, resulting in inhibition of apoptosis (p<0.05). Moreover, policosanol restored the LPS-induced repression of collagen by two fold (0.33±0.04 vs. 0.67±0.03 compared to that of control; LPS vs. LPS+policosanol) via activation of ERK-mTOR-p70S6K pathways. In addition, policosanol increased the mitochondrial fusion by regulating the activities of DRP1 and Mfn2, leading to ameliorate the mitochondrial dysfunction induced by LPS. Improved mitochondria function increased the oxygen consumption rate with glucose as fuel source, indicating that policosanol could shift the glucose metabolism from lactate fermentation, induced by lipopolysaccharide, to oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, policosanol is a promising agent for preventing the inflammation-induced muscle cell death and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that leads to tissue ischemia. As the biologically active form of folic acid, L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF) can improve endothelial function. And Seal oil plays a beneficial role in the progression of atherosclerosis. The study aims to evaluate beneficial effects of L-5-MTHF alone or in combination with Seal oil on atherosclerosis. Seventy-two male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 6 groups: control (normal diet), atherosclerosis (high-fat diet), folic acid (high-fat+3 mg/kg folic acid), low-dose L-5-MTHF (high-fat+3 mg/kg L-5-MTHF), low-dose L-5-MTHF+Seal oil (high-fat+3 mg/kg L-5-MTHF+0.5 g/kg Seal oil), high-dose L-5-MTHF (high-fat+10 mg/kg L-5-MTHF). After 13 wk, rats were sacrificed. Rats exhibiting atherosclerosis had dyslipidemia and serious aortic lesions. Supplementation with low-dose L-5-MTHF+Seal oil or use of high-dose L-5-MTHF increased serum folate concentrations, decreased homocysteine levels, improved the serum lipid profile, up-regulated expression of NO and NOS, enhancement of the antioxidant properties of GSH-Px activity and reduction in the concentration of MDA, levels of Olr1 and RelA mRNA decreased in aortic tissues, and expression of inflammatory factors, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β and endothelial cell injury factors ET-1 and sICAM-1, were also down-regulated. In addition, HD-L-5-MTHF increased the antioxidant activity of serum SOD. We conclude that L-5-MTHF has obvious anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on diseased blood vessels. The intervention of L-5-MTHF alone or in combination with Seal oil can improve atherosclerosis in rats and reduce the occurrence of aortic lesions. The anti-atherosclerotic mechanism may be related to down-regulation of Olr1 and RelA expression.
We previously reported that the combination of a very high-carbohydrate diet and endurance training increased glucose transporter 4 and glycogen concentration in skeletal muscle. However, it remains unclear whether they also affect the digestive and absorptive capacity in the pancreas and small intestine, which are suggested to be rate-limiting steps in the delivery of exogenous carbohydrates to skeletal muscle and muscle glycogen synthesis. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the effects of a very high-carbohydrate diet and endurance training on pancreatic amylase activity and intestinal glucose transporters in rats and to examine the relationship between these adaptations and their influence on muscle glycogen concentration. Male Sprague–Dawley rats (n=29) were fed a high-carbohydrate diet (59% carbohydrate) or a very high-carbohydrate diet (76% carbohydrate) for 4 wk. Half of the rats in each dietary group were subjected to 6-h swimming exercise training (two 3-h sessions separated by 45 min of rest) for 4 wk. Although there was no significant effect of diet or endurance training on sodium-dependent glucose transporter 1 and glucose transporter 2 contents in the intestine, the rats fed a very high-carbohydrate diet in combination with endurance training had substantially higher pancreatic amylase activity and muscle glycogen concentration. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between pancreatic amylase activity and muscle glycogen concentration (r=0.599, p=0.001). In conclusion, intake of a very high-carbohydrate diet and endurance training synergistically elevated carbohydrate digestive capacity, which partially accounted for the higher muscle glycogen accumulation.
