Articles published in 2020

20 Novembre 2020
DOI: 10.17470/NF-020-0028

Is body fluid status affected by different electrolyte solutions during endurance cycling?

Bertuccioli A, Neri M, Buccarini A
Fatigue development in endurance sports has several causes; among these, dehydration can impair performance. Both water and electrolytes are lost during exercise, in particular, when exercising in hot environments. These losses must be replaced, with carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions, in different forms. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of different hydrating solutions on body fluid status. Nine male recreational cyclists performed three experimental trials on separate days: trials consisted of a two-hour endurance ride, with three different hydration solutions, consumed in a randomized order (water, water+powder, water+gel). Body weight was measured, and bioimpedance vector analysis was performed both before and after each trial. Changes from pre- to post-training in the impedance vector, phase angle, total body water and extracellular water were then compared between the three conditions, using MANOVA for repeated measures. A time × treatment effect was shown for the total body water (p=0.05) and impedance vector (p=0.032), with both the powder and gel differing from the water-only condition. Powder and gel solutions have been shown to be equally effective in limiting the negative effects of dehydration, preventing the loss of total body water. However, gels may represent a practical advantage for endurance athletes, especially those who take part in long-distance races.
20 Novembre 2020
DOI: 10.17470/NF-020-0027

The influence of solvent nature on the extraction yield of Pleurotus pulmonarius, Pleurotus floridanus and Pleurotus sajor-caju and study of the effects of extract mixtures on oxidative stress

Etoundi BOC, Kayo VTC, Deudje ONS, Djamen BMA, Nangmou MNB, Azebaze BAG
Oxidative stress plays an important role in the aetiology and pathogenesis of many chronic diseases. Edible mushrooms, especially Pleurotus spp., are considered to be a natural source of potential antioxidants. This work investigated the influence of solvent nature on the extraction yield of Pleurotus pulmonarius, Pleurotus floridanus and Pleurotus sajor-caju and the influence of extract mixture concentrations on oxidative stress. Extracts from each mushroom species and mixtures (1w:1w:1w) were produced by macerating the powders (1w:5v) in different solvents: distilled water, ethanol, hexane, ethyl acetate and dichloromethane. The extraction yield was then determined and the antioxidant activity was evaluated for the extracts and formulations, with ascorbic acid used as a standard. Based on the best yield and antioxidant activity in vitro, the aqueous extract mixture was used for acute toxicity testing (at 2000 mg/kg BW), and its effects at 250 and 500 mg/kg BW over 14 days on oxidative stress induced in vivo by lead acetate (35 mg/kg BW every two days) were compared. Ascorbic acid was used as a reference. Oxidative stress markers were assessed in serum and homogenized tissue. We found that water had the best yield (66.32% for P. pulmonarius, 68.56% for P. floridanus and 65.40% for P. sajor-caju), followed by the ethanol, ethyl acetate, dichloromethane and hexane extracts. In addition, all extracts and formulations had significant ferric reducing antioxidant power at C = 1 mg/ml (62.59–546.67 mg AAE/g), good scavenging activity as assessed by the DPPH free radical assay at C = 25 mg/ml (63.08– 78.52%) and significant polyphenol content at C = 100 mg/ml (1.69–26.50 mg CE/g) with the best results seen with the aqueous extracts. The aqueous extract mixture showed no particular signs of toxicity. After lead exposure, significant increases were observed with respect to serum transaminase activity and creatinine and urea levels, but a decrease in total protein levels was found. In addition, a significant increase in malondialdehyde levels but a decrease in reduced glutathione levels and superoxide dismutase, catalase and total antioxidant capacity was noted in the serum, liver and kidneys. Treatment with the mixture brought about a significant amelioration in terms of antioxidant parameters, with the greatest effect seen with a dose of 500 mg/kg BW, as well as with the ascorbic acid used as a reference. The results here suggest that these mushrooms, due to their antioxidant potential, are beneficial for health and could be useful for the production of medicinal products and nutraceuticals.
27 Agosto 2020
DOI: 10.17470/NF-020-0026

