The aim of this study was to assess the reproducibility and validity of a non-quantitative 28-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Children aged 9-10 years (n = 50) from three schools in Dunedin, New Zealand, completed the FFQ twice and a four-day estimated food diary (4DEFD) over a two-week period. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Spearman's correlation coefficients (SCC) were used to determine reproducibility and validity of the FFQ, respectively. Weekly intakes were estimated for each food item and aggregated into 23 food items/groups. More than half of the food items/groups (52.2%) had an ICC ≥0.5. The median SCC between FFQ administrations was 0.66 (ranging from 0.40 for processed meat to 0.82 for sweets and non-dairy drinks). Cross-classification analysis between the first FFQ and 4DEFD for ranking participants into thirds showed that breakfast cereals had the highest agreement (54.0%) and pasta the lowest (34.0%). In validity analyses, 70% of food items/groups had a SCC ≥0.3. Results indicate that the FFQ is a useful tool for ranking children according to food items/groups intake. The low respondent burden and relative simplicity of the FFQ makes it suitable for use in large cohort studies of 9-10 year-old children in New Zealand.
Vitamin D insufficiency is a global health problem. The data on vitamin D status in Malaysian men is insufficient. This study aimed to investigate vitamin D status among Chinese and Malay men in Malaysia and its associating factors. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 383 men aged 20 years and above, residing in Klang Valley, Malaysia. Their age, ethnicity, body anthropometry and calcaneal speed of sound (SOS) were recorded. Their fasting blood was collected for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), intact parathyroid (PTH), total calcium and inorganic phosphate assays. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as a serum 25(OH)D level <30 nmol/L and insufficiency as a serum 25(OH)D level between 30 and 50 nmol/L. The overall prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was 0.5%, and insufficiency was 22.7%. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were more prevalent in the Malays compared to the Chinese. Being Chinese, older in age, having lower body mass index (BMI) and a high physical activity status were associated significantly with a higher serum 25(OH)D level (p < 0.05). The serum PTH level was inversely associated with the serum 25(OH)D level (p < 0.05). As a conclusion, a significant proportion of Malaysian men have vitamin D insufficiency, although deficiency is uncommon. Steps should be taken to correct the vitamin D status of these men.
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of annatto tocotrienol on indices of bone static histomorphometry in orchidectomized rats. Forty male rats were randomized into baseline (BL), sham (SH), orchidectomized (ORX), annatto tocotrienol-treated (AnTT) and testosterone enanthate-treated (TE) groups. The BL group was sacrificed upon receipt. All rats except the SH group underwent bilateral orchidectomy. Annatto tocotrienol at 60 mg/kg body weight was administered orally daily to the AnTT group for eight weeks. Testosterone enanthate at 7 mg/kg body weight was administered intramuscularly once weekly for eight weeks to the TE group. The rat femurs were collected for static histomorphometric analysis upon necropsy. The results indicated that the ORX group had significantly higher osteoclast surface and eroded surface, and significantly lower osteoblast surface, osteoid surface and osteoid volume compared to the SH group (p < 0.05). Annatto tocotrienol and testosterone enanthate intervention prevented all these changes (p < 0.05). The efficacy of annatto tocotrienol was on par with testosterone enanthate. In conclusion, annatto tocotrienol at 60 mg/kg can prevent the imbalance in bone remodeling caused by increased osteoclast and bone resorption, and decreased osteoblast and bone formation. This serves as a basis for the application of annatto tocotrienol in hypogonadal men as an antiosteoporotic agent.
Glycyrrhizic acid (GA) ameliorates many components of the metabolic syndrome, but its potential therapeutic use is marred by edema caused by inhibition of renal 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 (11β-HSD2). We assessed whether 100 mg/kg per day GA administered orally could promote metabolic benefits without causing edema in rats fed on a high-sucrose diet. Groups of eight male rats were fed on one of three diets for 28 days: normal diet, a high-sucrose diet, or a high-sucrose diet supplemented with GA. Rats were then culled and renal 11β-HSD2 activity, as well as serum sodium, potassium, angiotensin II and leptin levels were determined. Histological analyses were performed to assess changes in adipocyte size in visceral and subcutaneous depots, as well as hepatic and renal tissue morphology. This dosing paradigm of GA attenuated the increases in serum leptin levels and visceral, but not subcutaneous adipocyte size caused by the high-sucrose diet. Although GA decreased renal 11β-HSD2 activity, it did not affect serum electrolyte or angiotensin II levels, indicating no onset of edema. Furthermore, there were no apparent morphological changes in the liver or kidney, indicating no toxicity. In conclusion, it is possible to reap metabolic benefits of GA without edema using the current dosage and treatment time.