To investigate whether the oral intake of slowly digestible α-glucan (SDG) could have a trophic (i.e., thickening) effect on their ileal mucosae, for 10 d, rats were given control (non-SDG), 10% isomaltodextrin (IMD) or 10% resistant maltodextrin (RMD) diets. In addition, experimental rat groups were further divided into two groups each and their diets either had or had not 1% sodium carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) added as a thickening agent. In the jejuna and the ilea, compared with control rats, the villus length and the mucosal thickness, but not the crypt depth, were significantly greater in the RMD-fed rats, with the trophic effect being weaker in the IMD-fed rats than in the RMD-fed rats. The colonic crypt depth was significantly greater in SDG groups than in the control group. The concentration of plasma glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-2 in the portal veins of the RMD group but not the IMD group was significantly higher than in the control group, with no effect of CMC supplementation on its concentration. The concentrations of cecal short-chain fatty acids did not significantly increase with SDG supplementation except for propionate concentration of the IMD-supplemented rats, compared with those in the control rats. We concluded that SDGs, especially RMD, thickened the mucosae of the rat distal small intestines. In particular, this effect of RMD but not IMD could have resulted from increased glucose available as a secretagogue of the trophic hormone GLP-2, in the ileum.
It is well known that branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) promote protein synthesis in skeletal muscle and can cause muscle hypertrophy. However, it has also been reported that they may inhibit muscle atrophy induced by load-bearing and age-related changes. In this study, we investigated the effects of BCAA intake during joint fixation on the levels of protein kinase B (Akt), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and nebulin in a rat model of joint fixation. Akt and mTOR are signal factors of protein synthesis, whereas nebulin is a structural protein in the muscle. The effects of BCAAs on muscle atrophy were also investigated. The phosphorylation rate of mTOR was higher than that of Akt and increased with BCAA intake in the rat hind limb muscles (soleus) when the ankle joint was fixed. The relative level of nebulin and the phosphorylation rate of Neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP) also increased as a result of BCAA intake during fixation. This is important because nebulin and N-WASP are involved in the formation of the structure of sarcomere thin filaments. Furthermore, when the cross-sectional areas (CSAs) of different types of muscle fibers were measured during histological evaluation of muscle atrophy, it was found that the inhibitory effect of BCAA on muscle atrophy was higher in Type 1 fibers. Additionally, a positive correlation was found between nebulin level and the CSAs of the muscle fibers. It was found that there is a close relationship between the content of structural proteins and muscle atrophy.
In spite of the remarkable advances in novel drug and revascularization procedure, in-stent restenosis (ISR) remains a major complication of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The aim of this study was to investigate the association between green tea consumption and the incidence of ISR. The study population consisted of 1,509 patients who underwent PCI with drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation from January 2017 to December 2019. Patients were divided into ISR and non-ISR group according to the results of coronary angiography reexamination about 1 y after PCI. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between green tea consumption and the risk of ISR. ISR occurred in 157/1,509 patients (10.4%) by follow-up coronary angiography. After adjusting for other confounding factors, green tea consumption was associated with a reduced risk of ISR (OR 0.653, 95%CI 0.460–0.926, p=0.017). The risk of ISR tended to decline with an increase in the quantity of green tea consumed (adjusted p for trend=0.006). The adjusted ORs for those consuming 125–249 g and ≥250 g of dried green tea leaves per month were 0.579 (95%CI, 0.346–0.970, p=0.038) and 0.501 (95%CI, 0.270–0.932, p=0.029), respectively, compared with non-tea drinkers. Moreover, significant dose-response relationships were also observed for both frequency (adjusted p for trend=0.011) and concentration (adjusted p for trend=0.004) of green tea intake on the risk of ISR. Green tea consumption can protect against the development of ISR in a Chinese population.
