Systematic Review on the Potential Effect of Berry Intake in the Cognitive Functions of Healthy People.
The increase in life expectancy poses health challenges, such as increasing the impairment of cognitive functions. Berries show a neuroprotective effect thanks to flavonoids, able to reduce neuroinflammatory and to increase neuronal connections. The aim of this systematic review is to explore the impact of berries supplementation on cognitive function in healthy adults and the elderly. Twelve studies were included for a total of 399 participants, aged 18-81 years (mean age: 41.8 ± 4.7 years). Six studies involved young adults (23.9 ± 3.7 years), and four studies involved the elderly (60.6 ± 6.4 years). Most studies investigated effects of a single berry product, but one used a mixture of 4 berries. Non-significant differences were detected across cognition domains and methodologies, but significant and positive effects were found for all cognitive domains (attention and concentration, executive functioning, memory, motor skills and construction, and processing speed), and in most cases they were present in more than one study and detected using different methodologies. Although some limitations should be taken into account to explain these results, the positive findings across studies and methodologies elicit further studies on this topic, to endorse the consumption of berries in healthy populations to prevent cognitive decline.
Ultra-processed foods and obesity and adiposity parameters among children and adolescents: a systematic review.
European journal of nutrition. 2022
Plain language summary
Ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are mostly or entirely lacking whole foods and fibre and are often high in fat sugar and salt. The consumption of UPFs may be linked to obesity in adolescents and this systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to synthesis the current research investigating this link. The results showed that over the long-term, the consumption of UPFs was associated with obesity, abdominal obesity, and increased body mass index in children. It was concluded that the long-term consumption of UPFs negatively impacts body composition in children and adolescents. This study could be used by healthcare professionals to understand the importance of dietary advice recommending whole foods with limited or no processed foods for the healthy body development of children.
PURPOSE According to the NOVA classification, ultra-processed foods are products made through physical, biological and chemical processes and typically with multiple ingredients and additives, in which whole foods are mostly or entirely absent. From a nutritional point of view, they are typically energy-dense foods high in fat, sugar, and salt and low in fiber. The association between the consumption of ultra-processed food and obesity and adiposity measurements has been established in adults. However, the situation remains unclear in children and adolescents. METHODS We carried out a systematic review, in which we summarize observational studies investigating the association between the consumption of ultra-processed food, as defined by NOVA classification, and obesity and adiposity parameters among children and adolescents. A literature search was performed using PUBMED and Web of Science databases for relevant articles published prior to May 2021. RESULTS Ten studies, five longitudinal and five cross-sectional, mainly conducted in Brazil, were included in this review. Four longitudinal studies in children with a follow-up longer than 4 years found a positive association between the consumption of ultra-processed food and obesity and adiposity parameters, whereas cross-sectional studies failed to find an association. CONCLUSION These data suggest that a consistent intake of ultra-processed foods over time is needed to impact nutritional status and body composition of children and adolescents. Further well-designed prospective studies worldwide are needed to confirm these findings considering country-related differences in dietary habits and food production technologies.
Patients with Severe Obesity during the COVID-19 Pandemic: How to Maintain an Adequate Multidisciplinary Nutritional Rehabilitation Program?
Obesity facts. 2021;(2):205-213
BACKGROUND The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading all over the world, particularly in developed countries where obesity is also widespread. There is a high frequency of increased BMI in patients admitted to intensive care for SARS-CoV-2 infection with a major severity in patients with an excess of visceral adiposity. Patients at risk of severe SARS-CoV-2 acute respiratory syndrome are characterised by the high prevalence of pre-existing diseases (high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer), most of them typically present in severely obese patients. Indeed, the biological role of adipose tissue in sustaining SARS-CoV-2 infection is not completely elucidated. SUMMARY The forced isolation due to pandemic containment measures abruptly interrupted the rehabilitation programs to which many patients with severe obesity were enrolled. People affected by obesity, and especially those with severe obesity, should continue clinical rehabilitation programs, taking extra measures to avoid COVID-19 infection and reinforcing the adoption of preventive procedures. In this review, the available data on obesity and COVID-19 are discussed along with evidence-based strategies for maintaining the necessary continuous rehabilitation programs. Key Messages: Greater attention is needed for obese and severely obese patients in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic, which represents a huge challenge for both patients and healthcare professionals. The adoption of new strategies to guarantee adequate and continuous multidisciplinary nutritional rehabilitation programs will be crucial to control the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in high-risk populations as well as the worsening of obesity-linked complications. Health authorities should be urged to equip hospitals with tools for the diffusion of telemedicine to maintain physician-patient communication, which is fundamental in chronic and complicated obese patients.
Growth patterns in children with spinal muscular atrophy.
