The latest medical research on Nutrition

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about nutrition gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Short-Chain Fatty Acids and Preeclampsia: A Scoping Review.

Nutrition Reviews

Preeclampsia (PE) is a pregnancy-associated hypertension disorder with high morbidity and mortality. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)-molecules produced by gut microbes-have been associated with hypertension, yet their relation to PE remains uncertain.

The aim was to review existing human studies that examined associations of the major SCFAs (acetate, propionate, butyrate) in pregnancy with PE development.

Two reviewers independently searched online databases (EMBASE, PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews) in January 2024 using the following terms: "short-chain fatty acids," "acetic acid," "butyric acid," "propionic acid," and "preeclampsia." The final set of included studies had to report associations of SCFAs with PE, be peer-reviewed, be written in English, and be conducted in humans.

The abstracts of 907 studies were screened; 43 underwent full-text screening and 11 (1318 total participants, 352 with PE) were included in the final review. All studies used a case-control design. SCFAs were measured in a range of biospecimens (eg, serum, plasma, feces, placentas, and amniotic fluid) that were collected at distinct time points in pregnancy. All 7 studies that investigated butyrate found that it was lower in PE cases than in controls, with 6 of these showing statistical significance (P < .05). Five studies showed that acetate was significantly lower in individuals with PE compared with healthy individuals, while 1 study found that acetate was significantly higher in PE cases. One study reported significantly higher propionate among PE cases vs controls, while 2 studies reported significantly lower propionate levels in PE cases. The nuance in results for acetate and propionate may owe to reasons such as differences in distributions of population characteristics associated with SCFA level and PE or type of PE (early vs late).

Current epidemiologic evidence, which derives only from case-control studies, suggests that SCFAs, particularly butyrate (protective), in pregnancy are related to the development of PE. Large-cohort studies are warranted to investigate the temporality and potential causality of these associations.

The Association Between Overall, Healthy, and Unhealthy Plant-Based Diet Index and Risk of Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies.

Nutrition Reviews

PROSPERO registration no. CRD42023459851.

The association between adherence to plant-based dietary pattern indices (PDIs), including the overall PDI (O-PDI), healthy PDI (H-PDI), and unhealthy PDI (U-PDI), and the risk of prediabetes and T2DM was investigated in this study.

According to a pooled analysis, compared with the lowest category of O-PDI and H-PDI adherence, the highest category was associated with a 14% and 19% reduction in T2DM risk, respectively, for O-PDI (effect size [ES] = 0.86; 95%CI, 0.82-0.90; I2 = 57.7) and H-PDI (ES = 0.81; 95%CI, 0.75-0.88; I2 = 82.6). Greater adherence to U-PDI was significantly associated with an 10% increase in the risk of T2DM (ES = 1.10; 95%CI, 1.04-1.16). Consistent associations were found within the predetermined subgroups. As well, there was a nonlinear inverse association between O-PDI, H-PDI, and T2DM risk. No significant association was found between adherence to O-PDI (ES = 0.87; 95%CI, 0.75-1.01; I2 = 68%), H-PDI (ES = 0.99; 95%CI, 0.87-1.13; I2 = 0.0%), and U-PDI (ES = 1.09; 95%CI, 0.94-1.21; I2 = 22.9%) and risk of prediabetes.

These findings underscore the importance of dietary selections within the framework of a plant-based dietary pattern, particularly when incorporating healthful, plant-based foods, which may have potential benefits in reducing the T2DM risk.

Nutrigenetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms of Maternal Nutrition-Induced Glucolipid Metabolism Changes in the Offspring.

Nutrition Reviews

Maternal nutrition during pregnancy regulates the offspring's metabolic homeostasis, including insulin sensitivity and the metabolism of glucose an...

Rethinking food policy framework to tackle childhood obesity in the Italian context.

Nutrition Reviews

Pediatric obesity has been described by the World Health Organization as 1 of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Projec...

Effect of Nuts on Anthropometric and Glycemic Indexes and Blood Pressure in Secondary Cardiovascular Prevention: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Nutrition Reviews

PROSPERO registration no. CRD42020163456.

This systematic review with meta-analysis assessed the effect of nut supplementation on anthropometric, glycemic, and blood pressure indices in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, as well as the frequency of adverse events.

