European Journal of Nutrition (v.41, #3)

Background The increased consumption of fruit and vegetables has been linked to protection against different chronic diseases, but the dietary constituents responsible for this association have not been clearly identified. Aim of the study We evaluated the effect of spinach and spinach+tomato puree consumption on cell DNA resistance to an oxidative stress. Methods To this aim, in a dietary controlled intervention study, 9 healthy female volunteers consumed a basal diet low in carotenoids (< 600 μg/day) enriched with daily portions (150 g) of spinach (providing about 9 mg lutein, 0.6 mg zeaxanthin, 4 mg β-carotene) for 3 weeks (from day 0 to day 21) followed by a 2 week wash-out period (basal diet) and finally another 3 weeks (from day 35 to day 56) of diet enriched with daily portions of spinach (150 g) + tomato puree (25 g, providing about 7 mg lycopene, 0.3 mg β-carotene). At the beginning and the end of each period of vegetable intake, blood samples were collected for lymphocyte separation. Carotenoid concentrations of lymphocytes were determined by HPLC and DNA damage was evaluated by the comet assay following an ex vivo treatment with H2O2. Results During the first period of spinach consumption, lymphocyte lutein concentration did not increase significantly (from 1.6 to 2.2 μmol/1012 cells) while lycopene and β-carotene concentrations decreased significantly (from 1.0 to 0.1 μmol/1012 cells, P < 0.001, and from 2.2 to 1.2 μmol/1012 cells, P < 0.05, respectively). Lutein and lycopene concentrations increased after spinach+tomato puree consumption (from 1.2 to 3.5 μmol/1012 cells, P < 0.01, and from 0.1 to 0.7 μmol/1012 cells, P < 0.05, respectively). The increase may be attributed to the addition of tomato puree to spinach; however, the different concentrations of carotenoids in lymphocytes registered at the beginning of the two intervention periods may have affected the results. DNA resistance to H2O2 insult increased significantly after both the enriched diets (P < 0.01); however, no “additive effect” was seen after spinach + tomato puree consumption. In the spinach + tomato intervention period an inverse correlation was observed between lymphocyte lycopene concentration and DNA damage, but this seems not able to explain the protection observed. Conclusions The consumption of carotenoid-rich foods even for a short period of time gives protection against oxidative stress. The results obtained seem to suggest that this protective role is not specifically related to carotenoids. However they may contribute together with other substances present in vegetables to lymphocyte resistance to oxidative damage.
Keywords: Key words Vegetables – carotenoids – DNA damage – lymphocytes

Background Women have an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) due to hormone imbalance-induced changes in blood lipid profiles after menopause. Aim of study This study was done to compare the effects of dietary intervention and hormone replacement therapy, alone or in combination, on blood lipids and body weight in Korean postmenopausal women with hypercholesterolemia. Method The subjects were treated by one of three different treatments for 12 weeks: hormone replacement therapy (HRT group, n = 8), dietary intervention (DIET group, n = 8) and hormone replacement therapy combined with dietary intervention (HRT+DIET group, n = 8). Results Serum TC and LDL-C levels decreased by 13–16 % and 24–28 % in the HRT group, by 17–19 % and 21–23 % in the DIET group and by 19–26 % and 32–39 % in the HRT+DIET group, respectively (P < 0.05). Serum HDL-C levels decreased in the DIET group (−6.4 %, P < 0.05) but not in the HRT and HRT+DIET groups. Serum TG levels increased in the HRT group (18 %, P < 0.05) but decreased in the DIET group (−24.4 %, P < 0.05). In the HRT+ DIET group, serum TG levels did not change. Body weight decreased only in the DIET group. Conclusions We can conclude that dietary intervention produces a considerable improvement in blood lipid profiles and body weight, even though our study is limited by the sample size. Thus, the treatment to reduce risk of CVD should be individualized on the basis of the patient's dietary intake status, and at least, HRT should not be substituted for dietary intervention.
Keywords: Key words hypercholesterolemia – postmenopausal women – hormone replacement therapy – dietary intervention – lipid level