Alteration of the lipid content and fatty acid (FA) composition of foods can result in a healthier product. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of flaxseed oil or sunflower oil in the goat diet on fatty acid composition of muscle and expression of lipogenic genes in the semitendinosus (ST) muscle. Twenty-one entire male Boer kid goats were fed diets containing different levels of linoleic acid (LA) and α-linolenic acid (LNA) for 100 days. Inclusion of flaxseed oil increased (p < 0.05) the α-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3) concentration in the ST muscle. The diet high in α-linolenic acid (p < 0.05) decreased the arachidonic acid (C20:4n-6) and conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) c-9 t-11 content in the ST muscle. There was a significant (p < 0.05) upregulation of PPARα and PPARγ gene expression and downregulation of stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) gene in the ST muscle for the high α-linolenic acid group compared with the low α-linolenic acid group. The results of the present study show that flaxseed oil as a source of α-linolenic acid can be incorporated into the diets of goats to enrich goat meat with n-3 fatty acids, upregulate the PPARα and PPARγ, and downregulate the SCD gene expression.
Postmenopausal osteoporosis can be associated with oxidative stress and deterioration of antioxidant enzymes. It is mainly treated with estrogen replacement therapy (ERT). Although effective, ERT may cause adverse effects such as breast cancer and pulmonary embolism. Labisia pumila var. alata (LP), a herb used traditionally for women's health was found to protect against estrogen-deficient osteoporosis. An extensive study was conducted in a postmenopausal osteoporosis rat model using several LP doses and duration of treatments to determine if anti-oxidative mechanisms were involved in its bone protective effects. Ninety-six female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into six groups; baseline group (BL), sham-operated (Sham), ovariectomised control (OVXC), ovariectomised (OVX) and given 64.5 μg/kg of Premarin (ERT), ovariectomised and given 20 mg/kg of LP (LP20) and ovariectomised and given 100 mg/kg of LP (LP100). The groups were further subdivided to receive their respective treatments via daily oral gavages for three, six or nine weeks of treatment periods. Following euthanization, the femora were dissected out for bone oxidative measurements which include superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels.
Recent studies have found conflicting evidence on the role of α-tocopherol (αTF) on bone health. This nonsystematic review aimed to summarize the current evidence on the effects of αTF on bone health from cell culture, animal, and human studies in order to clarify the role of αTF on bone health. Our review found that αTF exerted beneficial, harmful or null effects on bone formation cells. Animal studies generally showed positive effects of αTF supplementation on bone in various models of osteoporosis. However, high-dose αTF was possibly detrimental to bone in normal animals. Human studies mostly demonstrated a positive relationship between αTF, as assessed using high performance liquid chromatography and/or dietary questionnaire, and bone health, as assessed using bone mineral density and/or fracture incidence. Three possible reasons high dosage of αTF can be detrimental to bone include its interference with Vitamin K function on bone, the blocking of the entry of other Vitamin E isomers beneficial to bone, and the role of αTF as a prooxidant. However, these adverse effects have not been shown in human studies. In conclusion, αTF may have a dual role in bone health, whereby in the appropriate doses it is beneficial but in high doses it may be harmful to bone.
Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world including developed and developing countries. Despite intensive efforts to improve the quality of life of rural and aboriginal communities in Malaysia, anaemia and IDA are still major public health problems in these communities particularly among children. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 250 Orang Asli (aboriginal) schoolchildren in Malaysia to investigate the effects of a single high-dose of vitamin A supplementation (200,000 IU) on iron status indices, anaemia and IDA status. The effect of the supplement was assessed after 3 months of receiving the supplements; after a complete 3-day deworming course of 400 mg/day of albendazole tablets. The prevalence of anaemia was found to be high: 48.5% (95% CI=42.3, 54.8). Moreover, 34% (95% CI=28.3, 40.2) of the children had IDA, which accounted for 70.1% of the anaemic cases. The findings showed that the reduction in serum ferritin level and the increments in haemoglobin, serum iron and transferrin saturation were found to be significant among children allocated to the vitamin A group compared to those allocated to the placebo group (p<0.01). Moreover, a significant reduction in the prevalence of IDA by almost 22% than prevalence at baseline was reported among children in the vitamin A group compared with only 2.3% reduction among children in the placebo group. In conclusion, vitamin A supplementation showed a significant impact on iron status indices and IDA among Orang Asli children. Hence, providing vitamin A supplementation and imparting the knowledge related to nutritious food should be considered in the efforts to improve the nutritional and health status of these children as a part of efforts to improve the quality of life in rural and aboriginal communities.
