The energy-salvaging capacity of the gut microbiota from dietary ingredients has been proposed as a contributing factor for the development of obesity. This knowledge generated interest in the use of non-digestible dietary ingredients such as prebiotics to manipulate host energy homeostasis. In the present study, the in vitro response of obese human faecal microbiota to novel oligosaccharides was investigated. Dextrans of various molecular weights and degrees of branching were fermented with the faecal microbiota of healthy obese adults in pH-controlled batch cultures. Changes in bacterial populations were monitored using fluorescent in situ hybridisation and SCFA concentrations were analysed by HPLC. The rate of gas production and total volume of gas produced were also determined. In general, the novel dextrans and inulin increased the counts of bifidobacteria. Some of the dextrans were able to alter the composition of the obese human microbiota by increasing the counts of Bacteroides-Prevotella and decreasing those of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Ruminococcus bromii/R. flavefaciens. Considerable increases in SCFA concentrations were observed in response to all substrates. Gas production rates were similar during the fermentation of all dextrans, but significantly lower than those during the fermentation of inulin. Lower total gas production and shorter time to attain maximal gas production were observed during the fermentation of the linear 1 kDa dextran than during the fermentation of the other dextrans. The efficacy of bifidobacteria to ferment dextrans relied on the molecular weight and not on the degree of branching. In conclusion, there are no differences in the profiles between the obese and lean human faecal fermentations of dextrans.
In the present study, we investigated the effect of long-acyl chain SFA, namely palmitic acid (16:0) and stearic acid (18:0), at sn-1, 3 positions of TAG on obesity. Throughout the 15 weeks of the experimental period, C57BL/6 mice were fed diets fortified with cocoa butter, sal stearin (SAL), palm mid fraction (PMF) and high-oleic sunflower oil (HOS). The sn-1, 3 positions were varied by 16:0, 18:0 and 18:1, whilst the sn-2 position was preserved with 18:1. The HOS-enriched diet was found to lead to the highest fat deposition. This was in accordance with our previous postulation. Upon normalisation of total fat deposited with food intake to obtain the fat:feed ratio, interestingly, mice fed the SAL-enriched diet exhibited significantly lower visceral fat/feed and total fat/feed compared with those fed the PMF-enriched diet, despite their similarity in SFA-unsaturated fatty acid-SFA profile. That long-chain SFA at sn-1, 3 positions concomitantly with an unsaturated FA at the sn-2 position exert an obesity-reducing effect was further validated. The present study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that SFA of different chain lengths at sn-1, 3 positions exert profound effects on fat accretion.
Nutrition is an important factor in mental development and, as a consequence, in cognitive performance. Malnutrition is reflected in children's weight, height and BMI curves. The present cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the association between anthropometric indices and cognitive performance in 6746 school-aged children (aged 6-12 years) of four Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia; Malaysia; Thailand; Vietnam. Cognitive performance (non-verbal intelligence quotient (IQ)) was measured using Raven's Progressive Matrices test or Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence, third edition (TONI-3). Height-for-age z-scores (HAZ), weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ) and BMI-for-age z-scores (BAZ) were used as anthropometric nutritional status indices. Data were weighted using age, sex and urban/rural weight factors to resemble the total primary school-aged population per country. Overall, 21% of the children in the four countries were underweight and 19% were stunted. Children with low WAZ were 3·5 times more likely to have a non-verbal IQ < 89 (OR 3·53 and 95% CI 3·52, 3·54). The chance of having a non-verbal IQ < 89 was also doubled with low BAZ and HAZ. In contrast, except for severe obesity, the relationship between high BAZ and IQ was less clear and differed per country. The odds of having non-verbal IQ levels < 89 also increased with severe obesity. In conclusion, undernourishment and non-verbal IQ are significantly associated in 6-12-year-old children. Effective strategies to improve nutrition in preschoolers and school-aged children can have a pronounced effect on cognition and, in the longer term, help in positively contributing to individual and national development.
