European Journal of Nutrition (v.49, #8)

Astaxanthin addition improves human neutrophils function: in vitro study by Rita C. Macedo; Anaysa P. Bolin; Douglas P. Marin; Rosemari Otton (447-457).
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the in vitro effect of carotenoid astaxanthin (ASTA) on the phagocytic and microbicidal capacities, cytokine release, and reactive oxygen species production in human neutrophils.The following parameters were evaluated: cytotoxic effect of ASTA on human neutrophils viability, phagocytic and microbicidal capacities of neutrophils by using Candida albicans assay, intracellular calcium mobilization (Fura 2-AM fluorescent probe), superoxide anion (lucigenin and DHE probes), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, phenol red), and nitric oxide (NO·) (Griess reagent) production, activities of antioxidant enzymes (total/Mn-SOD, CAT, GPx, and GR), oxidative damages in biomolecules (TBARS assay and carbonyl groups), and cytokine (IL-6 and TNF-alpha) release.Astaxanthin significantly improves neutrophil phagocytic and microbicidal capacity, and increases the intracellular calcium concentration and NO· production. Both functional parameters were accompanied by a decrease in superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide and IL-6 and TNF-α production. Oxidative damages in lipids and proteins were significantly decreased after ASTA-treatment.Taken together our results are supportive to a beneficial effect of astaxanthin-treatment on human neutrophils function as demonstrated by increased phagocytic and fungicide capacity as well as by the reduced superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide production, however, without affecting neutrophils capacity to kill C. albicans. This process appears to be mediated by calcium released from intracellular storages as well as nitric oxide production.
Keywords: Antioxidant; Astaxanthin; Carotenoids; Leukocytes; Neutrophil; Oxidative stress

Glycemic index and glycemic load in relation to body mass index and waist to hip ratio by Marta Rossi; Cristina Bosetti; Renato Talamini; Pagona Lagiou; Eva Negri; Silvia Franceschi; Carlo La Vecchia (459-464).
High-glycemic index (GI) diet has been associated with obesity, but epidemiological data are inconsistent. We therefore investigated the relation between GI and glycemic load (GL) with body mass index (BMI) and waist to hip ratio (WHR), as a measure of body fat distribution.We analysed data from the control group of a network of hospital-based case–control studies from Italy. A total of 7,724 patients (3,482 men, 4,242 women; age range 18–82 years) were interviewed using a validated 78-item food-frequency questionnaire.Mean BMI decreased from the lowest to the highest tertile of GI from 26.59 to 26.18 kg/m2 in men (p ~ 0.005), and from 25.81 to 25.09 kg/m2 in women (p < 0.001). With respect to GL tertiles, the corresponding values were 26.41 and 26.25 kg/m2 in men (p ~ 0.51), and 26.01 and 24.93 kg/m2 in women (p < 0.001). Using linear regression models including terms for major potential confounding factors and energy intake, GI and GL were inversely related to BMI: the coefficients (for the highest compared to the lowest tertile) were −0.46 among men and −0.81 among women for GI, and −0.79 and −1.33 for GL. No consistent association was found with WHR.GI and GL were, if anything, inversely related to BMI and WHR in this Italian population.
Keywords: Glycemic index; Glycemic load; Obesity; Body mass index; Waist to hip ratio; Overweight

Dietary habits of Greek adults and serum total selenium concentration: the ATTICA study by S. Letsiou; T. Nomikos; D. Panagiotakos; S. A. Pergantis; E. Fragopoulou; S. Antonopoulou; C. Pitsavos; C. Stefanadis (465-472).
The trace element selenium is an essential micronutrient for human health, and its low levels in serum are implicated in the pathogenesis of several chronic diseases. The determination of total serum selenium levels may contribute to the assessment of the health status of all populations. Since the serum selenium levels are highly affected by diet, we assessed its association with the dietary habits of Greek adults.Serum selenium levels were determined with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in a cohort of 506 participants (men: 296, women: 210) aged 18–75 from the ATTICA study. Food consumption was evaluated with a validated food-frequency questionnaire.Evaluation of the relationship between serum total selenium with major food groups and beverages by multi-adjusted analysis revealed that serum selenium was positively correlated with the consumption of red meat (2.37 ± 0.91, p = 0.01) while the consumption of other selenium-containing foods (i.e., fish, cereals, dairy products, vegetables) did not demonstrate such a relationship. Moreover, principal component analysis revealed that the adoption of a vegetarian type of diet is inversely correlated with total selenium (−3.94 ± 2.28, p = 0.08).Among the dietary habits that were examined, red meat seems to be the major determinant of serum selenium in Greek adults.
Keywords: Dietary habits; Serum selenium; Greeks; Red meat