Orphanet journal of rare diseases. 2021;(1):375
BACKGROUND Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by muscle atrophy and weakness. SMA type 1 (SMA1) is the most severe form: affected infants are unable to sit unaided; SMA type 2 (SMA2) children can sit, but are not able to walk independently. The Standards of Care has improved quality of life and the increasing availability of disease-modifying treatments is progressively changing the natural history; so, the clinical assessment of nutritional status has become even more crucial. Aims of this multicenter study were to present the growth pattern of treatment-naïve SMA1 and SMA2, and to compare it with the general growth standards. RESULTS Body Weight (BW, kg) and Supine Length (SL, cm) were collected using a published standardized procedure. SMA-specific growth percentiles curves were developed and compared to the WHO reference data. We recruited 133 SMA1 and 82 SMA2 (48.8% females). Mean ages were 0.6 (0.4-1.6) and 4.1 (2.1-6.7) years, respectively. We present here a set of disease-specific percentiles curves of BW, SL, and BMI-for-age for girls and boys with SMA1 and SMA2. These curves show that BW is significantly lower in SMA than healthy peers, while SL is more variable. BMI is also typically lower in both sexes and at all ages. CONCLUSIONS These data on treatment-naïve patients point toward a better understanding of growth in SMA and could be useful to improve the clinical management and to assess the efficacy of the available and forthcoming therapies not only on motor function, but also on growth.
Predictive fat mass equations for spinal muscular atrophy type I children: Development and internal validation.
Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland). 2021;(4):1578-1587
BACKGROUND Body composition assessment is paramount for spinal muscular atrophy type I (SMA I) patients, as weight and BMI have proven to be misleading for these patients. Despite its importance, no disease-specific field method is currently available, and the assessment of body composition of SMA I patients requires reference methods available only in specialized settings. OBJECTIVE To develop predictive fat mass equations for SMA I children based on simple measurements, and compare existing equations to the new disease-specific equations. DESIGN Demographic, clinical and anthropometric data were examined as potential predictors of the best candidate response variable and non-linear relations were taken into account by transforming continuous predictors with restricted cubic splines. Alternative models were fitted including all the dimensions revealed by cluster analysis of the predictors. The best models were then internally validated, quantifying optimism of the obtained performance measures. The contribution of nusinersen treatment to the unexplained variability of the final models was also tested. RESULTS A total of 153 SMA I patients were included in the study, as part of a longitudinal observational study in SMA children conducted at the International Center for the Assessment of Nutritional Status (ICANS), University of Milan. The sample equally represented both sexes (56% females) and a wide age range (from 3 months to 12 years, median 1.2 years). Four alternative models performed equally in predicting fat mass fraction (fat mass/body weight). The most convenient was selected and further presented. The selected model uses as predictors sex, age, calf circumference and the sum of triceps, suprailiac and calf skinfold thicknesses. The model showed high predictive ability (optimism corrected coefficient of determination, R2 = 0.72) and internal validation indicated little optimism both in performance measures and model calibration. The addition of nusinersen as a predictor variable did not improve the prediction. The disease-specific equation was more accurate than the available fat mass equations. CONCLUSIONS The developed prediction model allows the assessment of body composition in SMA I children with simple and widely available measures and with reasonable accuracy.
The PURPLE N study: objective and perceived nutritional status in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.
Disability and rehabilitation. 2021;:1-8
PURPOSE To obtain information on characteristics, management, current objective nutritional status and perception of nutritional status of children with cerebral palsy (CP) from healthcare professionals (HCPs) and caregivers. MATERIALS AND METHODS A detailed survey of several items on eight main topics (general characteristics, motor function, comorbidities, therapies, anthropometry, feeding mode and problems and perceived nutritional status) was developed and tested for the study. Correlation between nutritional status and Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels was assessed using continuous variables (Z-scores for weight-for-age, height-for-age, weight-for-height, and body mass index-for-age), and categorical variables (being malnourished, stunted, or wasted). HCP and caregiver perceptions of the child's nutritional status as well as agreement between perceived and objective nutritional status and agreement between perceived nutritional status and concerns about the nutritional status were analyzed. RESULTS Data were available for 497 participants from eight European countries. Poorer nutritional status was associated with higher (more severe) GMFCS levels. There was minimal agreement between perceived and objective nutritional status, both for HCPs and caregivers. Agreement between HCP and caregiver perceptions of the child's nutritional status was weak (weighted kappa 0.56). However, the concerns about the nutritional status of the child were in line with the perceived nutritional status. CONCLUSIONS The risk of poor nutritional status is associated with more severe disability in children and adolescents with CP. There is a mismatch between HCP and caregiver perceptions of participants' nutritional status as well as between subjective and objective nutritional status. Our data warrant the use of a simple and objective screening tool in daily practice to determine nutritional status in children and adolescents with CP. Clinical trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03499288 (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03499288). IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONUse of the ESPGHAN recommendations and simple screening tools in daily practice is needed to improve nutritional care for individuals with CP.Attention should be paid to the differences in the perception of nutritional status of individuals with CP between professionals and caregivers to improve appropriate referral for nutritional support.Objective measures rather than the professional's perception need to be used to define the nutritional status of individuals with CP.
