Since vitamin E is one of the most potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, vitamin E can play a role against arteriosclerosis through various actions. Then, we have studied the relationship between serum vitamin E status and risk factors for arteriosclerosis in Japanese postmenopausal women. One hundred and seven subjects (70.0±7.7 y) were evaluated for vitamin E status by measuring serum α- and γ-tocopherol (αT and γT) levels. The number of arteriosclerosis risk factors was defined by the existence of high blood pressure, hyperglycemia, and dyslipidemia. Median serum αT and γT concentrations were 24.32 and 2.79 μmol/L, respectively. In none of the subjects, serum αT level was below the cutoff value (<12 μmol/L) for vitamin E deficiency which causes fragile erythrocyte and hemolysis. While no significant differences were found in serum levels of αT and γT between the groups categorized by the number of arteriosclerosis risks, serum levels of αT adjusted by serum total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) decreased with an increasing number of arteriosclerotic risk factors (p=0.074). Serum αT level adjusted by serum TC and TG was also a negative significant predictor for the number of arteriosclerosis risk factors controlled by covariates associated with arteriosclerosis. The present study described that serum vitamin E level was positively associated with a lower number of arteriosclerotic risks, and its role for preventing noncommunicable diseases was suggested.
The aim of this study is to identify the factors associated with nutrition in Japanese patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Overall, 409 patients with RA who underwent the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), bone mineral density determination, and body composition assessment by bioelectrical impedance analysis were enrolled. The analysis of factors associated with malnutrition was performed by comparing groups categorized by MNA score (≥24, 17-23.5, and <17). Moreover, correlation analysis for MNA score and variables was performed. The factors associated with malnutrition were the Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI) (p=0.005; odds ratio, 1.98), fat-free mass index (FFMI) (p=0.002; odds ratio, 0.59), and fat mass index (FMI) (p=0.022; odds ratio, 0.75). Statistical correlations of the MNA score with the following variables were observed: HAQ-DI (correlation coefficient [R], −0.261; p<0.001), FFMI (R, 0.371; p<0.001), and FMI (R, 0.272; p<0.001). This study identified nutrition-associated factors in Japanese patients with RA. The nutrition-associated factors were HAQ-DI, FFMI, and FMI. Therefore, physicians should evaluate nutrition of patients with RA.
The Vietnamese older adult population has increased rapidly on an annual basis and dysphagia has become a common issue. The nutritional status of older adults in general and of dysphagic older adults in particular has not received adequate attention. The automatic solution for cases of serious choking/aspiration is still a prescription for tube feeding. In developed countries, oral intake is a priority alternative for dysphagia and has positive consequences. This study aimed to investigate the nutritional status of and feeding practices for dysphagic older adult inpatients in some Vietnamese hospitals. The study was designed as a cross-sectional study and was conducted in three large hospitals in northern Vietnam. The data for 1007 older inpatients (58.3% were females, mean age was 75.5±7.3 y) about their dysphagic status, nutritional status and feeding practices were collected by dietitians. About 29% of the older adult inpatients suffered from malnutrition and 54% had a risk of malnutrition. Half of the dysphagia group had malnutrition and 42% were at risk of malnutrition. About 78% of the dysphagic older adults had oral intake of soft foods/regular foods and the remainder had tube feeding. Almost all dysphagic patients had reduced food intake over the prior 3 mo. The rate of pneumonia was quite high among dysphagic patients. The nutritional status of Vietnamese older adult inpatients in general and of dysphagic older adults specifically was poor. Oral intake of a texture-modified diet should be a method with priority over tube feeding or soft foods/regular foods for dysphagic patients.
We performed a pre/post-interventional study with participants as self-controls to evaluate the effects of consuming an evening-only low-carbohydrate meal (LCM) at 1800 h on biochemical measures of glucose and lipid metabolism. Study participants comprised 14 healthy men (age range, 20-29 y) who, consumed standard test meals (STMs) or LCM at 1800 h. Blood samples were collected at fasting, and at 60-, 120-, and 240 min after the start of the meals. The 60-min postprandial levels and the area under the curve (AUC) 0-120 min for plasma glucose were significantly lower after the LCM than after the STMs. The 60- and 120-min postprandial levels and the AUC 0-240 min for plasma insulin were significantly lower after the LCM than after the STMs (p<0.01). Postprandial triglyceride (TG) levels at 120- and 240 min and the AUC 0-240 min were significantly higher after the LCM than after the STMs (p<0.05, p<0.01, and p<0.05, respectively). The interleukin-6 levels were significantly higher 240 min after the STMs than before the meals (p<0.05), but not after the LCM. In these healthy volunteers, consuming an LCM at 1800 h suppressed postprandial hyperglycemia and insulin secretion; however, postprandial TG increased. Consuming an LCM at 1800 h was beneficial as it inhibited elevation of blood glucose; however, it may also increase the risk of arteriosclerosis through increasing TG levels.