Dietary B vitamin intakes and urinary total arsenic concentration in the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS) cohort, Bangladesh by Maria Argos; Paul J. Rathouz; Brandon L. Pierce; Tara Kalra; Faruque Parvez; Vesna Slavkovich; Alauddin Ahmed; Yu Chen; Habibul Ahsan (473-481).
The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the effects of dietary B vitamin intakes on creatinine-adjusted urinary total arsenic concentration among individuals participating in the Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS) cohort in Araihazar, Bangladesh. Arsenic exposure is a major public health problem in Bangladesh, where nearly 77 million people have been chronically exposed to arsenic through the consumption of naturally contaminated groundwater. Dietary factors influencing the metabolism of ingested arsenic may potentially be important modifiers of the health effects of arsenic in this population.Daily average B vitamin intakes from a validated food frequency questionnaire and laboratory data on drinking water and urinary arsenic concentrations among 9,833 HEALS cohort participants were utilized. Statistical analyses were conducted using generalized estimating equations incorporating knotted spline linear regression.Increasing dietary intakes of thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine were found to significantly increase urinary total arsenic excretion, adjusted for daily arsenic intake from drinking water and other potential confounders.These results suggest that higher intakes of certain B vitamins may enhance the excretion of arsenic from the body. This study offers new insights into modifiable dietary factors that relate to arsenic excretion and thus provides potential avenues for the prevention of arsenic-related health effects.
Keywords: Arsenic; Bangladesh; B vitamins; Cross-sectional analysis

Effect of supplementation with B vitamins and antioxidants on levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and C-reactive protein (CRP): a double-blind, randomised, factorial design, placebo-controlled trial by Mark G. O’Doherty; Sarah E. C. M. Gilchrist; Ian S. Young; Michelle C. McKinley; John W. G. Yarnell; K. Fred Gey; Alun Evans; Paula M. L. Skidmore; Jayne V. Woodside (483-492).
Cardiovascular risk factors such as elevated levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA)/C-reactive protein (CRP) and homocysteine are potentially related to essential micronutrients such as certain B vitamins and antioxidant vitamins. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether supplementation with moderate doses of B vitamins and/or antioxidants could alter either ADMA and/or CRP concentrations in middle-aged, apparently healthy men with mildly elevated homocysteine levels.A randomised, double-blind, factorial design, intervention study was carried out on 132 men with mildly elevated homocysteine levels, allocated to four groups (a) B vitamins alone—1 mg folic acid, 7.2 mg pyridoxine, 0.02 mg cyanocobalamin daily, (b) antioxidants alone—150 mg ascorbic acid, 67 mg vitamin E, 9 mg β-carotene daily, (c) B vitamins with antioxidant vitamins, or (d) placebo. A total of 101 men completed the study to 8 weeks.When the percentage of baseline ADMA and CRP was examined at 8 weeks, no statistically significant differences were observed between the four groups (p = 0.21 and p = 0.90, respectively). Similar non-significant results were observed when analysis was stratified based on baseline CRP levels (<1.0 mg/L, p = 0.10; ≥1.0 mg/L, p = 0.64) and smoking status (all p ≥ 0.05).Supplementation with moderate doses of B vitamins and/or antioxidants did not alter either ADMA or CRP concentrations in these middle-aged, apparently healthy men with mildly elevated homocysteine levels.
Keywords: Asymmetric dimethylarginine; C-reactive protein; Cardiovascular disease; Homocysteine; B vitamins; Antioxidant vitamins

This study was conducted to investigate whether a higher proportion of protein or fat is more favorable for optimal ghrelin and peptide YY (PYY) release in subjects consuming low carbohydrate meals.Eight normal weight men received, on three separate occasions, high protein low fat (HPLF) (40% protein, 25% fat), low protein high fat (LPHF) (10% protein, 55% fat) or medium protein medium fat (MPMF) (25% protein, 40% fat) meals, with equal low carbohydrates content in all three meals (35% of energy). Postprandial blood samples were collected before and 15, 30, 60, 120, 180 and 240 min following the ingestion of each meal. Plasma acylated ghrelin and PYY3-36 as well as serum insulin, glucose and triglycerides were measured.Comparing meals and considering each time point separately, a trend for a statistically significant difference in acylated ghrelin was observed between HPLF and LPHF meals and a statistically significant change of PYY from baseline was noted between HPLF and LPHF meals as compared to the MPMF meal at certain time points. When data were pooled together, a statistically significant difference in acylated ghrelin change from baseline was observed between HPLF and LPHF meals, while both HPLF and LPHF meals resulted in a significantly higher PYY3-36 release in comparison to MPMF meal. AUC data analysis for PYY3-36 revealed significantly higher values following HPLF in comparison to MPMF meal. Correlation analysis revealed a significant negative correlation between acylated ghrelin and insulin only with the HPLF meal. Postprandial glucose and triglyceride levels were not significantly different between the three meals.In subjects consuming low carbohydrate meals, higher concentrations of proteins to fat seem to have more favorable effects on postprandial appetite hormones.
Keywords: Proteins; Fats; Peptide YY; Ghrelin; Males