The dual burden of malnutrition reportedly coexists in Malaysia; however, existing data are scarce and do not adequately represent the nutritional status of Malaysian children. The Nutrition Survey of Malaysian Children was carried out with the aim of assessing the nutritional status in a sample of nationally representative population of children aged 6 months to 12 years. A total of 3542 children were recruited using a stratified random sampling method. Anthropometric measurements included weight, height, mid-upper arm circumference, and waist and hip circumferences. Blood biochemical assessment involved analyses of Hb, serum ferritin, and vitamins A and D. Dietary intake was assessed using semi-quantitative FFQ, and nutrient intakes were compared with the Malaysian Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNI). The prevalence of overweight (9·8%) and obesity (11·8%) was higher than that of thinness (5·4%) and stunting (8·4%). Only a small proportion of children had low levels of Hb (6·6%), serum ferritin (4·4%) and vitamin A (4·4%), but almost half the children (47·5%) had vitamin D insufficiency. Dietary intake of the children was not compatible with the recommendations, where more than one-third did not achieve the Malaysian RNI for energy, Ca and vitamin D. The present study revealed that overnutrition was more prevalent than undernutrition. The presence of high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and the inadequate intake of Ca and vitamin D are of concern. Hence, strategies for improving the nutritional status of Malaysian children need to consider both sides of malnutrition and also put emphasis on approaches for the prevention of overweight and obesity as well as vitamin D insufficiency.
Nutrition is a well-known factor in the growth, health and development of children. It is also acknowledged that worldwide many people have dietary imbalances resulting in over- or undernutrition. In 2009, the multinational food company FrieslandCampina initiated the South East Asian Nutrition Survey (SEANUTS), a combination of surveys carried out in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, to get a better insight into these imbalances. The present study describes the general study design and methodology, as well as some problems and pitfalls encountered. In each of these countries, participants in the age range of 0·5-12 years were recruited according to a multistage cluster randomised or stratified random sampling methodology. Field teams took care of recruitment and data collection. For the health status of children, growth and body composition, physical activity, bone density, and development and cognition were measured. For nutrition, food intake and food habits were assessed by questionnaires, whereas in subpopulations blood and urine samples were collected to measure the biochemical status parameters of Fe, vitamins A and D, and DHA. In Thailand, the researchers additionally studied the lipid profile in blood, whereas in Indonesia iodine excretion in urine was analysed. Biochemical data were analysed in certified laboratories. Study protocols and methodology were aligned where practically possible. In December 2011, data collection was finalised. In total, 16,744 children participated in the present study. Information that will be very relevant for formulating nutritional health policies, as well as for designing innovative food and nutrition research and development programmes, has become available.
The present study aimed to determine the effect of positional distribution of long-chain SFA in TAG, especially at the sn-1, 3 positions, on fat deposition using the C57BL/6 mouse model. Throughout the 15 weeks of the study, mice were fed with diets fortified with palm olein (POo), chemically interesterified POo (IPOo) and soyabean oil (SOY). Mice receiving the SOY-enriched diet gained significantly higher amounts of subcutaneous fat (P= 0·011) and total fat (P= 0·013) compared with the POo group, despite similar body mass gain being recorded. During normalisation with food consumption to obtain the fat:feed ratio, mice fed with the POo-enriched diet exhibited significantly lower visceral (P= 0·044), subcutaneous (P= 0·006) and total (P= 0·003) fat:feed than those fed with the SOY-enriched diet. It is noteworthy that mice fed with the IPOo-enriched diet gained 14·3 % more fat per food consumed when compared with the POo group (P= 0·013), despite their identical total fatty acid compositions. This was mainly attributed to the higher content of long-chain SFA at the sn-1, 3 positions of TAG in POo, which results in delayed absorption after deacylation as evidenced by the higher amounts of long-chain SFA excreted in the faeces of mice fed with the POo-enriched diet. Negative correlations were found between the subcutaneous, visceral as well as total fat accretion per food consumption and the total SFA content at the sn-1, 3 positions, while no relationships were found for MUFA and PUFA. The present results show that the positional distribution of long-chain SFA exerts a more profound effect on body fat accretion than the total SFA content.