Human milk oligosaccharides and antibiotics: a valuable combination to control infectious diseases

Adams C, Gutiérrez B
Infectious diseases remain a major health challenge and are becoming increasingly difficult to manage due to the spread of antibiotic resistance. A novel approach is to exploit human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), which are now known to reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases among breastfed infants. HMOs have bacteriostatic or bactericidal activity against a wide range of important pathogens, such as Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus), Streptococcus pneumoniae, Campylobacter jejuni, Clostridioides difficile, Entamoeba histolytica and Candida albicans. Furthermore, HMOs can act synergistically with antibiotics, reducing the minimum inhibitory concentration for certain antibiotics by up to 32-fold. This could extend the therapeutic window of some antibiotics and also reduce the doses required to treat infectious diseases. Given the risk posed by the emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, it would be advantageous to further exploit this synergism between antibiotics and HMOs.
3 Agosto 2020
DOI: 10.17470/NF-020-0025

Regulatory aspects of nutraceuticals and functional foods in Nepal

Lamichhane G, Pandeya PR
Nutraceuticals are garnering increased interest among people throughout the world at the present time. Although the consumption of functional foods has taken place since the Ayurvedic era, the term ‘nutraceutical’ has only been coined recently. With the growing nutraceutical market and its impact on population health, regulation of these food products is warranted. There are different regulatory requirements for nutraceuticals throughout the world. In Nepal, nutraceuticals are regulated by the Dietary Supplement Guideline published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development. This Guideline aims to protect the health of the consumer and uphold service to the customer by controlling and assuring the stated composition and purity of the nutritional supplementary food, along with defining quality standards, as stated in the preamble of the Guideline. Functional foods are subdivided into six different classes; these are controlled in terms of production, sale, export and import within the territory of Nepal by this Guideline. Even though there are strict laws, unnecessary prescription of nutraceuticals for financial benefit and the sale of unauthorized herbal formulations and nutraceuticals by street vendors are still common practices. We believe the Nepalese authorities should make a greater effort to halt such practices.
3 Agosto 2020
DOI: 10.17470/NF-020-0024

COVID-19, interleukin-6, androgen receptor and the adipose organ: what are the possible targets of this association?

Bertuccioli A, Balducci D, Neri M, Bressan A
On March 11th 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 the first pandemic due to a coronavirus. Clinical severity can vary significantly; some patients are asymptomatic, others develop mild infections of the upper respiratory tract, while others develop severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Risk factors are elderly age, a high sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score and chronic comorbidities. The knowledge of these factors is very important but they do not explain the disparity between the sexes or the deaths of young patients who did not have any health problems before the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among the various factors that could help explain these dynamics, it is of great interest to investigate the potential contribution of the soluble androgen receptor (AR) and of the adipose organ, with particular reference to the actions of leptin. If what was proposed in this analysis were confirmed by surveys, it would be possible to consider acting at the level of these molecular objectives, with different synthesized or extracted molecules including bicalutamide and magnolol for AR, and curcumin, silibinin and other molecules for leptin. Further studies are needed to validate this suggestion. These studies could help to find new treatments and provide useful information for a better assessment of the risk of serious SARS-CoV-2-related disease, taking into account the susceptibility and characteristics of the host.
22 Giugno 2020
DOI: 10.17470/NF-020-0023

Impact of 8 weeks of supplementation with Withania somnifera on strength in trained individuals