A new equation especially developed for predicting resting metabolic rate in the elderly for easy use in practice by Petra M. Lührmann; Birgit M. Herbert; Carolin Krems; Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold (108-113).
Background Equations published in the literature for predicting resting metabolic rate (RMR) in older individuals were exclusively derived from studies with small samples of this age group. Aim of the present investigation was therefore to compare the measured RMR of a relatively large group of older females and males with values for RMR calculated from the most commonly used WHO [1] equations. Furthermore, on the basis of the data collected by our study group a new equation for calculating RMR in the elderly was to be developed. Variables used in this equation should be easily and exactly determinable in practice. Subjects and methods RMR was measured by indirect calorimetry after an overnight fast in a sample of 179 female (age 67.8 ± 5.7 y, BMI 26.4 ± 3.7 kg/m2) and 107 male (age 66.9 ± 5.1 y, BMI 26.3 ± 3.1 kg/m2) participants in the longitudinal study on nutrition and health status in an aging population of Giessen, Germany. The subjects were at least 60 years old, did not suffer from thyroid dysfunction, and were not taking thyroid hormones. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis was used to estimate the best predictors of RMR. Results In females there was no significant difference between our measured RMR (5504 ± 653 kJ/d) and RMR predicted with the WHO [1] equation (5458 ± 440 kJ/d), whereas in males measured RMR (6831 ± 779 kJ/d) was significantly higher than calculated RMR (6490 ± 550 kJ/d). Results of regression analysis, considering body weight, body height, age, and sex, showed that RMR is best calculated by the following equation: RMR [kJ/d]= 3169 + 50.0 · body weight [kg] − 15.3 · age [y] + 746 · sex [female = 0, male = 1]. The variables of this equation accounted for 74 % (R2) of the variance in RMR and predicted RMR within ± 486 kJ/d (SEE). Conclusion On the basis of the data determined in a large group of older individuals, we offer a new equation for calculating RMR in the elderly that is both easy and accurate for use in practice.
Keywords: Key words Resting metabolic rate – predictive equation – elderly

β2-Adrenergic receptor mutation and abdominal obesity risk: Effect modification by gender and HDL-cholesterol by M. S. Corbalán; A. Marti; L. Forga; M. A. Martínez-González; J. A. Martínez (114-118).
Objective and design A case-control study was conducted to examine the association between the 27Glu polymorphism of the β2-adrenergic receptor gene (ADRB2) and the risk of abdominal obesity (defined by a waist/hip ratio: WHR higher than 0.85). Methods The case series encompassed 112 obese subjects with body mass index (BMI) > 30 kg/m2 and WHR > 0.85 and no other major disease except for type 2 diabetes, while the controls were 127 healthy subjects, BMI < 25 kg/m2 and WHR < 0.85. Results The association between the risk of abdominal obesity and the 27Glu polymorphism was estimated using multivariate logistic regression. A higher crude odds ratio (OR) of 4.08 (95 % confidence interval: 0.98–16.3) for the 27Glu allele was found among men, while no increased risk was apparent among female participants. Moreover, when the model was adjusted for age, male subjects carriers of the 27Glu allele had a significant ten-fold higher risk of abdominal obesity (OR = 10.31; 95 % CI: 1.4–76.8) and the product-term for the interaction (effect modification) between gender and the ADRB2 mutation was near to the limits of statistical significance (Likelihood ratio test p = 0.056). Interestingly, we also found an effect modification with higher OR among individuals with low HDL-cholesterol (< 1.5 mmol/l) after adjustment for age and gender (OR = 2.87 95 % CI 1.09–7.50) and the product-term for interaction between the 27Glu allele and HDL-cholesterol was statistically significant (Likelihood ratio test p = 0.003). Conclusions. Our results showed that the 27Glu allele of the ADRB2 gene appears to be a risk factor for abdominal obesity among male subjects, specially among those with lower HDL-cholesterol levels.
Keywords: Key words polymorphism – abdominal obesity risk – HDL-cholesterol – gender – 27 Glu allele of the ADRB2