From 5187 records identified, 6 publications containing data referring to 5 randomized clinical trials (n = 436) were included in the final analyses. The nuts evaluated were almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts, and mixed nuts, with portions that varied between 5 g and 85 g (median: 30 g/day). The intervention period varied between 6 and 12 weeks. The nuts had no effect on fasting glucose and anthropometric indices, although the certainty of the evidence for most of these outcomes was low or very low. They also had no effect on systolic (mean difference [MD]: -1.16 mmHg [95% CI, -5.68 to 3.35], I2 = 0%-moderate certainty of evidence) or diastolic (MD: 0.10 mmHg [95% CI, -2.30 to 2.51], I2 = 0%-high certainty of evidence) blood pressure. It was not possible to aggregate data on adverse events.

Nut supplementation had no effect on blood pressure, fasting glucose, or anthropometric profile in the context of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

The effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on muscle and whole-body protein synthesis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Nutrition Reviews

PROSPERO registration no. 42022366986.

The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the effectiveness of n-3 PUFA ingestion in stimulating rates of MPS and whole-body protein synthesis in healthy adults and clinical populations.

The main analysis indicated no effect of n-3 PUFA supplementation on MPS rates (k = 6; SMD: 0.03; 95%CI, -0.35 to 0.40; I2 = 30%; P = .89). Subgroup analysis based on age, n-3 PUFA dose, duration of supplementation, and method used to measure fractional synthetic rate also revealed no effect of n-3 PUFA ingestion on MPS. In contrast, the main analysis demonstrated an effect of n-3 PUFA ingestion on increasing whole-body protein synthesis rates (k = 3; SMD: 0.51; 95%CI, 0.12-0.90; I2 = 0%; P = .01).

n-3 PUFA ingestion augments the stimulation of whole-body protein synthesis rates in healthy adults and clinical populations.

Effects of marketing claims on toddler food products on parents' product preferences, perceptions and purchasing intentions: an online experiment.

International Journal of Epidemiology

The retail market for toddler-specific packaged foods is growing. Many of these products are ultra-processed and high in nutrients of concern for health, yet marketed in ways that may make them appear wholesome. This study aims to assess parents' responses to claims on unhealthy, ultra-processed toddler food products and test whether removing such claims promotes more accurate product perceptions and healthier product preferences.

Parents of toddlers aged 12 to < 36 months (N = 838) were recruited for an online experiment testing four on-pack claim conditions: control (no claim); 'contains "good" ingredient'; 'free from "bad" ingredient'; and unregulated 'child-related' claim. Participants were randomly assigned to one condition, then viewed images of toddler food products that varied in nutrition content and the claims displayed. Participants completed tasks assessing product preferences (unhealthy product displaying claim vs. a healthier option with no claim, across four food categories (banana bars, strawberry snacks, blueberry yogurt snacks and veggie snacks)), purchase intentions and product perceptions. Poisson regression (count variable) and linear regression (continuous outcomes) analyses were employed to test for mean differences by marketing claim conditions.

For the overall sample, brief exposure to 'free from "bad" ingredient' claims increased participant's intentions to purchase unhealthy food products for their toddlers, but there was no clear evidence that 'contains "good" ingredient' claims and 'child-related' claims significantly impacted parent's preferences, purchase intentions and perceptions of toddler foods. However, certain claims influenced particular parent subgroups. Notably, parents with three or more children chose more unhealthy products when these products displayed 'contains "good" ingredient' or 'free from "bad" ingredient' claims; the latter claims also promoted stronger purchase intentions and enhanced product perceptions among this subgroup.

Findings indicate that 'free from "bad" ingredient' claims on unhealthy toddler foods are of most concern, as they boost the appeal of these products to parents. 'Contains "good" ingredient' claims and 'child-related' claims showed limited effects in this study. Considering available evidence, we recommend claims should not be permitted on child-oriented foods, as they may promote inaccurate product perceptions and unhealthy product choices by parents, that can detract from their children's diets and health.

A systematic review on the associations between the built environment and adult's physical activity in global tropical and subtropical climate regions.

International Journal of Epidemiology

Physical inactivity is a major public health concern, exacerbated in countries with a (sub)tropical climate. The built environment can facilitate physical activity; however, current evidence is mainly from North American and European countries with activity-friendly climate conditions. This study explored associations between built environment features and physical activity in global tropical or subtropical dry or desert climate regions.