Green tea and coffee contain various bioactive compounds (e.g., polyphenols), and their consumption has been proposed to decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Here, we investigated the associations between the consumption of green tea and that of coffee and the prevalence of coronary artery disease (CAD) in Japanese patients. The study group was 612 patients who underwent coronary angiography at Tokyo Medical Center between July 2008 and February 2017. CAD was confirmed in 388 of the patients: one-vessel disease (1-VD, n=166); two-vessel disease (2-VD, n=112); three-vessel disease (3-VD, n=110). Myocardial infarction (MI) was found in 138 patients. After adjustment for well-known atherosclerotic risk factors and other dietary habits, greater green tea consumption was significantly inversely associated with CAD prevalence (p for trend=0.044), and the patients who drank >3 cups/d had a lower prevalence of CAD compared to those who drank <1 cup/d (odds ratio [OR]: 0.54, 95% CI: 0.30-0.98). Greater green tea consumption (>3 cups/d) was also associated with a decreased prevalence of 3-VD (OR: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.24-0.98, p-trend=0.047) and MI (OR: 0.51, 95% CI: 0.27-0.97, p-trend=0.037). In contrast, coffee consumption was not associated with CAD or MI. In subgroup analyses, the inverse association between green tea consumption and CAD or MI was found in the high intake groups of vegetables or fruits but not in the low intake groups of vegetables or fruits. These results suggest a beneficial effect of green tea consumption, especially with a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, against coronary atherosclerosis in Japanese.
Being born with large birthweight is considered as a risk of non-communicable diseases later in life. However, it is not fully understood what kind of maternal dietary intake during pregnancy affect large birthweight. Therefore, we examined the association of dietary intakes and its changes during pregnancy with large-for-gestational-age (LGA) births in Japanese pregnant women. In the prospective study, 245 pregnant women who visited Kyoto Medical Center were enrolled. Nutrition survey using brief-type self-administered diet history questionnaire (BDHQ) at all trimester was completed in 171 pregnant women. Based on birthweight and gestational age, participants were divided into three groups, such as small-for-gestational-age (<10th, SGA, n=17), appropriate-for-gestational-age (≥10th and <90th, AGA, n=144), and LGA (≥90th, n=10) groups. Compared with those without LGA births, mothers with LGA births showed: 1) greater weight gain during pregnancy (LGA: 14.0±3.2 kg, AGA: 9.9±3.9 kg, SGA: 8.4±3.1 kg, p<0.05); 2) higher energy intake throughout pregnancy (LGA: 310±368 kcal, AGA: 7±490 kcal, SGA: −97±293 kcal, ptrend<0.05); 3) larger changes in plant oil and sucrose consumptions from the 1st to 2nd trimester, probably due to the results of greater consumption of bread, Western confectionery, Japanese confectionery, and mayonnaise and dressing during the same period (ptrend<0.05, respectively). Our results suggest that higher energy intake throughout pregnancy, as well as greater consumption of plant oil and sucrose from the first to second trimester could be associated with LGA births.
Certain individuals tend to suffer from a cold sensation—particularly in the lower extremities—despite most people not suffering from the same sensation. In Japan, this phenomenon is called “hie-sho” and reduces quality of life for several people, particularly women. A previous study has shown that a standardized oligomerized-polyphenol from Litchi chinensis fruit extract (OPLFE) reportedly causes a significant increase in body surface temperature. The present study aimed to investigate whether supplementation with OPLFE affected peripheral circulation and cold sensitivity. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed including 25 participants (age, 45.0±10.4 y; 3 males and 22 females) who were assigned to consume OPLFE, mixed plant extract with OPLFE, or placebo capsules for 14 d. Participants were instructed to relax for 60 min in a temperature-controlled room prior to obtaining measurements. Changes in skin temperature and peripheral blood flow of the middle finger were assessed immediately before and 1, 5, 10, 20, and 30 min after immersion in cold water (10ºC). Participants’ height, weight, skin temperature, and blood flow in peripheral tissue were measured; furthermore, their “hie-sho” was measured using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Skin temperature and blood flow in peripheral tissue increased in the OPLFE and mixed plant extract with OPLFE groups on day 14 compared with those on day 1. In addition, cold sensitivity in these two groups significantly improved between day 1 and day 14. These findings suggest that OPLFE improves “hie-sho” by increasing peripheral blood flow and skin temperature.
