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15 Ottobre 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0016

Efficacy of polyketide pigment produced by Monascus purpureus and its biological activity

Gajalakshmi P, Raja A, Banu HMV.
Monascus purpureus (MTCC 1090) was obtained from the IMTECH Culture Collection Centre, Chandigarh, India. Extracellular and intracellular polyketide pigment was produced by solidstate fermentation using red rice production and pigments were extracted with methanol solvent. Maximum pigment production was found with intracellular extraction and the total yield of pigment was 41 U/g followed by 33 U/g for extracellular production by substrate fermentation. Crude pigments were separated by column chromatography and an antibacterial study revealed that the yellow pigment was most effective against all test pathogens and the red pigment was found to be a potent antioxidant. The greatest antagonistic activity was almost 91% against Trichophyton rubrum followed by 88% against Microsporum canis.
26 Settembre 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0015

Retrospective analysis of the effects of a gum gel intended to treat signs and symptoms of teething in infants

Di Pierro F, Risso P, Bertuccioli A, Donato G.
Teething discomfort is a widespread disorder affecting a very high percentage of infants. It creates anxiety in parents, who look for help in paediatric clinics. The use of hyaluronic acid gels has been shown in the last 20 years to be an effective tool, generally devoid of side effects, in reducing oral mucosal inflammation in adults. Recently, such results have also been confirmed in infants affected by teething. From our routine practice results, we have retrospectively reported the efficacy and the safety profile of Bonjela® Soothing Teething Gel, a teething gel capable of addressing in a significant way this infant complaint, which improves all of the clinical outcomes used in these types of study to describe the clinical condition of infants.
20 Settembre 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0014

Clinical evaluation of a hyaluronic acid-based medical device in counteracting aphthous stomatitis in adults

Di Pierro F, Giuberti R, Risso P, Bertuccioli A.
Oral mucosal ulcers are quite common in an otherwise healthy population, and can determine a real worsening of the quality of life. Conventional therapy is not appropriate since ulcers often recur and, even if not needed, therapy lasting not less than 2–3 weeks carries a high risk of serious side effects. The use of hyaluronic acid applied as an adhesive gel over the lesions seems to have potential in terms of efficacy and the avoidance of side effects. Of course, hyaluronic acid-based formulations show different effects and tolerability. In our study, we retrospectively report the results obtained using a medical device, Bloxaphte®, applied for 14 days to counteract ulcers in adults. Our data clearly demonstrate the healing capability and safety profile of the product in reducing the number and size of the ulcers within the first week of daily application.
16 Settembre 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0013

Analgesic effects of RodeMyr®, a Commiphora molmol extract with a highly standardized furanodiene content

Di Pierro F, Bertuccioli A, Giuberti R.
Furanoeudesma-1,3-diene, curzerene and lindestrene are thought to be the active principles underlying the analgesic action of myrrh (Commiphora molmol) extract. Recently, a very highly standardized dry extract from myrrh has been developed (RodeMyr®) and formulated in a single active nutritional supplement (Mirra+®), notified to the Italian Health Authorities in 2018. We have therefore used such a finished product to evaluate the analgesic action of myrrh in subjects affected by chronic pain. The results of the study have shown that the use of 100 mg of dry myrrh extract, administered twice a day, is effective in reducing pain perception and functio laesa both as a sole and an add-on therapy. Tolerability, compliance and side effect evaluation demonstrated the safety profile of the extract and its usefulness in treating patients with chronic pain.
16 Settembre 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0012

Antibiotic resistance profile and adhesion properties of Lactobacillus crispatus M247

Di Pierro F, Bertuccioli A, Sagheddu V, Cattivelli D, Soldi S, Elli M.
In an attempt to better characterize the strain M247, a strain of Lactobacillus crispatus isolated in 1989 from the faeces of a healthy newborn baby, we have further investigated its antibiotic resistance profile, evaluating also antibiotics not recommended by the EFSA, and analyzing in addition its viability in the presence of a high concentration of boric acid, a molecule commonly use to eradicate antimycotic-resistant fungi from the vagina. At the same time, we have evaluated the ability of M247 to adhere to vaginal epithelial cells to get a better understanding of its vaginal colonizing properties. According to the obtained results, M247 appears to be insensitive to metronidazole, sulfamethoxazole and boric acid. Such resistance is not transferrable due to the total absence of mobile elements inside its genome. Moreover, the M247 strain has been shown to adhere by more than 70% to vaginal epithelial cells, thereby providing a mechanistic explanation of its vaginal colonizing capabilities observed both after local and oral use.
28 Agosto 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0011

Streptococcus salivarius K12 in pharyngotonsillitis and acute otitis media – a meta-analysis

Bertuccioli A, Rocchi M, Morganti I, Vici G, Gervasi M, Amatori S, Sisti D.
The oral administration of Streptococcus salivarius K12 represents a valid solution for the prevention of pharyngitis or pharyngotonsillitis, of bacterial or viral origin, and/or acute otitis media. In particular, this could be an interesting alternative to antibiotic prophylaxis in patients with relapse or disease recurrence. In this regard, the studies published in the scientific literature are limited, and thus, it was of interest to provide a meta-analysis in order to analyze in more detail the results obtained in this research field. For the meta-analysis, clinical studies were selected, as identified through PubMed, which examined the relationship between the use of formulations based on Streptococcus salivarius K12 and the number of cases or episodes of pharyngitis or pharyngotonsillitis, of bacterial or viral origin, and acute otitis media in children and adults. The effect size (ES) was calculated according to Cohen using the fixed effects model (fixed effects). Seven studies met the predefined inclusion criteria and they were included in the meta-analysis. ES values equal to -1.40 [-1.67; -1.13] and -1.01 [-1.19; -0.83] were obtained for the effect of Streptococcus salivarius K12 on the prevention of pharyngitis and acute otitis media, respectively. Both values were translated into a "big effect" according to Cohen’s scale. Treatment based on this strain is effective for both the prevention of pharyngitis and acute otitis media. In addition, it is further revealed that the strain is more effective in the prevention of pharyngitis. It is desirable that further clinical investigation continues to expand and update the meta-analysis work and to recommend the use of the strain as a useful prophylactic tool to reduce the events of pharyngotonsillitis and acute otitis media.
24 Giugno 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0010

Comprehensive review of the impact of modification on the properties of jackfruit seed starch and its applications

Kushwaha R, Singh V, Kaur D.
Jackfruit belongs to the family Moraceae and is used as a novel source of starch. In the native stage, starch granules are generally insoluble at room temperature, extremely resistant to enzymatic hydrolysis and display an inability to endure processing conditions related to pH, temperature, shear rate and freeze–thawing. Modification can be carried out using chemical, physical or enzymatic methods, or a combination of these. To solve this problem, modification of starches is usually conducted to alter pasting, gelatinization and retrogradation behavior. Modified starches have been recognized as a multifunctional excipient in various industries. This review covers a wide array of topics relating to starch, including: methods of modification; the impact of modification on morphology, crystallinity, viscosity and functionality; and the application of modified starch.
21 Giugno 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0009

Efficacy of an oral supplement containing hyaluronic acid, collagen, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, alpha-lipoic acid, methylsulfonylmethane and vitamins on vaginal dryness in young women

Angelucci M, Frascani F, Garo ML.
This study evaluated the oral administration of a new supplement containing a combination of bioactive agents (hyaluronic acid, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, alpha-lipoic acid, methylsulfonylmethane and vitamins A, C and E). The objective of the study was to demonstrate that the oral administration of this product combats vulvovaginal atrophy in young women. This observational study recruited 32 women of fertile age with vaginal dryness, post-coital cystitis and/or dyspareunia (painful intercourse). Patients were evaluated using the VHI scale and the FSFI at baseline and at each follow-up. All patients took one tablet of the supplement twice daily (morning and evening) for two months. After two months, 28 patients (87%) showed an improvement in symptoms and reported complete remission. At the first follow-up at three months, that is, one month after stopping treatment, no substantial changes were reported. At the second follow-up at four months, that is, two months after stopping treatment, vaginal dryness had recurred, and patients were asked to re-start the therapy. We can conclude that this product is highly effective in young women suffering from vaginal dryness and sexual dysfunction caused by oxidative stress.
17 Giugno 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0008

