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Journal: Genes & nutrition

172

Endothelial hyperpermeability induced by hyperglycemia is the initial step in the development of atherosclerosis, one of the most serious cardiovascular complications in diabetes. In the present study, we investigated the effects of resveratrol (RSV), a bioactive ingredient extracted from Chinese herb rhizoma polygonum cuspidatum, on permeability in vitro and the molecular mechanisms involved. Permeability was assessed by the efflux of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran permeated through the monolayer endothelial cells (ECs). The mRNA levels, protein expressions, and secretions were measured by quantitative real-time PCR, western blot, and ELISA, respectively. Increased permeability and caveolin-1 (cav-1) expression were observed in monolayer ECs exposed to high glucose. Resveratrol treatment alleviated the hyperpermeability and the overexpression of cav-1 induced by high glucose in a dose-dependent manner. β-Cyclodextrin, a structural inhibitor of caveolae, reduced the hyperpermeability caused by high glucose. Resveratrol also down-regulated the increased expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and kinase insert domain receptor (KDR, or VEGF receptor-2) induced by high glucose. Inhibition of VEGF/KDR pathway by using SU5416, a selective inhibitor of KDR, alleviated the hyperpermeability and the cav-1 overexpression induced by high glucose. The above results demonstrate that RSV ameliorates caveolae-mediated hyperpermeability induced by high glucose via VEGF/KDR pathway.

Concepts: Protein, Gene expression, Molecular biology, Signal transduction, Enzyme, Angiogenesis, Vascular endothelial growth factor, Endothelium

26

Coffee is the second most popular beverage in the world after water with a consumption of approximately two billion cups per day. Due to its low cost and ease of preparation, it is consumed in almost all countries and by all social classes of the population through different modes of preparation. Despites its simple appearance, a cup of coffee is in fact a complex mixture that contains hundreds of molecules, the composition and concentration of which vary widely and depend on factors including the origin of the coffee tree or its metabolism. Although an excessive consumption of coffee can be harmful, many molecules that are present in this black decoction exert anticancer properties. This review aims to describe the different primary coffee-containing substances that exert chemopreventive and bioactive activities against the different hallmarks and enabling characteristics of cancer, thus explaining the anticancer health benefit of black coffee.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, The Canon of Medicine, Chemotherapy, Coffee

9

Culinary herbs and spices have been used as both food flavoring and food preservative agents for centuries. Moreover, due to their known and presumptive health benefits, herbs and spices have also been used in medical practices since ancient times. Some of the health effects attributed to herbs and spices include antioxidant, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory effects as well as potential protection against cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. While interest in herbs and spices as medicinal agents remains high and their use in foods continues to grow, there have been remarkably few studies that have attempted to track the dietary intake of herbs and spices and even fewer that have tried to find potential biomarkers of food intake (BFIs). The aim of the present review is to systematically survey the global literature on herbs and spices in an effort to identify and evaluate specific intake biomarkers for a representative set of common herbs and spices in humans. A total of 25 herbs and spices were initially chosen, including anise, basil, black pepper, caraway, chili pepper, cinnamon, clove, cumin, curcumin, dill, fennel, fenugreek, ginger, lemongrass, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, peppermint and spearmint, rosemary, saffron, sage, tarragon, and thyme. However, only 17 of these herbs and spices had published, peer-reviewed studies describing potential biomarkers of intake. In many studies, the herb or spice of interest was administrated in the form of a capsule or extract and very few studies were performed with actual foods. A systematic assessment of the candidate biomarkers was also performed. Given the limitations in the experimental designs for many of the published studies, further work is needed to better evaluate the identified set of BFIs. Although the daily intake of herbs and spices is very low compared to most other foods, this important set of food seasoning agents should not be underestimated, especially given their potential benefits to human health.

6

Folic acid and its derivates, known as folates, are chemoprotective micronutrients of great interest because of their essential role in the maintenance of health and genomic integrity. The supplementation of folic acid during pregnancy has long been known to reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) in the foetus. Folate metabolism can be altered by many factors, including adequate intake through diet. Folate deficiency can compromise the synthesis, repair and methylation of DNA, with deleterious consequences on genomic stability and gene expression. These processes are known to be altered in chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Gene expression, Cancer, Nutrition, Folic acid, Spina bifida

5

Variation in the fat mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO) has been associated with susceptibility to obesity, but the association appears to be modified by diet. We investigated whether dietary protein intake modifies the association betweenFTOvariant rs1558902 and body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference in young adults (n = 1491) from the cross-sectional Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health Study.

Concepts: Protein, Genetics, Nutrition, Biology, Obesity, Mass, Body mass index, Diet

5

A key feature of metabolic health is the ability to adapt upon dietary perturbations. Recently, it was shown that metabolic challenge tests in combination with the new generation biomarkers allow the simultaneous quantification of major metabolic health processes. Currently, applied challenge tests are largely non-standardized. A systematic review defined an optimal nutritional challenge test, the “PhenFlex test” (PFT). This study aimed to prove that PFT modulates all relevant processes governing metabolic health thereby allowing to distinguish subjects with different metabolic health status. Therefore, 20 healthy and 20 type 2 diabetic (T2D) male subjects were challenged both by PFT and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). During the 8-h response time course, 132 parameters were quantified that report on 26 metabolic processes distributed over 7 organs (gut, liver, adipose, pancreas, vasculature, muscle, kidney) and systemic stress.