Cesanelli L, Vici G, Camilletti D, Ceci R, Belli L, Polzonetti V
Withania somnifera (WS) is a traditional Ayurvedic herb. In addition to Ayurveda texts, the modern medical literature reports many potential health benefits of WS, including its possible use as a supplement as an ergogenic aid. Only recently, the efficacy of WS as an adjuvant to resistance training programmes was assessed. Most of the studies investigating this research area have mainly considered untrained subjects. In this regard, the aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of eight weeks of WS supplementation on strength training adaptations in trained individuals. Sixteen trained male individuals (25.7 ± 3.0 years; 74.7 ± 6.9 kg; 178.9 ± 4.5 cm; 23.3 ± 1.1 BMI), with at least four years of resistance training experience, participated in the study. Individuals continued with their resistance–strength training programmes, while diets and supplementation strategies remained unchanged. Eight of the 16 subjects (treated group) were supplemented with WS (500 mg/d WS powder extract, withanolides 2.5%) for a period of eight weeks, while the other eight subjects (control group) were not supplemented. To evaluate strength, one-repetition maximum tests (1RMs) were performed in four selected exercises at the beginning (T1), in the middle (T2) and at the end (T3) of the study. Compared to the untreated group, treated individuals showed a significant increase in total maximal strength (the sum of 1RM results) (p=0.05); however, no significant differences emerged from any single exercise maximal strength comparisons. These preliminary data suggest that, in these experimental conditions, eight weeks of supplementation with WS does not appear to contribute significantly to the induction of strength training adaptations in trained individuals.
22 Giugno 2020
DOI: 10.17470/NF-020-0022

Preparation, characterization and evaluation of a vitamin-enriched dietary supplement from Vigna radiata L. microgreens

Lekshmi GP, Nair BR
The present study attempted to develop a simple protocol for the transformation of vitamin-rich microgreens of Vigna radiata into microcapsules with a longer shelf life. The microencapsulation method adopted was the coupling ionotropic gelation method followed by lyophilization. The microcapsules thus produced were characterized based on weight, swelling index, vitamin content and also, the range and magnitude of in vitro dissolution in simulated gastric and intestinal fluids (SGF: pH 1.2; SIF: pH 6.8, 7.4). The results showed that the microcapsules undergo high water loss during hydrogel to xerogel conversion (96.525%) and have a high swelling index (5.76) in SGF. The release rate of the enclosed vitamins was found to be very low in gastric conditions (SGF) but high in intestinal conditions (SIF). The timecourse of vitamin release (over 1–6 hours) was found to be linear and probably diffusion-controlled. Hence, microcapsules developed through this technology can be potentially used as natural and biodegradable dietary supplements that can replace and thereby reduce the health risk associated with artificial supplements.
4 Maggio 2020
DOI: 10.17470/NF-020-0021

Supplementation with SEPIFITTM Protect, a complex of a natural red wine extract, vitamin E and zinc, improves exercise recovery in healthy men

Kern C, Garcia C
A period of intense or prolonged muscle activity can cause a decline in performance, which can range from muscle weakness to muscle damage and soreness. Muscle fatigue can be largely reversible in minutes or hours. It is generally viewed to be the result of insufficient energy and a lack of availability of key metabolites that enable contracting muscles to meet increased energy demand. However, muscle recovery can fail to take effect quickly, and this can be associated with structural changes and damage within the muscle, inducing a cascade of events leading to immediate or delayed soreness. In previous research, SEPIFIT TM Protect, a combination of natural red wine polyphenols, zinc and vitamin E, showed in vitro efficacy with respect to lactate, interleukin-6 and creatine kinase, which are markers of muscle damage and fatigue. We have therefore conducted a pilot clinical study to evaluate the effects of this active complex in healthy men undertaking regular and stable physical activity and who were subjected to a pain induction protocol. The results showed that the consumption of 135 mg of the complex per day for 12 days was effective in reducing creatine kinase release and maintaining muscular power capacity after the pain induction protocol. It also induced a better perception of performance, physical condition and muscle soreness. SEPIFIT TM Protect can thus be considered an interesting complex to contribute to muscle recovery during physical exertion.
30 Aprile 2020
DOI: 10.17470/NF-020-0020

Nutraceutical role of citrates in tissue pH balance: analysis and clinical interpretation of results obtained from urinary pH