Probiotics – a final countdown for caries

Janczarek M.
The development of contemporary knowledge in the field of oral microbiology and probiotics was commenced by Elie Metchnikoff’s report on Lactobacillus bulgaricus in 1907. Since then, multiple indications for the use of probiotics have been established, following the WHO definition: “probiotics are live microorganisms, which when applied in adequate amount may benefit the host health status”. In accordance with a general classification, several types of bacteria and fungi have been distinguished and, moreover, their mechanisms of action run parallel in both the gut and oral cavity. The possible use of probiotics in dentistry is a relatively new idea. Until now, three species prevailed in available research: Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Lactobacillus reuteri. Current research focuses on the application of probiotics and the natural displacement of cariogenic bacteria within the oral cavity, and the subsequent alteration of health status in both adults and children. Carioblis BLIS M18 probiotic, which contains freeze-dried cultures of Streptococcus salivarius M18, was introduced to the market as a supplement indicated for patients with a high caries rate. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the BLIS M18 strain on oral cavity microflora and estimate possible health outcomes.
28 Maggio 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0007

Food neophobia status in Ardabil children

Mohajeri M, Barzegar A, Nemati A.
Food neophobia means not accepting a new food, which seems to be a protective mechanism against new foods. The aim of this study was to assess the food neophobia status in Ardabil children. The present study was a cross-sectional study to assess the situation of children's disgust at two to six years of age in households in Ardabil. A questionnaire relating to five main food groups was used to assess the type of food that was hated. A questionnaire containing four questions was completed to check the factors affecting food neophobia. The results of the study showed that 52.5% (95% confidence interval) of the children were suffering from food neophobia. The children in the study felt more disgusted about dairy products and vegetables. Parents have stated that their children refuse to eat fruit and vegetables. More than half of the children were suffering from food neophobia and the socioeconomic status of parents, parental employment and the type of child feeding before the age of two were among the factors influencing the disgust of children in the study.
24 Maggio 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0006

The cardiometabolic risk: a new concept for old diseases

Derosa G, Maffioli P.
Among the most important risk factors for cardiometabolic disease, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia and diabetes mellitus play a main role; these chronic diseases are involved in creating huge health expenditure, with respect to both clinical–instrumental analysis and from a pharmacological point of view. An earlier stage of these diseases is the pre-risk (Fig. 1), a condition that, if not properly recognized and treated, can progress to the documented risk. We will talk about pre-hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia in primary prevention and dysglycaemia.
21 Maggio 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0005

Bioavailability of menaquinone-7 in milk formulation. Comparison of different solubilization techniques

Cirilli I, Orlando P, Silvestri S, Marcheggiani F, Tiano L.
Menaquinone-7 (MK-7) is a type of vitamin K of fermentative origin that plays a key role in cardiovascular and bone health as a cofactor of gamma-glutamyl carboxylase enabling the activation of several vitamin K-dependent proteins, particularly at the extrahepatic level. Despite its proven biological efficacy and outstanding bioavailability over other dietary menaquinones, its presence in food is marginal, especially in the Western diet. Dairy products are a major dietary source of menaquinones of minor biological relevance for human health and constitute optimal carriers due to their lipid content. Dairy fortification with MK-7 represents an attractive formulative strategy, also for the high calcium and vitamin D content that may act synergistically in promoting vitamin K-dependent functions. However, limited solubility of MK-7 in aqueous solution may limit its use and affect its bioavailability in vivo. The present study compares the bioavailability of MK-7 in enriched 1%-fat milk either as a direct powder solution or a pre-emulsified dispersion. Bioavailability data show that formulation strategies strongly affect the bioavailability of MK-7 and that the results are greatly improved when it is prepared as an oil–water emulsion.
16 Maggio 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0004

A comparison of in-field fat mass evaluation techniques: a practical perspective

Bertuccioli A, Vici G, Ceci R, Cesanelli L, Belli L, Polzonetti V.
Nutritional status assessment of the individual is a key aspect in the monitoring of health status. In this context, body composition evaluation results are of fundamental importance. Several body composition techniques can be used depending on the information needed and the examined categories, and all the techniques are characterized by advantages and disadvantages. In this regard, this study aims to evaluate and compare the most commonly used techniques to evaluate body fat mass percentages in different situations. Fifty subjects took part in the study. Anthropometric data were collected and the percentage of fat mass was estimated using three different techniques: circumference, skinfold and ultrasound. Correlation strength among techniques was evaluated and the level of agreement among techniques was determined. Inferential analysis was performed and the percentage error of each technique for each individual was calculated. Correlation analysis revealed a stronger coefficient between skinfold and ultrasounds than between skinfold and circumferences (respectively, r=0.932 and r=0.686). Delta fat mass percentages were similar, approximately 5%, both when considering skinfold–ultrasound and skinfold–circumference. Stratifying the population by gender, it was observed that the correlation is worse in women than in men. In the case of stratification by BMI, in the ‘Obese’ grouping, the correlation coefficient was small, independent of the technique. Comparing these techniques has highlighted some critical features of single methods, especially considering specific target populations. This highlights the importance of the use of coupled techniques or the inadequacy of one with respect to another for particular categories.
16 Maggio 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0003

Enterococcus as probiotics: what is the advantage?

Suvorov AN, Ermolenko EI, Alechina G, Chernysh A, Karaseva A, Di Pierro F.
Enterococcus is a genus of lactic acid bacteria which normally colonize the intestines of mammals including humans [1]. Enterococci are among the first bacterial colonizers after birth and are able to proliferate in both the large and the small intestine. Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis are the most common species of enterococcus found in human feces. However, enterococci can also cause serious infection including sepsis, pneumonia, ophthalmitis, nephritis and osteomyelitis, mainly as complications of various chronic conditions associated with intestinal dysbiosis such as cancer, AIDS or chronic renal failure [2]. Most clinical strains of enterococci belong to the two species E. faecium and E. faecalis, with vancomycin-resistant enterococcal strains (VRE) being the most common cause of lethal infection. Several virulence genes have been discovered in enterococci, allowing the identification of potentially hazardous strains [3]. At the same time, enterococci have a long history, being used as starters for making fermented food products from meat, milk or vegetables [4]. Many enterococcal strains (SF68, M74, LX, etc.) from that group of probiotic strains have been used for a long time as clinically effective probiotics.
9 Maggio 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0002

Association of socioeconomic gradients with obesity in children

Mohajeri M, Barzegar A, Nemati A.
The objective of this study was to determine the influence of socioeconomic status on the body mass index (BMI) of primary school children. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 280 children aged 6 to 11 years allocated to three groups based on BMI: underweight, ideal weight and overweight/obesity. Socioeconomic status was determined based on the responses of parents/caregivers to a specific form. Data analysis involved the employment of the Kruskal–Wallis, Mann–Whitney U and chi-square tests as well as simple and multiple linear regression analyses. In the final multiple regression model, BMI was influenced by monthly household income (coef=0.223; CI: 1.014 to 1.503). Children from families with a higher monthly income had a higher BMI.
9 Maggio 2019
DOI: 10.17470/NF-019-0001

The protective effect of Enterococcus faecium L-3 in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis in rats is dose-dependent

Abdurasulova IN, Matsulevich AV, Kirik OV, Tarasova EA, Ermolenko EI, Korzevskii DE, Klimenko VM, Di Pierro F, Suvorov AN.
Recent data demonstrate that disruption of the intestinal microbiocoenosis might be the cause of several neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, where the nervous tissue is damaged by the individual’s own immune system. The autoimmune character of MS is largely supported by the positive effects of treatment aimed at suppressing the activity of aggressive immune cells. Since probiotics have an immunomodulatory effect, they can not only correct dysbiosis, but also provide a complex immunomodulatory effect on MS. Enterococcus faecium L-3 is one of the probiotic strains which has been shown to have a protective effect on the course of the disease induced in the animal model of MS (known as experimental allergic encephalomyelitis; EAE). The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of different doses of E. faecium L-3 on the course of EAE in rats. EAE was induced by a single subcutaneous injection of a homologous spinal cord emulsified into complete Freund’s adjuvant. It is shown that the extent of the protective action of E. faecium L-3 depends on the dose used, with the greatest effect on reducing the severity of EAE observed with a dose of 8.0 lg CFU/ml. Amelioration of the course of EAE in rats receiving the probiotic was accompanied by decreased inflammation and reduced damage to neurons in the spinal cord. Research shows that the use of E. faecium L-3 at an optimum concentration of bacteria may be beneficial for patients with MS.
27 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1023-4

SHIME®: an advanced in vitro technology platform for studying the mode-of-action of probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract

Duysburgh C, Van den Abbeele P, Marzorati M
The gastrointestinal microbiota plays a key role in human health. Over the past few decades, a lot of attention has been directed at improving health by modulating the gut microbial composition using probiotics. In vivo studies have limitations in providing mechanistic insights into the effect of probiotics and cannot be used to screen numerous test compounds. However, in vitro approaches can be used for mechanistic research under highly controlled environmental conditions. Here we describe how the Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME®) can be used to produce data complementary to in vivo studies to help elucidate the mode-of-action of probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract.
26 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1011-4

Effect of soaking, dehulling and boiling on protein, polyphenolic and antinutrient content of cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp)

Chipurura B, Baudi JS, Munodawafa T, Benhura C
Legumes are good sources of protein and are rich in lysine and tryptophan, which are limiting amino acids in cereals. Common legumes include sugar beans, soya beans and cowpeas. Although soya beans are an important commercial legume, cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) varieties grown by some communities in developing countries have many food and non-food uses. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of soaking, dehulling and boiling on the protein, polyphenolic and antinutrient content of cowpea varieties, namely CBC2 and CBC4. Phenols, tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids and saponins were present in the cowpea varieties. Boiling caused a significant (p≤0.05) decrease in the protein content of both cowpea varieties. Soaking for 24 hours resulted in an insignificant (p>0.05) change in the protein content of CBC2, but significantly (p≤0.05) decreased the protein content of CBC4. On the other hand, dehulling seeds soaked for 6 hours resulted in a significant increase (p≤0.05) in the protein content of both varieties. Boiling caused a significant decrease (p≤0.05) in total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), and content of condensed tannins and saponins in both cowpea varieties. Also, soaking for 6, 12, 18 and 24 hours significantly (p≤0.05) decreased the content of these phytochemicals. The greatest losses in TPC, TFC, condensed tannins and saponins for both varieties were observed in seeds soaked for 6 hours and dehulled samples. The results of this study show that boiling, soaking and dehulling reduced the protein, polyphenolic and antinutrient content of the cowpea varieties.
25 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1008-4

Role of vitamin D in insulin resistance

Derosa G, Maffioli P
There is plenty of evidence in the literature that vitamin D is essential for calcium homeostasis for optimal skeletal health. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a syndrome with major long-term negative consequences. Efforts have been made to find innovative approaches for diabetes prevention and treatment, and a recent focus has been on vitamin D supplementation. The aim of this review was to evaluate the effect of vitamin D on insulin resistance.
24 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1007-4

Climacteric symptoms during adjuvant treatment in hormone-responsive breast cancer patients: the underestimated role of Cimicifuga racemosa

Cazzaniga M
The treatment of breast cancer is complex, with a wide variety of surgical, radiotherapeutic, chemotherapeutic, biological and endocrine options available. Although these therapies have improved survival rates, adjuvant treatment does have side-effects. The main adverse effects, such as vasomotor symptoms, classically represented by hot flushes and night sweats, are related to anti-hormone therapy, which aims to block the estrogen receptor or destroy estrogen-producing tissue. Options generally include selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), GnRH analogues and aromatase inhibitors, which all cause climacteric symptoms in most breast cancer survivors and have a big impact on their quality of life and treatment compliance. Classically, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been the gold standard treatment for menopausal hot flushes. However, this treatment has risks, and should not be the first option in women with breast cancer or at high risk of developing the disease. Many alternatives to HRT such as tibolone, phytoestrogens and antidepressants have been proposed in recent decades, but results have been controversial regarding efficacy and safety, and consequently compliance is poor. Therefore, interventions to improve compliance with adjuvant hormonal therapy are required. Black cohosh or Cimicifuga racemosa isopropanolic extract (Remifemin®) is a herbal medication frequently used for alleviating menopausal symptoms. Several recent studies have shown that patients with mild menopausal symptoms usually experience spontaneous remission after taking black cohosh, while those with moderate to severe symptoms may experience some benefit. No adverse effects or estrogen activity were reported with this compound. This review examined the effectiveness of black cohosh extract for relieving symptoms and improving quality of life in breast cancer survivors and high-risk women with moderate to severe menopausal symptoms.
24 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1006-4

The relationship between the gut microbiome and skin disorders: in search of new probiotics for dermatology

Ramón D, Navarro-López V, Ramírez-Boscà A, Pérez-Orquín JM, Chenoll E, Codoñer FM, Genovés S
Gut microbiome variations have been described in several skin disorders, including atopic dermatitis in children and psoriasis in adults. In both pathologies, an increase in blood markers for oxidative stress and inflammation has also been detected. Taking these results into account, we have developed specific blends of probiotics for each of these skin conditions which have also been studied in clinical trials. The results have shown that nutritional supplementation with these functional ingredients can improve the treatment of such skin disorders.
23 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1022-4

Improved bone healing after oral application of specific bioactive collagen peptides

Knefeli HC, Mueller-Autz M
The complete and undisturbed healing of bone fractures is a key priority for surgeons and patients, so intensive efforts are made to improve bone healing with a variety of approaches. Oral therapies with collagen peptides are a relatively new therapeutic approach. In this observational study, the impact of collagen peptides on bone healing was investigated in a group of 28 (14 verum/14 placebo) patients of both genders with different fracture locations. Some patients underwent surgery, while others were treated conservatively. The patients who received bioactive collagen peptide treatment (FORTIBONE®) had a clearly better outcome regarding bone healing than the placebo group, half of whom showed suboptimal or bad results. No side effects or intolerance to the product were reported. The results of this investigation confirm the positive impact of collagen peptides on bone healing. The data suggest that FORTIBONE® can be used to improve fracture healing, even in cases where a normal outcome is expected, and to achieve faster healing.
22 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1021-4

The benefits of human milk oligosaccharides in adult nutrition

Adams CA, Gutiérrez B
Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) comprise a large family of extremely diverse oligosaccharides present in high concentrations and which generate a multitude of biological responses. They are generally considered to have a beneficial effect upon the establishment of the microbiota in infants, but they also exert this effect in adult humans. They can impede the attachment of pathogens and toxins such as Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli, Vibrio cholerae, Salmonella fyris, Helicobacter pylori, bacterial toxins, Entamoeba histolytica and viruses, to the epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract. This in effect reduces their pathogenicity as binding to receptors on the epithelial cells is a prerequisite for infection by pathogens. If the pathogens or toxins bind to the HMOs they will be removed from the gastrointestinal tract and not cause disease. Therefore, HMOs are putative protective agents against enteric infections in adults as well as in infants. HMOs are also useful as therapeutic or preventive adjuncts in gut motility disorders and gut pain, and possibly also have beneficial effects in reducing food allergies. Hence, dietary manipulation by the use of HMOs represents a strategy to promote a beneficial gut microbiota and provide health benefits to human adults as well as to infants.
21 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1009-4

Bifidobacterium bifidum PRL2010: scientific support for its use as an effective probiotic in the infant gut

Turroni F, Milani C, Duranti S, Lugli GA, Van Sinderen D, Ventura M
Many bifidobacterial strains are currently exploited as probiotic, or health-promoting, bacteria by the food and pharmaceutical industries. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for these beneficial effects on human health are generally poorly investigated and not properly understood. Therefore, the health-promoting activities of probiotic bacteria must be clinically investigated in order to satisfy regulatory agencies and to address public demands for effective and scientifically supported probiotic therapies. Here, we describe the current situation regarding Bifidobacterium bifidum strain PRL2010, and discuss evidence supporting its use as an effective probiotic for infants and expectant mothers.
20 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-0001-4

Lactobacillus crispatus M247: a possible tool to counteract CST IV

Di Pierro F, Bertuccioli A, Cattivelli D, Soldi S, Elli M
Bacterial CST (community state type) I is characterized by Lactobacillus crispatus dominance and is associated with a healthy vagina and a reduced risk of vaginosis, vaginitis, preterm birth, infertility and vaginal atrophy. On the other hand, CST IV is characterized by the absence of lactobacillus and is associated with unhealthy gynaecological conditions. Unfortunately, very few L. crispatus strains have been properly studied and documented for human use. Here we discuss the genetic, probiotic and vaginal colonization properties of strain M247, isolated in 1989 from infant faeces, and describe its possible gynaecological uses especially in woman characterized by CST IV.
19 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1013-3

Analysis of the effects of natural and pure culture fermentation for the qualitative enhancement of pearl millet flour