Dysregulated metabolism is implicated in obesity and other disease conditions like type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases, which are linked to abnormalities of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ). PPARγ has been the focus of much research aimed at managing these diseases. Also, germinated brown rice (GBR) is known to possess antidiabetic, antiobesity and hypocholesterolemic effects. We hypothesized that GBR bioactive compounds may mediate some of the improvements in metabolic indices through PPARγ modulation. Cultured HEP-G2 cells were treated with 50 ppm and 100 ppm of extracts from GBR (GABA, ASG and oryzanol) after determination of cell viabilities using MTT assays. Results showed that all extracts upregulated the expression of the PPARγ. However, combination of all three extracts showed downregulation of the gene, suggesting that, in combination, the effects of these bioactives differ from their individual effects likely mediated through competitive inhibition of the gene. Upregulation of the gene may have therapeutic potential in diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases, while its downregulation likely contributes to GBR's antiobesity effects. These potentials are worth studying further.
Powdered milk products for children (Growing Up Milk Powders or GUMPs) containing added carbohydrates such as glucose and sucrose are now well established in parts of Asia. We surveyed GUMPs in Malaysia and Indonesia to determine the content of added carbohydrates. The ingredient lists and nutrition information panels were used to calculate the percentage of declared carbohydrates contributed by added carbohydrates and a subset of seven products was tested for their glycemic index (GI) and insulin responses in healthy adults. The glycemic load for each product was calculated. In total, 58 products (n = 24 in Malaysia and n = 34 in Indonesia) were surveyed. Added carbohydrate content (excluding fibre) ranged from 0 to 21.5 g per serve. Milk powders without added sources of carbohydrate had similar GI values to standard liquid whole milk. Products containing maltodextrins, corn or glucose syrups increased the GI by more than 2-fold, and glycemic load (GL) by 7-fold compared to milk powders with no added carbohydrates. Insulin responses were significantly but not strongly correlated with glucose responses (r = 0.32, p < 0.006). Children's milk powders containing higher levels of added carbohydrate ingredients elicit higher glucose and insulin responses than liquid or powdered whole milk.
Syzygium polyanthum (S. polyanthum), a plant belonging to Myrtaceae, is widely used in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines. Diabetic patients in Indonesia also commonly use it as a traditional medicine. Hence, this study was conducted to investigate the antihyperglycemic effect of the methanol extract (ME) of S. polyanthum leaf and its possible mechanisms of action. To test for hypoglycemic activity, ME was administered orally to normal male Sprague Dawley rats after a 12-h fast. To further test for antihyperglycemic activity, the same treatment was administered to glucose-loaded (intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test, IPGTT) and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats, respectively. Hypoglycemic test in normal rats did not show significant reduction in blood glucose levels (BGLs) by the extract. Furthermore, IPGTT conducted on glucose-loaded normal rats also did not show significant reduction of BGLs. However, repeated administration of metformin and three doses of ME (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) for six days caused significant reduction of fasting BGLs in STZ-induced diabetic rats. The possible mechanisms of action of S. polyanthum antihyperglycemic activity were assessed by measurement of intestinal glucose absorption and glucose uptake by isolated rat abdominal muscle. It was found that the extract not only inhibited glucose absorption from the intestine but also significantly increased glucose uptake in muscle tissue. A preliminary phytochemical qualitative analysis of ME indicated the presence of tannins, glycosides, flavonoids, alkaloids and saponins. Additionally, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis detected squalene. In conclusion, S. polyanthum methanol leaf extract exerts its antihyperglycemic effect possibly by inhibiting glucose absorption from the intestine and promoting glucose uptake by the muscles.
Nypa fruticans Wurmb. vinegar, commonly known as nipa palm vinegar (NPV) has been used as a folklore medicine among the Malay community to treat diabetes. Early work has shown that aqueous extract (AE) of NPV exerts a potent antihyperglycemic effect. Thus, this study is conducted to evaluate the effect of AE on postprandial hyperglycemia in an attempt to understand its mechanism of antidiabetic action. AE were tested via in vitro intestinal glucose absorption, in vivo carbohydrate tolerance tests and spectrophotometric enzyme inhibition assays. One mg/mL of AE showed a comparable outcome to the use of phloridzin (1 mM) in vitro as it delayed glucose absorption through isolated rat jejunum more effectively than acarbose (1 mg/mL). Further in vivo confirmatory tests showed AE (500 mg/kg) to cause a significant suppression in postprandial hyperglycemia 30 min following respective glucose (2 g/kg), sucrose (4 g/kg) and starch (3 g/kg) loadings in normal rats, compared to the control group. Conversely, in spectrophotometric enzymatic assays, AE showed rather a weak inhibitory activity against both α-glucosidase and α-amylase when compared with acarbose. The findings suggested that NPV exerts its anti-diabetic effect by delaying carbohydrate absorption from the small intestine through selective inhibition of intestinal glucose transporters, therefore suppressing postprandial hyperglycemia.