The fermentation selectivity of a commercial source of a-gluco-oligosaccharides (BioEcolians; Solabia) was investigated in vitro. Fermentation by faecal bacteria from four lean and four obese healthy adults was determined in anaerobic, pH-controlled faecal batch cultures. Inulin was used as a positive prebiotic control. Samples were obtained at 0, 10, 24 and 36 h for bacterial enumeration by fluorescent in situ hybridisation and SCFA analyses. Gas production during fermentation was investigated in non-pH-controlled batch cultures. a-Gluco-oligosaccharides significantly increased the Bifidobacterium sp. population compared with the control. Other bacterial groups enumerated were unaffected with the exception of an increase in the Bacteroides–Prevotella group and a decrease in Faecalibacterium prausnitzii on both a-gluco-oligosaccharides and inulin compared with baseline. An increase in acetate and propionate was seen on both substrates. The fermentation of a-gluco-oligosaccharides produced less total gas at a more gradual rate of production than inulin. Generally, substrates fermented with the obese microbiota produced similar results to the lean fermentation regarding bacteriology and metabolic activity. No significant difference at baseline (0 h) was detected between the lean and obese individuals in any of the faecal bacterial groups studied.
A 6-month experiment with nine dietary treatments was conducted to determine amounts of S plus Mo supplements required to maintain normal hepatic concentrations of Cu and Mo and to prevent chronic Cu toxicity in lambs fed palm kernel cake (PKC) diets. All diets consisted of PKC supplemented with minerals and vitamins, and with appropriate amounts per kg DM of S (level 0 or level 1 = 1 g) as sodium sulfate and/or Mo (level 0; level 1 = 4 mg; level 2 = 8 mg; level 3 = 16 mg; level 4 = 32 mg) as ammonium molybdate to form treatments S0Mo1, S0Mo2, S0Mo3, S0Mo4, S1Mo0, S1Mo1, S1Mo2, S1Mo3 and S1Mo4.There was no effect (P>0·05) of dietary treatments on the growth performance of the lambs. The dietary supplement of 1 g S plus 8 mg Mo per kg dietary DM (treatment S1Mo2) prevented accumulation of Cu in the liver without elevation of the concentration of Mo (P>0·05). The treatments S0Mo1, S0Mo2 and S0Mo3 increased (P
A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out among Aboriginal schoolchildren aged 7-12 years living in remote areas in Pos Betau, Pahang, Malaysia to investigate the potential determinants influencing the cognitive function and educational achievement of these children. Cognitive function was measured by intelligence quotient (IQ), while examination scores of selected school subjects were used in assessing educational achievement. Blood samples were collected to assess serum Fe status. All children were screened for soil-transmitted helminthes. Demographic and socio-economic data were collected using pre-tested questionnaires. Almost two-thirds (67·6 %) of the subjects had poor IQ and most of them (72·6 %) had insufficient educational achievement. Output of the stepwise multiple regression model showed that poor IQ was significantly associated with low household income which contributed the most to the regression variance (r2 0·059; P = 0·020). Low maternal education was also identified as a significant predictor of low IQ scores (r2 0·042; P = 0·043). With educational achievement, Fe-deficiency anaemia (IDA) was the only variable to show significant association (r2 0·025; P = 0·015). In conclusion, the cognitive function and educational achievement of Aboriginal schoolchildren are poor and influenced by household income, maternal education and IDA. Thus, effective and integrated measures to improve the nutritional and socio-economic status of rural children would have a pronounced positive effect on their education.