Rathore S, Singh K
Its high nutritive quality and ability to survive in harsh conditions makes pearl millet a suitable crop for arid and semi-arid regions, but anti-nutrient factors reduce the bioavailability and digestibility of its nutrients. Fermentation reduces anti-nutrients and hence increases protein digestibility and mineral bioavailability. Thus, the present work examines the effects of fermentation on the nutritive, physiochemical and functional properties and anti-nutrient composition of pearl millet flour. Natural fermentation at 20°C, 25°C and 30°C and pure culture fermentations with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces diastaticus, Lactobacillus fermentum and Lactobacillus brevis were performed. Analysis revealed an increase in moisture and fat content and a decrease in protein content following all types of fermentation. Although the variation in protein levels in different fermentations was not significant, ranging from 10.29% to 9.83%, the effect on thiamine content was significant as it decreased with an increase in temperature in the range 20–30˚C in natural fermentation but was increased in pure culture yeast fermentations as compared with bacterial fermentations at their favourable temperatures, respectively. Total soluble sugar content decreased in pure culture fermentation but increased in natural fermentation. Fermentation decreased pH, thereby increasing titratable acidity. Oil and water absorption capacities were increased, while least gelation concentration was decreased in all types of fermentations. Also, anti-nutritional factors like tannins and phenolic compounds were significantly decreased in all fermentations. We conclude that fermentation is an efficient process to improve the quality of pearl millet flour.
18 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1010-3

Sensory analysis of bar samples prepared from mahua (Madhuca longifolia) flower syrup using fuzzy logic

Singh V, Kumar S, Rai AK
Five bar samples, including a control bar, prepared from different percentages of mahua flower syrup were investigated using fuzzy logic sensory analysis. These bar samples were ranked against each other: the quality attributes of the bars (colour, flavour, stickiness, overall acceptability and taste) were scored and the bars rated. A panel of 15 judges performed the sensory evaluation. Analysis indicated that taste, overall acceptability and flavour were the main quality attributes, while stickiness and colour were less important. Fuzzy logic sensory analysis determined that the bar with 100% replacement of sugar with mahua flower syrup was the most acceptable.
18 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1016-3

Silymarin: an old remedy with a challenging future?

Morazzoni P, Corti F
Silymarin, a flavanolignan-containing standardized extract obtained from the fruits of Silybum marianum, is a traditional phytotherapic product widely used for the treatment of liver diseases including hepatitis , cirrhosis and bile secretion dysfunction. Recent preclinical data and some clinical investigations also support its use in the management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Despite this evidence, silymarin efficacy has not yet been supported by clear-cut dose-related pharmacokinetic data, although several attempts have been made to enhance the oral absorption of flavanolignans, its putative active principles. However, positive results have been obtained with lecithin-based formulations (Phytosome®) of silybin, the main flavanolignans in silymarin, which showed improved oral absorption in preclinical and clinical trials. The Phytosome® delivery system has also been applied to silymarin with promising preclinical results consistent with the oral bioavailability of most of the flavanolignans present in the extract. These data may help optimize the dose for clinical efficacy in liver protection and also pave the way for the use of silymarin in new therapeutic areas where recent findings indicate a major role for the entire phytocomplex.
17 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1013-3

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ): the next essential nutrient and supplement superstar

Murray M
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is a novel vitamin-like compound that acts as an essential active factor in the functioning of mitochondria. However, as higher organisms do not seem to biosynthesize PQQ, the major source in humans is the diet. In addition to its role in mitochondria, PQQ stimulates growth and serves as a cofactor for a special class of enzymes involved in cellular functions including cellular growth, development, differentiation and survival. It also has possible pharmacological effects via activation of AMP-kinase (AMPk). Given the nutritional importance and numerous physiological effects of PQQ, there are many possible clinical applications. The most obvious are those chronic degenerative conditions that revolve around low mitochondrial function and aging, including degenerative neurological disease (e.g., Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease), chronic inflammation, metabolic syndrome and obesity. It also holds promise as a clinical aid for simply improving energy levels and cognition. This review will highlight the pharmacology, clinical applications and dosage recommendations for this promising natural product.
16 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1017-3

Establishing a healthy microbiome with human milk oligosaccharides

Mukherjea R
Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are unique oligosaccharides found in mother’s milk. Collectively, HMOs constitute the third largest solute in human milk, after lactose and fat. The types and levels of HMO vary considerably among women, geographical regions and the stages of lactation. Over 130 different oligosaccharides have been identified in human milk, with 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL) being the most abundant (~2 g/l). Recent innovations and regulatory approvals have enabled infant formula companies to incorporate 2’-FL into their products, helping infant formulas to become more like mother’s milk. This article explores the latest research on HMOs and their role in supporting digestive, immune and cognitive development in infants.
15 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-0001-3

Human milk oligosaccharides and selfish (or not selfish) Bifidobacterium strains

Di Pierro F
Human milk is a rich source of components that contribute to shaping the infant gut microbiota through a variety of mechanisms. After lactose and lipids, human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs; Fig. 1) are the third most abundant components of human milk. One litre of mature human milk contains 5–20 g of these complex sugars, which often exceeds the amount of all human milk proteins combined. Oligosaccharide concentrations in colostrum are even higher [1]. To date, the molecular structures of more than 100 different HMOs have been characterized, but it is important to note that total amount and composition are highly variable between different women.
14 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1001-2

The preparation, stability, functionality and food enrichment ability of cinnamon oil-loaded nanoemulsion-based delivery systems: a review

Gharibzahedi SMT
Even though cinnamon oil (CO) has functional and health effects in humans because of the presence of the antioxidant cinnamaldehyde (CIA), its food applications have been limited due to its poor water solubility. Encapsulation of CO in stable nanodroplets is a unique strategy to enhance the stability and bioavailability of hydrophobic molecules in the CO structure. A literature review has been conducted on the formation of stable nanoscale droplets using low- and high-energy nanoemulsification methods, physicochemical and antimicrobial characterization, and the food application efficiency of CO micro/nanoemulsions. Although high-energy emulsification technologies are more commonly used to produce CO nanoemulsions, there is considerable interest in the fabrication of these delivery systems using the low-energy techniques of spontaneous emulsification and phase-inversion temperature. Processing and formulation (oil phase composition and surfactant content) variables were optimized to produce the smallest droplet size and slowest CIA release rate. Cinnamon and CIA nanoemulsions can effectively control pathogens in functional foods during processing and storage. A strong inhibitory effect on many microorganisms can also be exerted by small nanodroplets encapsulating these bioactive compounds into edible films to significantly decrease the synthetic preservative content. The antibacterial and antifungal activity, nutritional value and physicochemical quality of foods can be improved by adding CO-enriched nanoemulsions.
13 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1003-2

Efficacy and absorption of hyaluronic acid and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine for the treatment of osteoarthritis: a review

Mason V, Fratter A, Pellizzato M
Osteo-articular diseases affect many elderly people, resulting in worse quality of life and a substantial public health cost. Osteoarthritis, inflammatory articular diseases and conditions associated with cartilage disruption are the most frequently diagnosed. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, glucocorticoids and physiotherapy are used to treat affected patients, while some nutraceutical products containing chondroprotective and osteotropic substances have been shown to improve their signs and symptoms. However, the true absorption and efficacy of these substances in humans is largely unknown. The absorption of hyaluronans and chondroitin sulfate is likely negatively affected by their high molecular weight. Nevertheless, many published papers have reported significant improvements in symptoms and articular functionality in patients taking these compounds. This paper attempts to clarify the apparent dichotomy between absorption and efficacy, and compare the clinical evidence for the bioavailability of hyaluronic acid with that of its precursor N-acetyl glucosamine.
12 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1000-2

Development of a double-fractionated Perilla frutescens leaf extract and its possible use in functional dyspepsia

Nannoni G, Mattarocci A, Volterrani G, Alì A, Di Pierro F
Functional dyspepsia (FD), a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by pain or a burning sensation in the epigastrium, postprandial fullness, early satiety, bloating and nausea, used to be treated with prokinetics such as metoclopramide, cisapride and domperidone. Unfortunately, these drugs have severe side effects, including cardiac and sudden death, and consequently are now rarely used or have been withdrawn from the market. However, botanicals could be a source of natural prokinetics which do not have these adverse effects. Perilla frutescens leaf extract is a possible candidate, with some data indicating a clinical role in FD. As with any botanical, perilla extract normally consists of a complex mixture of active ingredients characterized by different chemical and physical properties, including varying degrees of solubility in water and/or alcohol. Consequently, selection of the correct solvents is very important for the preparation of standardized botanical extracts. We have therefore evaluated which solvents, and in which order, should be used. Our findings show that a first extraction step performed in ethanol (80%) followed by a second extraction step using warm water results in standardized quantities of both lipophilic and hydrophilic perilla leaf actives such as rosmarinic acid, vicenin-2, perilla ketone, apigenin, luteolin, and apigenin and luteolin glycosides.
11 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1002-2