Concepts: Nutrition, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Blood sugar, Glucose tolerance test, Insulin resistance, Impaired glucose tolerance

5

In the past 20 years, the scientific community has faced a great development in different fields due to the development of high-throughput, omics technologies. Starting from the four major types of omics measurements (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics), a variety of omics subdisciplines (epigenomics, lipidomics, interactomics, metallomics, diseasomics, etc.) has emerged. Thanks to the omics approach, researchers are now facing the possibility of connecting food components, foods, the diet, the individual, the health, and the diseases, but this broad vision needs not only the application of advanced technologies, but mainly the ability of looking at the problem with a different approach, a “foodomics approach”. Foodomics is the comprehensive, high-throughput approach for the exploitation of food science in the light of an improvement of human nutrition. Foodomics is a new approach to food and nutrition that studies the food domain as a whole with the nutrition domain to reach the main objective, the optimization of human health and well-being.

Concepts: Genetics, Health, Nutrition, Food, Science, Functional genomics, Food science, Systems biology

4

Genetically mediated sensitivity to bitter taste has been associated with food preferences and eating behavior in adults and children. The aim of this study was to assess the association between TAS2R38 bitter taste genotype and the first complementary food acceptance in infants.Parents of healthy, breastfed, term-born infants were instructed, at discharge from the nursery, to feed their baby with a first complementary meal of 150 mL at 4 to 6 months of age. They recorded the day when the child ate the whole meal in a questionnaire. Additional data included food composition, breastfeeding duration, feeding practices, and growth at 6 months. Infants' TAS2R38 genotypes were determined at birth, and infants were classified as “bitter-insensitive” (genotype AVI/AVI) and “bitter-sensitive” (genotypes AVI/PAV or PAV/PAV).

4

Nutritional advice has mainly focused on population-level recommendations. Recent developments in nutrition, communication, and marketing sciences have enabled potential deviations from this dominant business model in the direction of personalisation of nutrition advice. Such personalisation efforts can take on many forms, but these have in common that they can only be effective if they are supported by a viable business model. The present paper takes an inventory of approaches to personalised nutrition currently available in the market place as its starting point to arrive at an identification of their underlying business models. This analysis is presented as a unifying framework against which the potential of nutrigenomics-based personalised advice can be assessed. It has uncovered nine archetypical approaches to personalised nutrition advice in terms of their dominant underlying business models. Differentiating features among such business models are the type of information that is used as a basis for personalisation, the definition of the target group, the communication channels that are being adopted, and the partnerships that are built as a part of the business model. Future research should explore the consumer responses to the diversity of “archetypical” business models for personalised nutrition advice as a source of market information on which the delivery of nutrigenomics-based personalised nutrition advice may further build.

Concepts: Present, Management, Strategic management, Marketing, Business process modeling, Wal-Mart

3

Nuts and vegetable oils are important sources of fat and of a wide variety of micronutrients and phytochemicals. Following their intake, several of their constituents, as well as their derived metabolites, are found in blood circulation and in urine. As a consequence, these could be used to assess the compliance to a dietary intervention or to determine habitual intake of nuts and vegetable oils. However, before these metabolites can be widely used as biomarkers of food intake (BFIs), several characteristics have to be considered, including specificity, dose response, time response, stability, and analytical performance. We have, therefore, conducted an extensive literature search to evaluate current knowledge about potential BFIs of nuts and vegetable oils. Once identified, the strengths and weaknesses of the most promising candidate BFIs have been summarized. Results from selected studies have provided a variety of compounds mainly derived from the fatty fraction of these foods, but also other components and derived metabolites related to their nutritional composition. In particular, α-linolenic acid, urolithins, and 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid seem to be the most plausible candidate BFIs for walnuts, whereas for almonds they could be α-tocopherol and some catechin-derived metabolites. Similarly, several studies have reported a strong association between selenium levels and consumption of Brazil nuts. Intake of vegetable oils has been mainly assessed through the measurement of specific fatty acids in different blood fractions, such as oleic acid for olive oil, α-linolenic acid for flaxseed (linseed) and rapeseed (canola) oils, and linoleic acid for sunflower oil. Additionally, hydroxytyrosol and its metabolites were the most promising distinctive BFIs for (extra) virgin olive oil. However, most of these components lack sufficient specificity to serve as BFIs. Therefore, additional studies are necessary to discover new candidate BFIs, as well as to further evaluate the specificity, sensitivity, dose-response relationships, and reproducibility of these candidate biomarkers and to eventually validate them in other populations. For the discovery of new candidate BFIs, an untargeted metabolomics approach may be the most effective strategy, whereas for increasing the specificity of the evaluation of food consumption, this could be a combination of different metabolites.