The fruit of Katsura-uri (Japan’s heirloom pickling melon, Cucumis melo var. conomon) possesses a fruity aroma and moderate sweetness. The fruit juice has potential to minimize human postprandial blood glucose levels. This study provides information regarding the health benefits of Katsura-uri and its utility in treating diabetes. The study methodology involved measuring the color and firmness of Katsura-uri fruit at five ripening stages, and quantitation of the aroma substances, proximate composition, and sugars. Significant changes were detected in the color, firmness, and level of aroma substances with ripening of Katsura-uri fruit, albeit with no major changes in proximate composition, with the exception of dietary fiber, and sugars. To determine the effects of Katsura-uri juice, the blood glucose levels of ten diabetic volunteers aged 46-75 y were monitored after its consumption, and compared with after consumption of muskmelon juice equivalent to the total weight of Katsura-uri juice. The blood glucose area under the curve level was significantly lower after consumption of Katsura-uri juice (16±5 h • mg/dL) than after consumption of muskmelon juice (55±17 h • mg/dL; p<0.05). The level of the glucose spike was also significantly lower after consumption of Katsura-uri juice (22±5 mg/dL) than after consumption of muskmelon juice (64±6 mg/dL; p<0.05). The completely ripe Katsura-uri fruit provides the best results for diabetic subjects, which is the first case of fruits sweetened with the addition of zero-calorie sweeteners.
β-Conglycinin is the major storage protein in soybeans. Pre-clinical animal models and human clinical studies have demonstrated the triglyceride-lowering effect of this protein, suggesting that it could be put into practical use as a functional food material. To date, however, there are no accurate and simple assays for quantification of β-conglycinin. In this study, samples were pretreated by mixing them with rice flour powder prior to extraction of proteins. Then, we used commercially available ELISA kits for detection of allergens that could be present in any contaminating soybean residue. This enabled accurate and highly reproducible quantitation of β-conglycinin content in several processed soybean foods.
We have previously reported that patients with severe motor and intellectual disabilities (SMID) have a high prevalence of vitamin K deficiency both in the liver and bone. Thus, vitamin K therapy for SMID patients should be considered. In the present study, we have studied the efficacy of nutritional therapy with vitamin K1 for improving their vitamin K status and bone metabolism markers in patients with SMID. During the 3-mo period, 19 patients under enteral feeding received vitamin K1 treatment, the dose of which was determined to meet each subject’s energy requirement. Biomarkers of vitamin K insufficiency; protein induced by vitamin K absence or antagonist-II (PIVKA-II), undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC), intact osteocalcin (intact OC) and bone turnover markers (tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-5b: TRACP-5b and bone alkaline phosphatase: BAP) were measured at baseline and post treatment. The ucOC/OC ratio was calculated as a more sensitive index than ucOC for vitamin K status in the bone. After treatment, the median vitamin K intake increased from 66 to 183 μg/d, and serum levels of PIVKA-II and ucOC/OC ratio were significantly decreased. Decrements of serum ucOC level and ucOC/OC ratio were significantly associated with vitamin K intake, indicating that both markers well reflect the dose-dependent vitamin K effects. Serum levels of BAP and TRACP-5b were significantly increased after vitamin K1 therapy. Nutritional therapy with vitamin K1 effectively improved the markers for vitamin K status and bone turnover, and was considered to be a good candidate for treatment in SMID patients.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays important roles in synaptic plasticity and neuronal differentiation. The neurotrophic hypothesis of depression, which suggests that reduced BDNF in the hippocampus underlies depression, has attracted increasing attention. Stress, a major cause of depression, leads to decreased BDNF levels, and administration of BDNF into the hippocampus shows an antidepressant effect. BDNF is synthesized in peripheral tissues as well as in the brain. Since BDNF crosses the blood-brain barrier, intake of food ingredients that elevate BDNF in peripheral tissues may be useful for the prevention and treatment of depression. However, no screening method for BDNF up-regulators in peripheral tissues has been reported. In this study, we revealed that ACHN human kidney adenocarcinoma cells secreted BDNF. In addition, we demonstrated that the methanol extract of foxtail millet up-regulated BDNF levels in ACHN cells. Our results indicate that ACHN cells could be useful in the screening for peripheral-BDNF up-regulators, and that foxtail millet may have the potential to elevate BDNF levels in peripheral tissues.