Great nutraceutical potential of bioactive compounds from Beta vulgaris cicla and rubra

Ninfali P, Antonini E
Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla (BVc, leaf beet) and Beta vulgaris var. rubra (BVr, red beetroot) belong to the Amaranthaceae family and have been used for centuries as food and medicinal plants. The main bioactive phytochemicals of BVr are the betalains, a group of water-soluble pigments derived from betalamic acid, which are divided into two classes: the yellow/orange-coloured betaxanthins (BX) and the red/ violet-coloured betacyanins (BC). The seeds, leaves and roots of BVc are rich in phenolic acids and apigenin-derived flavonoids, namely vitexin, vitexin-2-O-rhamnoside (VOR) and vitexina-2-O-xyloside (XVX). We isolated BVc and BVr phytochemicals in our laboratory and tested them individually and in combination for their anticancer and anti-inflammatory activity. In cancer cells, vitexin flavonoids were able to induce intrinsic apoptosis, while betalains induced extrinsic apoptosis. Combinations of two or three molecules exhibited synergistic antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activity, particularly towards hepatic, intestinal and urinary bladder tumours.
10 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1004-2

Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and glycometabolic and oxidative status in overweight subjects: an application of skin autofluorescence

Vigna L, Coassin L, Gori F, Ingenito MR, Tomaino L, Agostoni C, Napolitano F, Cighetti G, Bamonti F
Introduction: Overweight and obesity increase the risk of mortality following the onset of several diseases generally characterized by oxidative stress. The levels of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), a consequence of metabolic disorder and oxidative stress, play an important role in the process, and their quantification, based on skin autofluorescence (skin AF), could be used for non-invasive assessment of AGEs. Aim: To evaluate in overweight subjects the diagnostic use of AGE determination (skin AF detected by an AGE Reader) for assessing possible correlation between AGEs and some anthropometric/oxidative indices. Patients and methods: 51 consecutive overweight participants in a nutritional education programme were enrolled in this observational cross-sectional study: 39 women (aged 49.69±13.71; BMI 33.12±5.44 kg/m²) and 12 men (aged 56.84±17.84; BMI 33.12±3.11 kg/m²). Glycometabolic and oxidative parameters were measured using routine laboratory analyzers. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used for statistical analysis. Results: Significant correlations were found between the Cardiovascular Risk Index and age (r=0.65; p<0.0001), AGEs (r=0.41; p<0.0001) and glycosylated haemoglobin (r=0.38; p<0.05); ageing and AGEs (r=0.50; p<0.0001) and glycosylated haemoglobin (r=0.40; p<0.0001); and C-reactive protein and fibrinogen (r=0.52; p<0.0001), homocysteine and fasting glucose (r=0.47; p<0.0001). Discussion: Oxidative stress can be assessed by AGE determination. Our findings in overweight subjects highlight interesting correlations between metabolic-oxidative parameters. Age emerged as the most important indicator of cardiovascular risk and AGE formation. Notably, skin AF, detected by the AGE Reader (a simple non-invasive clinical tool), can be a useful marker for rapid assessment of dysmetabolic-oxidative risk in overweight subjects.
9 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-1005-2

New dietary proteins for cholesterol control: lupin and hempseed

Sirtori CR, Busnelli M
The consumption of dietary proteins from vegetable sources can be very helpful in the dietary management of hypercholesterolemia. While it is well established that soy proteins can reduce LDL-cholesterol, particularly in patients with high cholesterolemia, novel protein sources have lately attracted much interest. Recent studies have clearly established the nutraceutical properties of eggs and egg peptides, which have significant effects on both cholesterolemia and blood pressure. In the last few years, extensive studies have shown that lupin and hempseed proteins have good cholesterol-lowering properties. Lupin, particularly Lupinus angustifolius, is characterized by peptides that can significantly raise LDL-receptor activity and also reduce PCSK9 levels, thus providing very effective treatment for hypercholesterolemic patients when used as substitutes or additives for standard drugs. More recently, hempseed, a protein source rarely evaluated clinically, has been shown to reduce cholesterolemia in animal models, by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase activity, upregulating LDL receptors and, surprisingly, also increasing PCSK9 levels, with an overall profile similar to that of statins. These novel additions to the nutraceutical armamentarium for treating raised cholesterol may lead to exciting progress in the management of hypercholesterolemic patients.
8 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-0001-2

About curcumin again (and the gut microbiota)

DI Pierro F
In 2017, I wrote an editorial on the possible inefficacy of curcumin [1]. Recently, the possible effect of curcumin on the gut microbiota has been discussed. Curcumin is a polyphenolic compound with a long history of use as a dietary spice, food-colouring agent and herbal remedy. Curcumin exhibits anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral and neurotrophic activity and therefore holds promise as a therapeutic agent to prevent and treat several disorders. However, a major barrier to curcumin’s clinical efficacy is its poor bioavailability. Efforts have therefore been made to develop curcumin formulations that have greater bioavailability and systemic tissue distribution. Nevertheless, curcumin’s potential as a therapeutic agent may not solely rely on its bioavailability but also on its positive influence on gastrointestinal health, function and structure.
7 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1001-1

Physicochemical and pasting properties of barley/wheat flour blends and the physical, baking and sensory characteristics of cakes

Hamid T, Ahmad M, Masoodi FA, Gani A, Baba U
Background: Since barley possesses various components beneficial to health, replacement of wheat flour with barley flour in bakery products could be an attractive approach. Hence, the objective of this study was to replace wheat flour with barley flour for the preparation of cakes. Materials and methods: Test blends were obtained by incorporating barley flour into wheat flour at 20%, 30%, 40% and 50% levels of substitution and the physiochemical and pasting properties of the blended flour were studied. The study also investigated the physical, baking and sensory characteristics of the cakes. Results: There was a slight increase in protein content from 8.4% to 9.6% and a reduction in moisture content from 13.57% to 11.27% with increasing levels of barley flour. Pasting properties showed significant differences among the samples, with a slight increase in pasting temperature and significant variations in stirring number. The baking time, symmetry index and volume index of cakes decreased with increased barley flour content, but there was no change in organoleptic properties. Conclusion: Wheat flour can be replaced with up to 50% barley flour with little decline in the quality parameters of cakes.
6 Gennaio 2018
DOI: DOI 10.17470/NF-017-1017-1

Technological and quality parameters of reduced-calorie chocolates: a review

Nazir S, Azad ZRAA
The preference for healthier and convenience food products has resulted in a demand for reducedcalorie chocolate which has 20% fewer calories than conventional chocolate but the same brightness, aroma, flavour and hue. The fat replacers used in reduced-calorie chocolate are usually derived from vegetable oils and/or polysaccharides. The vegetable oils include palm oil, corn oil and soybean oil, while the polysaccharides include carrageenan, guar gum and locust bean gum. Gums are considered healthier than vegetable oils but result in a weaker texture. Therefore, vegetable oils are often used in combination with gums to improve the rheological characteristics of reduced-calorie chocolate. Sucrose substitutes include sugar alcohols, dietary fibres, syrups and natural/artificial sweeteners. Sucralose is by far the preferred artificial sweetener because of its stability at higher temperatures. The incorporation of fat and sugar replacers increases the viscosity and slipperiness of reduced-calorie chocolate. Also, reduced-calorie chocolate is more bitter and less sweet than conventional chocolate.
5 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1003-1

Assessment of nutritional risk factors predisposing to autism among Saudi children

Hammouda SAI, Al Areefy AAEH, Al-Thbiany A, Farghal S, Al-Harbi G, Abduallah M, Al-Rehaly R, Al-JohaniG
Introduction: Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition of unknown aetiology which is usually diagnosed in the first 3 years of life. Several studies have linked reduced intake of some nutrients with autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Objective: To identify nutritional risk factors that predispose to autism among preschool and school children living in Al-Madinah Al-Monawarah city in Saudi Arabia. Method: Thirty children with autism/ASD aged 2–12 years and 36 matched control children were compared regarding BMI and food intake, using 24-hour recall and a food frequency questionnaire. Results: Both groups consumed similar amounts of carbohydrates, protein and other nutrients, many of which were below the international recommendations for children of their age. However, children with autism/ASD also consumed significantly less omega-3 and iron than the control group. Conclusions: Children with ASD, like other children in Saudi Arabia, consume less than the recommended amounts of some nutrients. Autistic children have reduced intake of omega-3 and iron, together with limited intake of many food varieties which could be linked to autism in susceptible children.
4 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1011-1

Can nutrition education improve nutritional status in pregnant women?