Backgroundα- and γ-Tocopherol are vitamin E compounds in human blood and tissues. α-CEHC (2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-(2'-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman) and γ-CEHC (2,7,8-trimethyl-2-(2'-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman) have been identified as water-soluble metabolites which are excreted with the urine in humans. Aim of the study To assess over-time changes of serum levels of α- and γ-CEHC in humans after a single dose of vitamin E from a natural source. Methods Twenty-one healthy subjects ingested a single dose of vitamin E (306 mg of RRR-α-tocopherol and 1.77 mg of γ-tocopherol). Blood was collected before (baseline) and 2, 6, 12, 24, 35, 50, and 74 h after ingestion. Serum was separated and levels of α- and γ-tocopherol and α- and γ-CEHC were determined by HPLC. Results After vitamin E ingestion, a statistically significant increase was observed for α-tocopherol and α-CEHC. Maximum serum levels for both compounds were measured 12 h after application (33.3 ± 11.1 μmol α-toco-pherol /L and 42.4 ± 18.3 nmol α-CEHC /L); baseline values were reached again after 72 h. While γ-tocopherol levels decreased during the study period, an increase in the metabolite γ-CEHC was observed. The optical isomer formed in the metabolism of RRR-α-tocopherol was assigned as S-α-CEHC. Conclusionsα-CEHC levels increase after administration of a single dose of natural vitamin E in humans. The appearance of the metabolite in blood parallels that of the parent compound. The γ-tocopherol analog appears to be metabolized more efficiently than α-tocopherol.
Keywords: Key words Bioavailability –α-CEHC –γ-CEHC – optical isomers –α-tocopherol –γ-tocopherol

Systematic review of fatty acid composition of plasma phospholipids of venous cord blood in full-term infants by Hajnalka Minda; Elvira Larque; Berthold Koletzko; Tamás Decsi (125-131).
The purpose of this review was to systematically evaluate the variability of the fatty acid composition of venous cord blood phospholipids in different populations. In an attempt to review published evidence systematically, we found 19 data sets describing fatty acid composition of venous cord blood phospholipids in 11 European and 2 American countries. The amount of saturated-, monounsaturated- and parent essential polyunsaturated fatty acids exhibited relatively moderate variability among the data sets reviewed. Values of arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid showed two-fold variability among the data sets. The highest values of docosahexaenoic acid were observed in countries with apparently higher consumption of dietary fat from sea fish. Considering the differences in blood sampling, laboratory methods and data presentation, we conclude that fatty acid composition of venous cord blood phospholipids in healthy, full-term infants shows relatively modest variability; hence, it is suitable for the estimation of in utero fatty acid supply.
Keywords: Key words Venous cord blood – phospholipid – essential fatty acids – long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids

Impact of parental BMI on the manifestation of overweight 5–7 year old children by Sandra Danielzik; Kristina Langnäse; Mareike Mast; Carina Spethmann; Manfred J. Müller (132-138).
Background There is an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obese children. Genetic and environmental factors are contributing factors but the influence of parental nutritional state on early manifestation of overweight is not well characterised. Aim of the study To systematically investigate the impact of parental BMI on the manifestation of overweight in 5 to 7 year old children. Methods Cross-sectional study (as a part of the Kiel Obesity Prevention Study [KOPS]) of 3306 children aged 5–7 years and their parents. The nutritional state of the children (BMI, triceps skinfold, fat mass, prevalence of overweight) was investigated in subgroups differing with respect to parental BMI. Results BMI of the children was significantly correlated with parental BMI (r = 0.272, p < 0.01). Children's BMI showed closer associations with maternal than with paternal BMI (r = 0.254 vs. 0.159, p < 0.01). A multivariate regression analysis showed that parental BMI explained 7.6 % of the variance in children's BMI. OR for overweight was elevated in children with at least one overweight parent (overweight mother: OR 2.9 (boys)/3.1 (girls); overweight father: OR 1.8 (boys)/2.4 (girls). OR was highest for children with two obese parents (OR 7.6 (boys)/6.3 (girls). Children with one obese parent were more frequently overweight than children with one overweight parent. Conclusions Parental BMI showed only a weak correlation with the BMI of their children. However, children's risk of becoming overweight increased with parental overweight and obesity. Thus, familial disposition has to be taken into account to identify risk groups for preventive measures.
Keywords: Key words Childhood obesity – parent-infant relationship