Vitamin deficiencies are known to be common among infants residing in low- and middle-income countries but relatively few studies have assessed several biochemical parameters simultaneously. The objective of the study was to describe the status of vitamins (A, D, E, B₆, B12 and folate) in breastfed infants. We measured the plasma concentrations of trans retinol, 25 hydroxy vitamin D, α-tocopherol, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, cobalamin, folate, methylmalonic acid, homocysteine, hemoglobin and C-reactive protein from 467 randomly selected infants. One in five (22%) was deficient in at least one vitamin. Mean (SD) plasma folate concentration was 73 (35) nmol/L, and no infant in the sample was folate deficient. Vitamin B₆ deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency was found in 22% and 17% of the infants, respectively. Elevated plasma methylmalonic acid or total homocysteine concentration was found in 82% and 62% of infants, respectively. Fifteen percent of infants were vitamin A deficient and 65% were marginally deficient in vitamin A. Fewer than 5% of infants had low plasma vitamin D concentration or vitamin E concentration (α-tocopherol <9.3 µmol/L). Our results illustrate the importance of continued supplementation campaigns and support the expansion of food fortification and dietary diversification programs that target children and women in Nepal.
In a recent systematic review and meta-analysis report (Nutrients 2016, 8, 57), we critically appraised and summarized current evidence to determine the effects of chicken essence in improving cognitive functions as well as its safety. [...].
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and osteoporosis are two major healthcare problems worldwide. Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of medical conditions consisting of central obesity, hyperglycemia, hypertension, and dyslipidemia, in which each acts on bone tissue in different ways. The growing prevalence of MetS and osteoporosis in the population along with the controversial findings on the relationship between both conditions suggest the importance for further investigation and discussion on this topic. This review aims to assess the available evidence on the effects of each component of MetS on bone metabolism from the conventional to the contemporary. Previous studies suggested that the two conditions shared some common underlying pathways, which include regulation of calcium homeostasis, receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL)/receptor activator of the NF-κB (RANK)/osteoprotegerin (OPG) and Wnt-β-catenin signaling pathways. In conclusion, we suggest that MetS may have a potential role in developing osteoporosis and more studies are necessary to further prove this hypothesis.
Consumption of white rice predisposes some Asian populations to increased risk of type 2 diabetes. We compared the postprandial glucometabolic responses to three newly-developed crossbred red rice variants (UKMRC9, UKMRC10, UKMRC11) against three selected commercial rice types (Thai red, Basmati white, Jasmine white) using 50-g carbohydrate equivalents provided to 12 normoglycaemic adults in a crossover design. Venous blood was drawn fasted and postprandially for three hours. Glycaemic (GI) and insulin (II) indices, incremental areas-under-the-curves for glucose and insulin (IAUCins), indices of insulin sensitivity and secretion, lactate and peptide hormones (motilin, neuropeptide-Y, orexin-A) were analyzed. The lowest to highest trends for GI and II were similar i.e., UKMRC9 < Basmati < Thai red < UKMRC10 < UKMRC11 < Jasmine. Postprandial insulinaemia and IAUCins of only UKMRC9 were significantly the lowest compared to Jasmine. Crude protein and fiber content correlated negatively with the GI values of the test rice. Although peptide hormones were not associated with GI and II characteristics of test rice, early and late phases of prandial neuropeptide-Y changes were negatively correlated with postprandial insulinaemia. This study indicated that only UKMRC9 among the new rice crossbreeds could serve as an alternative cereal option to improve diet quality of Asians with its lowest glycaemic and insulinaemic burden.
Diabetic dyslipidemia contributes to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Hence, its treatment is necessary to reduce cardiovascular events. Honey reduces hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia. The reproducibility of these beneficial effects and their generalization to honey samples of other geographical parts of the world remain controversial. Currently, data are limited and findings are inconclusive especially with evidence showing honey increased glycosylated hemoglobin in diabetic patients. It was hypothesized that this deteriorating effect might be due to administered high doses. This study investigated if Nigerian honey could ameliorate hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. It also evaluated if high doses of honey could worsen glucose and lipid abnormalities. Honey (1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 g/kg) was administered to diabetic rats for three weeks. Honey (1.0 or 2.0 g/kg) significantly (p < 0.05) increased high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol while it significantly (p < 0.05) reduced hyperglycemia, triglycerides (TGs), very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, coronary risk index (CRI) and cardiovascular risk index (CVRI). In contrast, honey (3.0 g/kg) significantly (p < 0.05) reduced TGs and VLDL cholesterol. This study confirms the reproducibility of glucose lowering and hypolipidemic effects of honey using Nigerian honey. However, none of the doses deteriorated hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia.