Mohajeri M, Barzegar A, Nemati A, Rafati P
Background: Nutrition during pregnancy affects the health of the mother and the health and development of the fetus. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a nutrition education program on the diet of pregnant women. Methods: A total of 120 pregnant women (intervention group: 62, control group: 58) attending our centre at 16–35 weeks of pregnancy were enrolled in our study. A pretested questionnaire was used to collect data on demographics, job, age, medication use and educational level, and food records were collected weekly. Three similar educational sessions were held each week for 12 weeks. Data analysis was performed using SPSS software (version 16). Results: There were significant improvements in diet diversity (p=0.0001) and nutrient intake (p≤0.05) in the intervention group after the educational program. Conclusion: Nutrition education can improve the diet of pregnant women.
3 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1009-1

Vitamin bioavailability, diet and prandial status: good tips for great results

Mason V, Fratter A, Pellizzato M
Vitamins are key to human health. Although vitamins are involved in several metabolic pathways, humans cannot biosynthesize them except for vitamin D and vitamin B3, so adequate intake in the diet is crucial. Vitamins are classified as fat-soluble or water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E and K, while water-soluble vitamins include vitamins B and C. Avitaminosis due to imbalanced nutrition, disease or genetic impairment leads to disease, but consumption of vitamin supplements or fortified foods can counteract vitamin deficiency. However, their absorption depends on the type of meal and food matrix composition. Vitamins A, D and E are mainly influenced by lipid content which promotes intestinal uptake. Surprisingly, the fat-soluble vitamin K seems to be unaffected by type of diet, although it has better bioavailability as a food supplement. Water-soluble vitamin absorption is not significantly affected by prandial status or dietary composition. No data are reported for vitamin C, while the vitamin B group needs evaluation by coenzyme.
2 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1018-1

The use of high-dose omega-3 fatty acids in the management of cardiovascular disease

Sears B
High-dose omega-3 fatty acids rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can have significant benefits in the management of cardiovascular disease due to their formation of specialized hormones known as resolvins. The appropriate dose can be determined by the ratio of arachidonic acid (AA) to EPA in the blood. This review will summarize the recent data on reducing the AA/EPA ratio and its effects on cardiovascular outcomes.
1 Gennaio 2018
DOI: 10.17470/NF-018-0001-1

Impact of berberine on human gut bacteria

Di Pierro F
A recently published paper in Nature [1] stated that 27% of 835 non-antimicrobial drugs have a significative impact on gut microbiota. It is likely that a similar or greater proportion of botanicals have comparable effects. For instance, we know that curcumin increases the abundance of butyrateproducing bacteria and faecal butyrate level [2]. This could explain why, despite its very poor oral bioavailability, curcumin acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and why it is a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Berberine is another excellent example of a botanical which acts by modulating the microbiota. Knowledge of the mechanism by which berberine modulates the microbiota could lead to better understanding of the role of berberine in metabolic diseases.
21 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1010-4

Optimization of ultrasound-assisted solvent extraction of phycocyanin and phenolics from Arthospira platensis var. ‘lonor’ biomass

Mazumder A, Prabuthas P, Mishra HN
This study describes the enhanced and simultaneous extraction of phycocyanin and phenolics from Arthospira platensis biomass. Ultrasound-assisted solvent extraction was investigated to determine its efficacy regarding phycocyanin and phenolics yield. An optimization experiment using response surface methodology revealed that the variables ethanol concentration (20%–95%, v/v), extraction temperature (15°C–65°C), sonicator amplitude (20%–100%) and extraction time (60–300 s) have a significant effect on phycocyanin and phenolics yield. The maximum yield of phycocyanin (29.9 mg/g) and total phenolics (2.4 mg/g) was predicted to occur at 40% ethanol concentration, 34.9°C extraction temperature, sonicator amplitude of 95% and extraction time of 104.7 s. The resultant extract exhibited a dose-dependent antioxidant response with an IC50 value of 85.75 μg/ml. This extract can be incorporated into functional foods as the extracting solvents ethanol and water have GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status.
20 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1028-4

Characterization and analysis of dhokla with incorporated tomato powder

Ray S, Saha R, Raychaudhuri U, Chakraborty R
Dhokla is easy to cook and very popular as a snack. Tomato is an excellent fortification ingredient for food products due to its nutritional properties, high antioxidant activity and good sensory characteristics. In this study, dhokla was fortified with 1%, 4% and 7% tomato powder and analyzed on the day of preparation and after storage. Acidity increased from 0.09 to 0.45 following tomato powder incorporation. The correlation coefficient (R2) demonstrated that antioxidant content is strongly associated with antioxidant activity. Rheological characteristics suggested that dhokla batter has viscoelastic properties. The moisture content of dhokla decreased from 16.928 to 15.10, from 18.05 to 17.45 and from 20.10 to 18.03 at the three levels of fortification after storage. Nutritional values were highest when dhokla was fortified with 7% tomato powder. Sensory analysis showed that dhokla containing 4% tomato powder has the best overall acceptability.
19 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1015-4

Determination of steviol glycosides in seven Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) extracts routinely used in the food and confectionary industry

Bastone A, Rossi A, Bagnati R, Passoni A, Salmona M, Diomede L
Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni extracts are used as natural non-nutritive sweeteners in several countries worldwide. The principal components of stevia leaf extracts are stevioside and rebaudioside A. Stevioside has about 300 times the sweetening power of sucrose, but is the main cause of the bitter aftertaste of crude stevia extracts. Rebaudioside A has greater sweetening power and a less pronounced bitter aftertaste, and so is usually the preferred component. The overall taste of the sweetener depends on the composition of the stevia extract used and the steviol glycosides present. To characterize the unique taste profile of stevia sweeteners, we analyzed stevioside, rebaudioside A, rebaudioside B and isosteviol content in seven different commercial food-grade extracts used as raw material. A sensitive method, using HPLC coupled to electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry, was applied. The amount of steviol glycoside in the seven different extracts varied. As expected, rebaudioside A was the most abundant, ranging from 497 to 1,000 mg/g. One sample contained only rebaudioside A. Rebaudioside B and stevioside levels ranged from negligible to 40% of the total glycosides determined, with concentrations ranging from 2.7 to 386 mg/g of raw material. The concentration of isosteviol was below the limit of detection in all samples. These data can help in the selection of the most suitable commercial extracts for use as sweeteners in food, beverages and confectionery.
18 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1012-4

Hair loss in older women: supplement to increase scalp hair thickness and reduce hair loss

Mastropietro F, Corasaniti N, Piacentini M, Celleno L
Hair loss and thinning hair are serious problems affecting a large number of women, especially during the menopause. A food supplement containing fermented soy, ornithine, arginine and Tricovel® Tricoage45+ with Bioequolo (Giuliani SpA, Milan, Italy), formulated to promote hair growth in women over the age of 45, was used in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted in healthy adult females going through the menopause. Subjects with hair loss and less than 80% of their hair in the anagen phase were randomized to receive a single daily dose of the study product or placebo. Wash test results showed that hair loss was significantly reduced after the first 8 weeks of treatment with the study product. Hair pull test results also showed significant improvements (fewer hairs removed) in subjects treated with the study product vs. placebo after 8 and 12 weeks of treatment. Moreover, analysis of microscope images revealed a statistically significant increase in the conversion of vellus hair into terminal hair after 12 weeks of treatment with the study product compared with placebo. Self-evaluation by the subjects confirmed these improvements. This study shows that the dietary supplement can decrease hair loss and promote hair growth in women over 45 years of age.
17 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1004-4

Dysglycaemia, diagnosis and treatment

Derosa G, Maffioli P
Euglycaemia is characterized by fasting plasma glucose levels of 70–100 mg/dl, while dysglycaemia is characterized by fasting plasma glucose levels of ≥100 mg/dl. The term dysglycaemia covers three conditions: impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired carbohydrate tolerance (IGT) and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The identification and classification of dysglycaemia and ways to treat it in order to prevent complications are discussed.
16 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1025-4

Anti-Helicobacter pylori and anti-gastric cancer activity of Syzygium alternifolium fruits

Babu TMC, Bhaskar BV, Devi S, Rajendra W
Syzygium alternifolium (SA) is a plant widely used in folk medicine. The current study was carried out to characterize the anti-Helicobacter pylori (Hp) and anti-gastric cancer activity of S. alternifolium fruit extracts. S. alternifolium total phenolics (SATP) and S. alternifolium aqueous extract (SAAE) were used to examine anti-H. pylori and H. pylori urease inhibitory activity. The anti-gastric cancer activity of these extracts was also evaluated using an MTT cell viability assay followed by cell cycle progression analysis. The in vitro results showed that both extracts have dose-dependent anti-H. pylori and anti-gastric cancer activity. SATP has significant anti-H. pylori activity against the Hp26695 and HpP12 strains with MIC50 values of 148±20 and 141±30 μg/ml, respectively, while SAAE has moderate activity compared to the antibiotic amoxicillin. SATP showed significant urease activity with an IC50 of 98±6.4 μg/ml, while SAAE showed a moderate effect compared with positive control. Moreover, SATP showed significant inhibition of human gastric adenocarcinoma cell growth by inhibiting the G2/M phase of the cell cycle with an IC50 of 77.9±0.2 μg/ml, while SAAE exhibited moderate inhibition compared with normal control. Reverse phase UV-HPLC analysis indicated the presence of the phenolic compounds cinnamic, gallic, ferulic and vanillic acid in these extracts. The results suggest that SATP and SAAE extracted from S. alternifolium have significant anti-H. pylori and anti-gastric cancer activity and offer protection against gastritis. Hence, these extracts are recommended for patients with gastrointestinal cancer.
15 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-0001-4

Bacterial therapy to help eradicate Helicobacter pylori and to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects of antibiotics: a possible treatment scheme?