Zingiber officinale (ZO), commonly known as ginger, has been traditionally used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Several studies have reported the hypoglycaemic properties of ginger in animal models. The present study evaluated the antihyperglycaemic effect of its aqueous extract administered orally (daily) in three different doses (100, 300, 500 mg/kg body weight) for a period of 30 d to streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. A dose-dependent antihyperglycaemic effect revealed a decrease of plasma glucose levels by 38 and 68 % on the 15th and 30th day, respectively, after the rats were given 500 mg/kg. The 500 mg/kg ZO significantly (P<0·05) decreased kidney weight (% body weight) in ZO-treated diabetic rats v. control rats, although the decrease in liver weight (% body weight) was not statistically significant. Kidney glycogen content increased significantly (P<0·05) while liver and skeletal muscle glycogen content decreased significantly (P<0·05) in diabetic controls v. normal controls. ZO (500 mg/kg) also significantly decreased kidney glycogen (P<0·05) and increased liver and skeletal muscle glycogen in STZ-diabetic rats when compared to diabetic controls. Activities of glucokinase, phosphofructokinase and pyruvate kinase in diabetic controls were decreased by 94, 53 and 61 %, respectively, when compared to normal controls; and ZO significantly increased (P<0·05) those enzymes' activities in STZ-diabetic rats. Therefore, the present study showed that ginger is a potential phytomedicine for the treatment of diabetes through its effects on the activities of glycolytic enzymes.
Overweight and obesity in Asian children are increasing at an alarming rate; therefore a better understanding of the relationship between BMI and percentage body fat (%BF) in this population is important. A total of 1039 children aged 8-10 years, encompassing a wide BMI range, were recruited from China, Lebanon, Malaysia, The Philippines and Thailand. Body composition was determined using the 2H dilution technique to quantify total body water and subsequently fat mass, fat-free mass and %BF. Ethnic differences in the BMI-%BF relationship were found; for example, %BF in Filipino boys was approximately 2 % lower than in their Thai and Malay counterparts. In contrast, Thai girls had approximately 2.0 % higher %BF values than in their Chinese, Lebanese, Filipino and Malay counterparts at a given BMI. However, the ethnic difference in the BMI-%BF relationship varied by BMI. Compared with Caucasian children of the same age, Asian children had 3-6 units lower BMI at a given %BF. Approximately one-third of the obese Asian children (%BF above 25 % for boys and above 30 % for girls) in the study were not identified using the WHO classification and more than half using the International Obesity Task Force classification. Use of the Chinese classification increased the sensitivity. Results confirmed the necessity to consider ethnic differences in body composition when developing BMI cut-points and other obesity criteria in Asian children.
Waste from agricultural products represents a disposal liability, which needs to be addressed. Palm oil is the most widely traded edible oil globally, and its production generates 85 million tons of aqueous by-products annually. This aqueous stream is rich in phenolic antioxidants, which were investigated for their composition and potential in vitro biological activity. We have identified three isomers of caffeoylshikimic acid as major components of oil palm phenolics (OPP). The 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl assay confirmed potent free radical scavenging activity. To test for possible cardioprotective effects of OPP, we carried out in vitro LDL oxidation studies as well as ex vivo aortic ring and mesenteric vascular bed relaxation measurements. We found that OPP inhibited the Cu-mediated oxidation of human LDL. OPP also promoted vascular relaxation in both isolated aortic rings and perfused mesenteric vascular beds pre-contracted with noradrenaline. To rule out developmental toxicity, we performed teratological studies on rats up to the third generation and did not find any congenital anomalies. Thus, these initial studies suggest that OPP is safe and may have a protective role against free radical damage, LDL oxidation and its attendant negative effects, as well as vascular constriction in mitigating atherosclerosis. Oil palm vegetation liquor thus represents a new source of phenolic bioactives.
The present study explored the hypothesis that a prolonged 8 weeks exposure to a high fructose intake suppresses adrenergic and angiotensin II (Ang II)-mediated vasoconstriction and is associated with a higher contribution of α1D-adrenoceptors. A total of thirty-two Sprague-Dawley rats received either 20 % fructose solution (FFR) or tap water (control, C) to drink ad libitum for 8 weeks. Metabolic and haemodynamic parameters were assessed weekly. The renal cortical vasoconstrictor responses to noradrenaline (NA), phenylephrine (PE), methoxamine (ME) and Ang II were determined in the presence and absence of BMY7378 (α1D-adrenoceptor antagonist). FFR had increased blood pressure, plasma levels of glucose, TAG and insulin. FFR expressed reduced renal vascular responses to adrenergic agonists and Ang II (NA: 50 %, PE: 50 %, ME, 65 %, Ang II: 54 %). Furthermore in the C group, the magnitude of the renal cortical vasoconstriction to all agonists was blunted in the presence of the low or high dose of BMY7378 (NA: 30 and 31 %, PE: 23 and 33 %, ME: 19 and 44 %, Ang II: 53 and 77 %), respectively, while in the FFR, vasoconstriction was enhanced to adrenergic agonists and reduced to Ang II (NA: 8 and 83 %, PE: 55 %, ME, 2 and 177 %, Ang II: 61 and 31 %). Chronic high fructose intake blunts vascular sensitivity to adrenergic agonists and Ang II. Moreover, blocking of the α1D-adrenoceptor subtype results in enhancement of renal vasoconstriction to adrenergic agonists, suggesting an inhibitory action of α1D-adrenoceptors in the FFR. α1D-Adrenoceptors buffer the AT1-receptor response in the renal vasculature of normal rats and fructose feeding suppressed this interaction.