A systematic review of four major databases (Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, and SportDISCUS) was performed. To be included, studies had to investigate associations between perceived or objective built environment characteristics and adult's physical activity and had to be conducted in a location with (sub)tropical climate. Each investigated association was reported as one case and results were synthesized based upon perceived and objectively assessed environment characteristics as well as Western and non-Western countries. Study quality was evaluated using a tool designed for assessing studies on built environment and physical activity.

Eighty-four articles from 50 studies in 13 countries with a total of 2546 built environment-physical activity associations were included. Design (connectivity, walking/cycling infrastructure), desirability (aesthetics, safety), and destination accessibility were the built environment characteristics most frequently associated with physical activity across the domains active transport, recreational physical activity, total walking and cycling, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, particularly if multiple attributes were present at the same time. Very few studies assessed built environment attributes specifically relevant to physical activity in (sub)tropical climates. Most studies were conducted in Western countries, with results being largely comparable with non-Western countries. Findings were largely generalizable across gender and age groups. Results from natural experiments indicated that relocating to an activity-friendly neighborhood impacted sub-groups differently.

Built environment attributes, including destination accessibility, connectivity, walking and cycling infrastructure, safety, and aesthetics, are positively associated with physical activity in locations with (sub)tropical climate. However, few studies focus on built environment attributes specifically relevant in a hot climate, such as shade or indoor recreation options. Further, there is limited evidence from non-Western countries, where most of the urban population lives in (sub)tropical climates. Policy makers should focus on implementing activity-friendly environment attributes to create sustainable and climate-resilient cities.

Nutritional Challenges and Treatment After Bariatric Surgery.

RV Nutrition

Bariatric surgery is an important weight loss tool in individuals with severe obesity. It is currently the most effective long-term weight loss tre...

Promoting healthy school food environments and nutrition in Canada: a systematic review of interventions, policies, and programs.

Nutrition Reviews

PROSPERO registration no. CRD42022303255.

Literature on Canadian school food and nutrition interventions, policies, programs, and their effects on diets and nutritional status are synthesized and appraised in this systematic review.

A total of 298 articles were included (n = 192 peer reviewed and 106 from the grey literature), which were mostly conducted in Ontario (n = 52), British Columbia (n = 43), and Nova Scotia (n = 28). Twenty-four interventions, 5 nonevaluated programs, and 1 policy involved Indigenous populations. Overall, 86 articles measured and reported on effectiveness outcomes, including dietary intake; anthropometry; knowledge, attitudes, and practices; and physical activity. The literature remains largely heterogenous and primarily focused on nutrition education programs that use subjective assessments to infer changes in nutrition. A key facilitator to implementation and sustainability was community engagement, whereas key barriers were staff capacity, access to resources and funding, and consistent leadership.

This review provides insight into Canadian school food and nutrition interventions, programs, and policies and uncovers important evidence gaps that require careful examination for future evaluations. Governments must create supportive environments that optimize nutrition for children and adolescents through equitable policies and programs.

Mediterranean Diet and Mental Health in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review.

Nutrition Reviews

PROSPERO registration no. CRD42021276316.

This study aimed to investigate the association between adherence to an MD and mental health outcomes in children and adolescents.

A systematic literature review was conducted of original research that explored the relationship between psychiatric symptoms or disorders and adherence to an MD. The literature search was conducted on PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, MEDES, Dialnet, and Latindex from inception to November 2022, and the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used to evaluate the quality of studies.

A total of 13 studies (6 cross-sectional, 4 case-control, 2 randomized clinical trials, and 1 longitudinal cohort) out of 450 met the inclusion criteria. A total of 3058 children or adolescents with a mean age range from 8.6 to 16.2 years were included. Among the reviewed studies, 5 (71.42%) of those looking at attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, 4 (80%) examining depression, and 2 (50%) assessing anxiety found a significant protective association. Seven articles (53.84%) were found to be of high quality and 6 (46.15%) of moderate quality.

Adherence to an MD could be a protective factor for mental health in child and adolescent populations. This suggests that promoting an MD could help prevent the onset of clinical psychiatric symptoms, reduce symptom severity, and improve prognosis in young patients.

Nutrition, Other Environmental Influences, and Genetics in the Determination of Human Stature.

RV Nutrition

Linear growth during three distinct stages of life determines attained stature in adulthood: namely, in utero, early postnatal life, and puberty an...