Di Pierro F
Helicobacter pylori (Fig. 1), previously called Campylobacter pylori, is a gram-negative, microaerophilic bacterium found usually in the stomach. It was identified in 1982 by two Australian who found it in a patient with chronic gastritis and gastric ulcers, conditions not previously thought to have a bacterial aetiology. H. pylori is also linked to the development of duodenal ulcers and stomach cancer. It is present in the stomach of 50% of the world’s population and asymptomatic in over 80% of those infected. The standard first-line therapy to eradicate H. pylori, is the so-called triple therapy consisting of proton pump inhibitors (PPI), mainly omeprazole, along with the antibiotics clarithromycin and amoxicillin. Variations on the triple therapy have been developed over the years, using a different PPI, or replacing amoxicillin with metronidazole for those with an allergy to penicillin. Due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, an additional round of antibiotic therapy, the quadruple therapy, consisting of a PPI, a bismuth colloid, metronidazole and tetracyclines, has been developed.
14 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1002-3

Effect of sprouting on barley flour and cookie quality of wheat–barley flour blends

Yaqoob S, Baba WN, Masoodi FA, Bazaz R, Shafi M
Different proportions of raw and sprouted barley flour were separately blended with wheat flour and the mixtures analyzed for their physicochemical and pasting properties. Blending with barley flour resulted in an increase in protein, fat and ash content. An increase in barley fraction significantly decreased the bulk, true density and colour (L* and b* values) of blends, while the angle of repose increased significantly. Incorporation of sprouted barley flour compared with raw barley flour led to a greater percentage change in the parameters studied: peak viscosity and setback increased, while peak time and pasting temperature decreased. Blending of wheat flour with sprouted barley flour in comparison with raw barley flour showed lower increases in peak viscosity and setback values. Flour blends were then used for the production of cookies that were analyzed for their physicochemical, textural and sensory attributes. Cookies containing raw barley flour had a higher spread ratio than cookies made from sprouted barley flour blends. Blending with barley decreased the L* value of cookies, with incorporation of sprouted barley showing a smaller decrease in L* value than raw barley. Hence, incorporation of sprouted barley resulted in flour blends with improved pasting properties and better quality gluten-free cookies.
13 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1007-3

Tigernut (Cyperus esculentus L.) ‘milk’ reverses acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in a murine model

Onuoha NO, Ogbusua NO, Uwaezuoke NJ, Ejike CECC
The usefulness of tigernut milk (TNM) in reversing acetaminophen-induced liver injury was investigated. Twenty-five rats were randomized into five equal groups. Four groups were challenged on day 0 with 2500 mg/kg bodyweight (bw) acetaminophen. Subsequently, from days 1 to 7, they were treated with 0, 500, 1000 and 2000 kg/mg bw TNM, respectively, per os. The fifth group served as the normal control group. On the 8th day, the rats were sacrificed humanely and biochemical markers of toxicity and oxidative stress were determined in their sera. TNM at the tested concentrations significantly reversed liver injury as shown by liver function markers. For example, serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) concentrations decreased dose-dependently and significantly (p<0.001) from 298.9±32.3 in the negative control group to 159.3±22.1 in the 2000 mg/kg bw TNM group. In fact, the serum ALP concentrations of all test rats were statistically similar (p>0.001) to those of the normal control rats. These biochemical data are corroborated by histological findings. Superoxide dismutase activity (U/mg protein) was increased significantly (p<0.001) from 108.0±7.4 in the negative control group to 283.9±20.5 in the 500 mg/kg bw TNM group, and indeed in all test groups. Malondialdehyde concentrations in the test rats suggest less efficient clearance of the break-down products of lipid peroxidation. Phytochemicals in the TNM may have acted directly as antioxidants, or induced the synthesis of glutathione (which exerts downstream positive effects on antioxidant systems), thereby aiding recovery from drug-induced liver damage.
12 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1005-3

Preservation of cashew apple juice using Aloe vera and hydroxychavicol

Talasila U, Beebi SK, Vechalapu RR
Cashew apples are very nutritious and could be used the health, medicine and industry sectors if the high perishability and short shelf-life of the fruit and juice could be improved. Thus, the preservation of cashew apple juice for use in various applications is an important issue for food technologists. In this study, Aloe vera juice, hydroxychavicol and/or sterile filtration were employed to prolong the shelf-life of cashew apple juice. Juice quality (sensory, physicochemical and microbiological) was analysed after 15 days. The results showed that juice which underwent sterile filtration and was then preserved with hydroxychavicol was stable with preserved nutrient quality and medicinal properties for 45 days.
11 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1006-3

The soothing effect of menthol, eucalyptol and high-intensity cooling agents

Diomede L, Salmona M
Several compounds are commonly used as flavours in foods such as chewing gum and candy to generate a pleasant cool sensation which can have a soothing effect on the upper respiratory tract. Menthol and eucalyptol are the flavours most widely used as cooling agents and their effect is supported by scientific data. The cool sensory perception they induce is due to their ability to activate cold receptors, particularly the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 8 (TRPM8), found in the skin and oral cavity. The ability to activate cold receptors has been also shown for non-volatile and non-menthol coolants developed since the 1970s, assessed as Generally Recognized as Safe and approved for use in food by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the United States. Among these coolants, ethyl 3-(p-menthane-3-carboxamido)acetate, its analogue N-[[5-methyl-2-(1- methylethyl)cyclohexyl]carbonyl]glycine propyl ester and N-ethyl-p-menthane-3-carboxamide have demonstrated a greater cooling effect than menthol and are defined as ‘high-intensity cooling agents’. Studies in human volunteers who consumed flavoured chewing gum found that the flavour intensity of menthol or eucalyptol, and consequently their cooling effect, increases with chewing and that volatile flavour compounds in the oral cavity are forced into air exhaled through the nasal compartment. It was thus confirmed that the soothing effect and increased air flow perceived in the nose and throat are sensations and not pharmacological actions.
10 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1008-3

Myoinositol: mechanisms of action and role in the treatment of metabolic diseases, infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome

Menichini D, Facchinetti F
Inositols are natural compounds present in animal and plant cells and play a key role in glucose metabolism, acting as second messengers of insulin. They have been shown to be able to counteract the downstream consequences of insulin resistance, exerting beneficial effects on metabolic diseases, infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). We summarize the mechanisms of action of inositol compounds, focusing on the most important functions of myoinositol and D-chiro-inositol in the treatment of metabolic syndrome, hyperlidaemia, insulin resistance and PCOS.
9 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-1016-3

Metabolic disorders and cancer: is there a role for nutraceuticals?