It is well established that plant phenolics elicit various biological activities, with positive effects on health. Palm oil production results in large volumes of aqueous by-products containing phenolics. In the present study, we describe the effects of oil palm phenolics (OPP) on several degenerative conditions using various animal models. OPP reduced blood pressure in a NO-deficient rat model, protected against ischaemia-induced cardiac arrhythmia in rats and reduced plaque formation in rabbits fed an atherogenic diet. In Nile rats, a spontaneous model of the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, OPP protected against multiple aspects of the syndrome and diabetes progression. In tumour-inoculated mice, OPP protected against cancer progression. Microarray studies on the tumours showed differential transcriptome profiles that suggest anti-tumour molecular mechanisms involved in OPP action. Thus, initial studies suggest that OPP may have potential against several chronic disease outcomes in mammals.
Vitamin E is divided into two subgroups; tocopherols and tocotrienols. Both have protective roles in biological systems. The present study was conducted to compare the effect of short-term supplementation at 200 mg/d of either alpha-tocopherol or a tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) from palm oil on immune modulation and plasma vitamin E levels in normal healthy Asian volunteers. In a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled trial conducted, fifty-three healthy volunteers aged 20-50 years were recruited based on the study's inclusion and exclusion criteria. They were randomly assigned into three groups, i.e. two experimental groups that received daily supplementation at 200 mg of either alpha-tocopherol or the TRF, and the control group that received a placebo. Blood was drawn on days 0, 28 and 56 for several laboratory analyses. Differences in the production of IL-4 or interferon-gamma by concanavalin A-stimulated lymphocytes isolated from these volunteers were not significant (P>0.05). There were no significant differences observed in immune parameters between the healthy volunteers who received daily supplementation with either alpha-tocopherol or the TRF. As these observations were made in the absence of any immunogenic challenge, we feel it would be of benefit to study if there would be any differences observed when an immunogenic challenge such as vaccination were introduced.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a synbiotic containing Lactobacillus acidophilus ATCC 4962, fructooligosaccharide, inulin and mannitol on plasma lipid profiles and erythrocyte membrane properties in hypercholesterolaemic pigs on high- and low-fat diets. Twenty-four white male Landrace pigs were randomly allocated to four treatment groups for 8 weeks (n 6). Treatment factors were the supplementation of synbiotic (with and without) and dietary fat (5 and 15 %). The supplementation of synbiotic reduced plasma total cholesterol (P = 0.001), TAG (P = 0.002) and LDL-cholesterol (P = 0.045) for both dietary fats. A higher concentration of esterified-cholesterol in HDL of pigs supplemented with synbiotic than the control regardless of dietary fat (P = 0.036) indicated that cholesterol was reduced in the form of cholesteryl esters. Reduced concentration of cholesteryl esters (P < 0.001) and increased concentration of TAG (P = 0.042) in LDL of pigs on synbiotic suggested that LDL-cholesterol was reduced via the hydrolysis of smaller and denser LDL particles. The erythrocytes of pigs without any synbiotic showed more prevalence of spur cells than those given the synbiotic, as supported by the higher cholesterol: phospholipid ratio in erythrocytes (P = 0.001). Also, membrane fluidity and rigidity were improved as supported by the decreased fluorescence anisotropies in the Hb-free erythrocyte membrane of pigs given synbiotic (P < 0.001). The administration of the synbiotic reduced plasma TAG, total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol in hypercholesterolaemic pigs, possibly in the form of cholesteryl esters, via the interrelated pathways of lipid transporters (VLDL, LDL and HDL). The synbiotic also reduced deformation of erythrocytes via improved membrane fluidity and permeability.