Chicken essence (CE) is a popular traditional remedy in Asia, which is believed to improve cognitive functions. CE company claimed that the health benefits were proven with research studies. A systematic review was conducted to determine the cognitive-enhancing effects of CE. We systematically searched a number of databases for randomized controlled trials with human subjects consuming CE and cognitive tests involved. Cochrane's Risk of Bias (ROB) tool was used to assess the quality of trials and meta-analysis was performed. Seven trials were included, where six healthy subjects and one subject with poorer cognitive functions were recruited. One trial had unclear ROB while the rest had high ROB. For executive function tests, there was a significant difference favoring CE (pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) of -0.55 (-1.04, -0.06)) and another with no significant difference (pooled SMD of 0.70 (-0.001, 1.40)). For short-term memory tests, no significant difference was found (pooled SMD of 0.63 (-0.16, 1.42)). Currently, there is a lack of convincing evidence to show a cognitive enhancing effect of CE.
Botanical herbs are consumed globally not only as an essential diet but also as medicines or as functional/recreational food supplements. The extract of the Apocynum venetum leaves (AVLE), also known as Luobuma, exerts its antihypertensive effect via dilating the blood vessels in an endothelium- and concentration-dependent manner with optimal effect seen at as low as 10 µg/mL. A commercial Luoboma "antihypertensive tea" is available commercially in the western province of China. The present study seeks to investigate the underlying cellular mechanisms of the nitric oxide (NO)-releasing property of AVLE in rat aortas and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Endothelium-dependent relaxation induced by AVLE was assessed in organ chambers in the presence or absence of polyethyleneglycol catalase (PP2, 20 µM; inhibitor of Src kinase), wortmannin (30 nM) and LY294002 (20 µM; PI3 (phosphatidylinositol3)-Kinase inhibitor), N(G)-nitro-L-arginine (L-NAME, 100 µM; endothelial NO synthase inhibitor (eNOS)) and ODQ (1 µM; soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitor). Total nitrite and nitrate (NOx) level and protein expression of p-Akt and p-eNOS were measured. AVLE-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation was reduced by PP2, wortmannin and LY294002 and abolished by L-NAME and ODQ. AVLE significantly increased total NOx level in rat aortas and in HUVECs compared to control. It also instigated phosphorylation of Akt and eNOS in cultured HUVECs in a concentration-dependent manner and this was markedly suppressed by PP2, wortmannin and LY294002. AVLE also inhibited superoxide generated from both NADPH oxidase and xanthine/xanthine oxidase system. Taken together, AVLE causes endothelium-dependent NO mediated relaxations of rat aortas through Src/PI3K/Akt dependent NO signalling pathway and possesses superoxide scavenging activity.
Moringa oleifera is a miracle plant with many nutritional and medicinal properties. Chemopreventive values of the combined mixture of moringa leaves and seed residue (MOLSr) at different ratios (M1S9, M1S1 and M9S1) were investigated. MOLSr extracts were subjected to phytochemical screening, antioxidant assays, metabolite profiling and cytotoxic activity on the primary mammary epithelial cells (PMECs), non-malignant Chang's liver cells and various human cancer cell lines (including breast, cervical, colon and liver cancer cell lines). The MOLSr ratio with the most potent cytotoxic activity was used in xenograft mice injected with MDA-MB-231 cells for in vivo tumorigenicity study as well as further protein and gene expression studies. M1S9, specifically composed of saponin and amino acid, retained the lowest antioxidant activity but the highest glucosinolate content as compared to other ratios. Cell viability decreased significantly in MCF-7 breast cancer cells and PMECs after treatment with M1S9. Solid tumor from MDA-MB-231 xenograft mice was inhibited by up to 64.5% at third week after treatment with high-dose M1S9. High-dose M1S9 significantly decreased the expression of calcineurin (CaN) and vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF) proteins as well as the secreted frizzled-related protein 1 (SFRP1) and solute carrier family 39 member 6 (SLC39A6) genes. This study provides new scientific evidence for the chemoprevention potential of MOLSr extracts in a breast cancer model; however, the precise mechanism warrants further investigation.