Specific antibodies to cow’s milk proteins in infants: effect of early feeding and diagnosis of cow’s milk allergy by Emma Merike Savilahti; Kristiina Mertta Saarinen; Erkki Savilahti (501-504).
To investigate whether specific IgA, IgG, IgG1 and IgG4 responses to cow’s milk proteins differ between infants with cow’s milk allergy and infants with cow’s milk related symptoms (control subjects), and whether early feeding affects these responses as well as specific IgE.A cohort of 6,209 healthy, full-term infants in a double-blind randomized trial received, as supplementary feeding at maternity hospitals (mean duration 4 days), either cow’s milk formula, extensively hydrolyzed whey formula or donor breast milk. Infants who developed cow’s milk associated symptoms (n = 223) underwent an open oral cow’s milk challenge (mean age 7 months), which confirmed cow’s milk allergy in 111 and was negative in 112. We measured in sera cow’s milk specific IgE levels with UniCAP (Phadia, Uppsala, Sweden), and β-lactoglobulin and α-casein specific IgA, IgG1, IgG4 and IgG levels with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.Infants with IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy had lower β-lactoglobulin and α-casein specific IgG1, IgG4 and IgG levels (p < 0.05) than infants with non-IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy or control subjects. Within the group of infants with cow’s milk allergy, exposure to cow’s milk during the first few days after birth led to higher β-lactoglobulin and α-casein specific IgG4 levels (p < 0.005) compared to infants fed with either breast milk or extensively hydrolyzed formula.Subdued IgG class responses to cow’s milk proteins characterized IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy. In infants who developed cow’s milk allergy early exposure to cow’s milk resulted in a heightened specific IgG4 response.
Keywords: α-Casein; β-Lactoglobulin; Cow’s milk allergy; Infants’ feeding; IgG4; Tolerance

Association between glycemic index, glycemic load, and fructose with insulin resistance: the CDC of the Canary Islands study by Santiago Domínguez Coello; Antonio Cabrera de León; María C. Rodríguez Pérez; Carlos Borges Álamo; Lourdes Carrillo Fernández; Delia Almeida González; Jezabel García Yanes; Ana González Hernández; Buenaventura Brito Díaz; Armando Aguirre-Jaime (505-512).
The involvement of carbohydrates in triggering insulin resistance (IR) remains a source of controversy.To study the relation between glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), and fructose with insulin resistance in a predominantly rural population in the Canary Islands.Cross-sectional study carried out in 668 nondiabetic people aged 18–75. IR was estimated with serum glucose and C-peptide (HOMA2-IR). Nutrient intakes were obtained from a validated food frequency questionnaire. ANOVA was used to analyze nutrient distribution across quartiles of HOMA2-IR. Four multivariate nutrient density models (dependent variable: log-transformed HOMA2-IR) which differed only in the kinds of carbohydrates included were tested (Model 1: carbohydrates; Model 2: GI and then GL; Model 3: free fructose, other simple sugars and starch; Model 4: total fructose, remaining sugars and starch).There was no association between GI and IR. There was a direct association between GL (P < 0.001), fructose (free [P = 0.001], total [P = 0.013]), energy intake (P < 0.001), fruit fiber (<0.001), and glucose (P = 0.003) with IR. There was an inverse association between cereal (P = 0.008) and vegetable fiber (P < 0.001) and IR. Multivariate models corroborated the association of carbohydrates, GL, fructose, vegetable fiber, and energy intake with IR. The association between GL and IR disappeared when Model 2 was adjusted by total fructose intake.There was a direct association between fructose intake and IR. There was no relationship between GI and IR. Although a direct association of GL with IR was detected, it was attributable to the consumption of fructose.
Keywords: Insulin resistance; Glycemic index; Glycemic load; Fructose; Dietary fiber; Energy intake