Human exposure to aflatoxin is through the diet, and probiotics are able to bind aflatoxin and prevent its absorption in the small intestine. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of a fermented milk drink containing Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS) (probiotic drink) to prevent aflatoxin absorption and reduce serum aflatoxin B1-lysine adduct (AFB1-lys) and urinary aflatoxin M1 concentrations. The present study was a randomised, double-blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled study with two 4-week intervention phases. In all, seventy-one subjects recruited from the screening stage were divided into two groups--the Yellow group and the Blue group. In the 1st phase, one group received probiotic drinks twice a day and the other group received placebo drinks. Blood and urine samples were collected at baseline, 2nd and 4th week of the intervention. After a 2-week wash-out period, the treatments were switched between the groups, and blood and urine samples were collected at the 6th, 8th and 10th week (2nd phase) of the intervention. No significant differences in aflatoxin biomarker concentrations were observed during the intervention. A within-group analysis was further carried out. Aflatoxin biomarker concentrations were not significantly different in the Yellow group. Nevertheless, ANOVA for repeated measurements indicated that AFB1-lys concentrations were significantly different (P=0·035) with the probiotic intervention in the Blue group. The 2nd week AFB1-lys concentrations (5·14 (SD 2·15) pg/mg albumin (ALB)) were significantly reduced (P=0·048) compared with the baseline (6·24 (SD 3·42) pg/mg ALB). Besides, the 4th week AFB1-lys concentrations were significantly lower (P<0·05) with probiotic supplementation than with the placebo. Based on these findings, a longer intervention study is warranted to investigate the effects of continuous LcS consumption to prevent dietary aflatoxin exposure.
Increased whole-grain (WG) consumption reduces the risk of CVD, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, is related to reduced body weight and weight gain and is related to improved intestinal health. Definitions of 'WG' and 'WG food' are proposed and used in some countries but are not consistent. Many countries promote WG consumption, but the emphasis given and the messages used vary. We surveyed dietary recommendations of fifty-three countries for mentions of WG to assess the extent, rationale and diversity in emphasis and wording of any recommendations. If present, recommendations were classified as either 'primary', where the recommendation was specific for WG, or 'secondary', where recommendations were made in order to achieve another (primary) target, most often dietary fibre intake. In total, 127 organisations were screened, including government, non-governmental organisations, charities and professional bodies, the WHO and European Food Safety Authority, of which forty-nine including WHO provide a WG intake recommendation. Recommendations ranged from 'specific' with specified target amounts (e.g. x g WG/d), 'semi-quantitative' where intake was linked to intake of cereal/carbohydrate foods with proportions of WG suggested (e.g. x servings of cereals of which y servings should be WG) to 'non-specific' based on 'eating more' WG or 'choosing WG where possible'. This lack of a harmonised message may result in confusion for the consumer, lessen the impact of public health messages and pose barriers to trade in the food industry. A science-based consensus or expert opinion on WG recommendations is needed, with a global reach to guide public health decision making and increase WG consumption globally.
1. Anthropometric variables, resting heart rate and respiratory gas exchange were measured in twelve male and nine female Asiatic adult Moslems during the month of Ramadan, the week before and the month after Ramadan. 2. Energy intakes were estimated from dietary recall during fasting and non-fasting conditions. 3. Both male and female subjects experienced a decrease in body mass with the reduction in energy intake during fasting. Males experienced a greater reduction than females in resting heart rate; females lost more body-weight and subcutaneous fat than males. 4. Urine output and fluid intake were measured in twelve male subjects for 1 d during each week of fasting and 1 d during the pre-fasting control period. Among the subjects examined, the Ramadan regimen did not result in changes in the pattern of fluid exchange.