Cazzaniga M
Obesity and overweight are defined as abnormal excess accumulation of fat in adipose tissue, which is recognized as a real organ with both metabolic and endocrine functions, and have a close relationship with oncological risk. The relationship between obesity and carcinogenesis is complex and not fully understood. However, obesity is frequently associated with several pathological states such as chronic inflammation, dyslipidaemia and insulin resistance (generally defined as metabolic disorders) which contribute to the increased risk of cancer in the overweight population. Current data show that metabolic disorders are often reversible with prompt therapeutic intervention, so these conditions and related carcinogenetic pathways should be managed for cancer prevention and therapy. Metformin and statins have demonstrated their ability to interfere with tumour processes but unfortunately also produce side effects, making long-term and preventative use difficult. Some nutraceutical compounds seem to be ideal for providing similar activity and effectiveness as these agents but with minor or absent side effects. This review examines the pathophysiology of metabolic disorders, their relationship with cancer and the possibility of interfering with associated processes with some promising nutraceuticals used as monotherapy or in combination with conventional therapies.
8 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-0001-3

New findings suggest selenium supplementation to reduce the risks of PROM in pregnancy: a new overview concerning supplementation during pregnancy

Di Pierro F
New analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine [1] has identified six genomic regions conferring risk of premature delivery following preterm rupture of membranes (PROM), which is a major health problem worldwide. The information obtained may be useful in implementing new preventive strategies, some of which are simple and inexpensive, such as the use of selenium dietary supplements. The study conducted at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Center (USA) as part of an international collaboration identified six genomic regions that affect the duration of pregnancy and time of delivery. The study, which involved more than 50,000 women, could have important consequences for the prevention of premature births and related complications. Premature births (those that occur before the 37th week of pregnancy) are an important public health problem globally: it is estimated that premature birth is the main cause of death among children under the age of five [2, 3].
7 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-016-1032-2

Evaluation of the antioxidant potential of oregano leaves (Origanum vulgare L.) and their effect on the oxidative stability of ghee

Singha AK, Kumara V, Singh K
Antioxidants were extracted from oregano leaves (Origanum vulgare L.) using the solvents water, ethanol, methanol, acetone and diethyl ether. Although a higher extract yield was obtained with water, in general higher total phenolic and flavonoid content and better antioxidant activity were found in the extracts prepared using ethanol. The antioxidant potential of the ethanolic extract of oregano leaves in ghee during storage and frying was evaluated in comparison with the synthetic antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Three quality parameters, namely peroxide value (PV), free fatty acid (FFA) content and p-anisidine value (PAV), of ghee were analyzed. The PV, FFA content and PAV of control ghee samples increased significantly during storage and frying as compared to the ghee samples containing oregano extract (OGE), BHA or BHT. The frying period had a greater effect on changes in PV, FFA content and PAV of ghee than the storage period. Ghee samples with added 1.0% (w/w) OGE showed the least increase in PV, FFA content and PAV, which was comparable with samples with added 0.02% (w/w) BHA and BHT. The study revealed that oregano leaves could be a good natural source of antioxidants and can be used in ghee to retard oxidative deterioration during storage and frying.
6 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-016-1021-2

Microencapsulated supercritical carbon dioxide extract of small cardamom enriches the nutraceutical value of custard

Dutta S, Bhattacharjee P
The spray dried α-amylase-assisted supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) extract of small cardamom (rich in 1,8-cineole) was used for the fortification of custard to obtain a new designer nutraceutical custard. The encapsulate was employed at concentrations of 4%, 4.5% and 5% (w/w) to formulate the custards. Custard formulated with 4.5% of encapsulate was most preferred by the sensory panel. This custard sample showed a more stable texture, higher phytochemical properties and lower microbial load than the control sample (formulated without encapsulate). This is the first study on the formulation of a new designer nutraceutical custard by fortification with encapsulated SC-CO2 extract of small cardamom. The processes described here can safely be employed in the development of other nutraceutical or functional foods, which inevitably involves the loss of the phytochemicals of food constituents during manufacture.
5 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-016-1018-2

Comparative study of colour, pasting and antioxidant properties of different wheat cultivars as affected by toasting and roasting

Puniaa S, Sandhua KS, Sharmab S
Wheat has been reported to contain a variety of bioactive compounds which have health benefits. The bioactive compounds, however, are affected by the different processing conditions applied to wheat flour during the manufacture of different products. Milled wheat is used to produce a variety of baked products, but the effect of toasting and roasting before milling has not been examined. Therefore, the effects of mild (toasting) and strong (roasting) heat treatments on the Hunter Lab colour, pasting and antioxidant properties of flours from commercially important wheat cultivars grown in India were investigated. Antioxidant properties including total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), antioxidant activity (AOA), metal chelating activity (MCA) and ABTS+ scavenging activity were studied. Both heat treatments resulted in a reduction in bulk density (BD) and Hunter L* values. However, Hunter a* and b* values were increased. The AOA, MCA and ABTS+ scavenging activity of flours increased after both treatments, while TFC was decreased and TPC was increased after toasting but decreased after roasting. All pasting parameters except pasting temperature increased with toasting but decreased after roasting. Flour from cv.WHD-943 showed the highest AOA, TPC and ABTS+ scavenging activity both before and after the two heat treatments.
4 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-016-1016-2

Association of dietary calcium with blood pressure and weight gain in pregnant women

Mohajeri M, Nemati A, Hazrati S, Iranpour F
Objective: To investigate the association of dietary calcium with blood pressure and weight gain in pregnant women. Design: This study used data collected from healthcare centres in Ardebil for 137 pregnant women aged 30–35 years. Dietary calcium intake was assessed using a single 24-hour food recall and Nutritionist IV software. Height and weight were measured after overnight fasting with all participants wearing light gowns. Blood pressure measurements were taken in the sitting position after a resting period of at least 5 min. Linear regression was used to evaluate the relationship of dietary calcium intake with weight gain and blood pressure. Results: Mean±SD systolic and diastolic blood pressures were 150.19±50.45 and 70.18±11.16 mmHg, respectively. Mean±SD calcium intake was 784.59±33.36 mg/day. There was a significant association between dietary calcium intake and diastolic blood pressure and weight gain in pregnant women (p≤0.05). However, the association between dietary calcium intake and systolic blood pressure and weight was not significant (p≥0.05). Conclusion: Dietary calcium intake can affect blood pressure and weight gain in pregnant women.
3 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-016-1013-2

Rational approach to sequential optimization of antioxidative whey protein hydrolysate production

Devi K, Haripriya S, Kumar JKN, Dharini V, Kumar V
A two-step method for sequential optimization was designed based on the role of hydrolytic factors in the preparation of antioxidative whey protein hydrolysates (WPH). In the first step, the rates of reaction- related variables such as pH, temperature and the enzyme/substrate (E/s) ratio (w/w) were optimized to 1.5, 37°C and 1:100 for pepsin, 8, 42°C and 1:100 for trypsin, and 7.8, 37°C and 1:50 for pancreatin, respectively, with maximum degrees of hydrolysis of 4.5%, 14% and 15.2%, respectively. In the second step, hydrolysis was performed at the optimum conditions determined in the first step. The optimum hydrolysis times were 1.5 h for pepsin and 2 h each for trypsin and pancreatin based on their maximum reducing powers of 0.31, 0.55 and 0.62, respectively. In sequential hydrolysis, the optimized pepsin hydrolysates with subsequent action of trypsin and pancreatin individually were optimized at their respective E/s ratios of 1:50 and 1:100 (w/w) based on their respective degrees of hydrolysis of 13.6% and 14.8%, while the optimum hydrolysis times were 4.5 h and 2.5 h for reducing powers of 0.66 and 0.75, respectively. This study indicates that sequential optimization for the production of antioxidative WPH could be better than the traditional one factor at a time (OFAT) method.
2 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-016-1033-2

Nutraceuticals in cardio-metabolic therapy

Derosa G, Maffioli P
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the Western world and the leading cause of death, hospitalization and disability among people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of this paper is to discuss which nutraceuticals could be helpful in controlling factors contributing to high cardiovascular risk, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia.
1 Gennaio 2017
DOI: 10.17470/NF-017-0001-1

Bifidobacterium longum W11: an antibiotic-resistant probiotic

Di Pierro F
Possible unwanted consequences of antibiotic use include: (a) the selection of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria; (b) increased susceptibility of the host to new infections; (c) gram-negative bacterial overgrowth; (d) diarrhoea; and (e) Clostridium difficile colonization [1]. Theoretically, except for antibiotic resistance, all these effects could be alleviated with probiotics. However, even a small delay between antibiotic administration and supplementation with probiotics severely reduces the positive impact of the probiotics as they are unable to integrate into the gut microbiota. The high sensitivity of probiotics to antibiotics prevents stable colonization of the gut, thus ensuring only non-significant and transient effects. However, the use of antibiotic-resistant bacteria could be beneficial. Of course, for safety reasons, this resistance must not be transferable and must not be located in plasmid DNA as probiotics could otherwise be responsible for dangerous horizontal gene transfer (Fig. 1) to pathogens [2]. Antibiotic-resistant probiotics sound very attractive, even tempting pharmaceutical companies to falsely claim some probiotic strains have antibiotic-resistant properties.