Bertuccioli A, Rapacioli G, Ferrara T
Unbalanced diets with a high protein load, illness, abuse of drugs and ageing are some of the many elements predisposing to alter tissue pH balance. This, poorly compensated for by buffer systems acting to maintain the acid-base balance, can be a harbinger of: 1) calcium phosphate removal from the bones with osteopenia and, later, osteoporosis; 2) symptomatic aggravation of various pre-existing conditions typically characterized by the presence of pain (arthritis, headache, myalgia and so on); 3) the genesis of new diseases. The scientific literature clearly reports that the administration of citrates, or carbonates, support physiological pH tissue balance and alkalizes urinary pH. In addition, this effect, could reduce the risk of osteopenia and the perception of pain. Non-allopathic medicine describes a situation that is even more severe, secondary to that described above. Wit the progression of impaired balance, the body, probably in an attempt to limit the damage to skeleton structures, could bring about the storage of excess acid in the extracellular matrix by preventing its further elimination in urine, which would then be paradoxically alkaline. The aim of our study was to demonstrate that, even in this case, the administration of citrates can normalize urinary pH, making it acidic. This urinary normalization would be the result of the release of stored acid from connective tissue. This release would also lead to balance tissue pH and this would be monitored through observing the typical symptoms of patients with osteoarthritis, myalgia, headache and migraine, the incidence of which should be significantly reduced.
15 Aprile 2020
DOI: 10.17470/NF-020-0019

The oral intake of specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides has a positive effect on hair thickness

Oesser S
The effectiveness of supplementation with Bioactive Collagen Peptides (BCP) on the health and appearance of the skin and nails has been proven in several clinical trials. The influence of BCP supplementation on hair, however, has not been investigated to the same extent. In this placebo-controlled study, therefore, the effects of BCP intake on hair thickness and metabolism were investigated. The study was conducted on 44 healthy women aged between 39 and 75, who each received a daily dosage of 2.5 g BCP or placebo. After a treatment period of 16 weeks, hair thickness was determined and compared with the thickness at the beginning of the trial. In addition, the proliferation rate of human hair follicle cells that had been exposed to BCP was examined and the results compared with untreated control cells. The data showed a statistically significant (p<0.01) increase in the cell proliferation rate of 31% compared to the controls. The measurement of hair thickness showed a statistically significant (p<0.01) increase in the BCP group compared to placebo. Over the course of the collagen peptide treatment, hair thickness increased significantly by 1.93 ± 0.42 μm (p<0.01), whereas a slight decrease in hair thickness of -0.99 ± 0.40 μm (p=0.07) was measured in the placebo group. This clearly demonstrates the positive effect of BCP treatment on hair thickness and follicle cell proliferation.
27 Marzo 2020
DOI: 10.17470/NF-020-0018

Positive effect of fish-derived Bioactive Collagen Peptides on skin health

Proksch E, Schunck M, Oesser S
The positive effect of orally administered collagen peptides on skin health has been demonstrated in several clinical trials. In this placebo-controlled study, the impact of specific fish-derived Bioactive Collagen Peptides (BCP) on skin elasticity and wrinkle reduction was investigated. A total of 76 Asian and Caucasian women (62.2 ± 8.2 years of age) received a daily dosage of 5 g BCP or placebo. Skin elasticity and changes in eye wrinkle volume were evaluated at the beginning of the study, after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment and 4 weeks after the last intake (regression phase). In a subgroup analysis, differences between the results for Asian and Caucasian participants were investigated. The data showed a statistically significant (p<0.05) improvement in skin elasticity after only 4 weeks of BCP supplementation, compared with placebo. This positive effect persisted after 8 weeks of supplementation, and 4 weeks after BCP intake was stopped (p<0.05). Wrinkle volume was also reduced in a statistically significantly (p<0.05) manner after BCP treatment, compared to placebo. A pronounced decrease in eye wrinkle volume could be determined 4 weeks after BCP treatment commenced. After 8 weeks, a wrinkle reduction of 15% was observed and the efficacy of the treatment was confirmed at the end of the regression phase (p<0.05). The subgroup analysis revealed no statistically significant differences. The BCP treatment was effective in both Asian and Caucasian subjects. The results clearly demonstrated the efficacy of orally administered fish-derived BCP on skin health.