This study aimed to evaluate the associations between skin carotenoid measurements and fruit and vegetables intake among school children. We conducted a cross-sectional study for 10-y-old children in 2020 in Japan. We compared the optical skin carotenoid score, measured using Veggie Meter®, and food intake, based on a self-administered questionnaire. Among the 328 children who were registered in the three primary schools, 321 (97.9%) agreed to undergo skin carotenoid measurements. None of the children were unable to undergo the examination or experienced any adverse events. Among the 321 children who underwent skin carotenoid measurements, 315 (96.0%) responded to the questionnaire. The baseline characteristics showed that 160 (50.8%) children were boys. The median (interquartile range) skin carotenoid score was 335 (277–407) points. The minimum and maximum scores were 138 and 822 points, respectively, and the mean score (standard deviation) was 349 (104) points. The multivariable model showed a higher intake of fruits and green-yellow vegetables and more exercises were independently associated with higher skin carotenoid scores. We showed positive associations between higher skin carotenoid scores and higher intake of fruits and green-yellow vegetables and more exercise. The skin carotenoid score could be used to promote better food intake among children.
To evaluate the effect and outcome by Shokuiku and nutrition education, it is need to develop the reliability and validity questionnaire for behaviors and interests in healthy eating habits for Japanese adolescents. Our aim was to develop the reliability and validity questionnaire about them for Japanese adolescents. Interests in healthy eating habits for Japanese adolescents were modified Japanese questionnaire of consciousness in dietary life (JQCDL) for university students developed by Hamaguchi et al. The surveys were carried out at two public junior high schools and 381 students in second year participated. Reliability of JQCDL–adolescent form (JQCDL–AF) was examined by factor analysis and calculation of Cronbach’s α. Validity of JQCDL–AF was examined by divergent of gender and by experimental intervention which investigated the changed scores from lunchbox to school lunch. High score of JQCDL–AF showed more interests in healthy eating habits. From histogram and factor analysis, four questions were excluded from JQCDL. We chose two subscale factors to form the domains: reduction unhealthy foods when eating out or snacking (4 items), and meal manners and meal preparation (7 items). Cronbach’s α of two subscales and all items (11 questions) were 0.845, 0.826, and 0.860, respectively. The total JQCDL–AF scores in girls were significantly higher than those of boys. Moreover, the total JQCDL–AF scores 1-mo after introducing school lunches increased significantly from the lunchbox. Therefore, the JQCDL–AF could evaluate interests in healthy eating habits in Japanese adolescents.
Turmeric products have many useful physiological functions and are widely used as health food and food ingredient. Here, we report the use of HPLC-ESI-MS/MS to simultaneously quantify bisacurone and three curcuminoids (curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin) in turmeric products (high viscosity liquid, granular powder, tablet, and solution). The results showed that the standard values and measured values of curcumin in each product were almost same. Demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin were contained in each products. Meanwhile, the content of bisacurone differed greatly among the products. In particular, the highest amount of bisacurone was found in the turmeric product A (high viscosity liquid, 9.48 g/100 g product). It would become important to consider the bisacurone content in turmeric products.
Plasmalogen, a phospholipid, exhibits preventive and therapeutic effects on dementia. Phospholipids improve fat metabolism, but it is unknown whether plasmalogen has an effect on fat metabolism. In this study, the effects of plasmalogen were determined by administering plasmalogen to KK-Ay mice. As a result, weight gain was significantly suppressed in the plasmalogen-treated group compared with the control group from 7 wk after the start of administration. In addition, plasmalogen administration increased uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression in brown adipose tissue. The effect is thought to result from liver kinase B1 (LKB1)/AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)/PR domain containing 16 (PRDM16)/peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) pathway activation via adrenergic β3 receptors. Furthermore, the expression of the carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1) gene associated with thermogenic factors and β-oxidation was increased. We investigated the browning of white adipose tissue, but no increase in UCP1 gene expression was observed in perirenal adipose tissue, epididymis adipose tissue, mesenteric adipose tissue and inguinal region white adipose tissue. In contrast, plasmalogen increased the activity of AMPK, which is a central enzyme in lipid metabolism, in perirenal adipose tissue. Furthermore, the activity of the protein kinase A (PKA)/LKB1/AMPK/acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC), stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD-1), and hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) pathways was confirmed. Plasmalogen may inhibit weight gain by activating brown fat to increase heat production, inhibiting lipid synthesis, and promoting lipolysis in white fat.