Exercise training alone or in combination with high-protein diet in patients with late onset Pompe disease: results of a cross over study.
Orphanet journal of rare diseases. 2020;(1):143
BACKGROUND Late onset Pompe disease (LOPD) is a lysosomal neuromuscular disorder which can progressively impair the patients' exercise tolerance, motor and respiratory functions, and quality of life. The available enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) does not completely counteract disease progression. We investigated the effect of exercise training alone, or associated with a high-protein diet, on the exercise tolerance, muscle and pulmonary functions, and quality of life of LOPD patients on long term ERT. METHODS The patients were asked to participate to a crossover randomized study comprehending a control period (free diet, no exercise) followed by 2 intervention periods: exercise or exercise + diet, each lasting 26 weeks and separated by 13 weeks washout periods. Exercise training included moderate-intensity aerobic exercise on a cycle ergometer, stretching and balance exercises, strength training. The diet was composed by 25-30% protein, 30-35% carbohydrate and 35-40% fat. Before and after each period patients were assessed for: exercise tolerance test on a cycle-ergometer, serum muscle enzymes, pulmonary function tests and SF36 questionnaire for quality of life. Compliance was evaluated by training and dietary diaries. Patients were contacted weekly by researchers to optimize adherence to treatments. RESULTS Thirteen LOPD patients, median age 49 ± 11 years, under chronic ERT (median 6.0 ± 4.0 years) were recruited. Peak aerobic power (peak pulmonary O2 uptake) decreased after control, whereas it increased after exercise, and more markedlyafter exercise + diet. Serum levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) significantly decreased after exercise + diet; both creatine kinase (CK) and LDH levels were significantly reduced after exercise + diet compared to exercise. Pulmonary function showed no changes after control and exercise, whereas a significant improvement of forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1) was observed after exercise + diet. SF36 showed a slight improvement in the "mental component" scale after exercise, and a significant improvement in "general health" and "vitality" after exercise + diet. The compliance to prescriptions was higher than 70% for both diet and exercise. CONCLUSIONS Exercise tolerance (as evaluated by peak aerobic power) showed a tendency to decrease in LOPD patients on long term ERT. Exercise training, particularly if combined with high-protein diet, could reverse this decrease and result in an improvement, which was accompanied by improved quality of life. The association of the two lifestyle interventions resulted also in a reduction of muscle enzyme levels and improved pulmonary function.
Predictive energy equations for spinal muscular atrophy type I children.
The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2020;(5):983-996
BACKGROUND Knowledge on resting energy expenditure (REE) in spinal muscular atrophy type I (SMAI) is still limited. The lack of a population-specific REE equation has led to poor nutritional support and impairment of nutritional status. OBJECTIVE To identify the best predictors of measured REE (mREE) among simple bedside parameters, to include these predictors in population-specific equations, and to compare such models with the common predictive equations. METHODS Demographic, clinical, anthropometric, and treatment variables were examined as potential predictors of mREE by indirect calorimetry (IC) in 122 SMAI children consecutively enrolled in an ongoing longitudinal observational study. Parameters predicting REE were identified, and prespecified linear regression models adjusted for nusinersen treatment (discrete: 0 = no; 1 = yes) were used to develop predictive equations, separately in spontaneously breathing and mechanically ventilated patients. RESULTS In naïve patients, the median (25th, 75th percentile) mREE was 480 (412, 575) compared with 394 (281, 554) kcal/d in spontaneously breathing and mechanically ventilated patients, respectively (P = 0.009).In nusinersen-treated patients, the median (25th, 75th percentile) mREE was 609 (592, 702) compared with 639 (479, 723) kcal/d in spontaneously breathing and mechanically ventilated patients, respectively (P = 0.949).Both in spontaneously breathing and mechanically ventilated patients, the best prediction of REE was obtained from 3 models, all using as predictors: 1 body size related measurement and nusinersen treatment status. Nusinersen treatment was correlated with higher REE both in spontaneously breathing and mechanically ventilated patients. The population-specific equations showed a lower interindividual variability of the bias than the other equation tested, however, they showed a high root mean squared error. CONCLUSIONS We demonstrated that ventilatory status, nusinersen treatment, demographic, and anthropometric characteristics determine energy requirements in SMAI. Our SMAI-specific equations include variables available in clinical practice and were generally more accurate than previously published equations. At the individual level, however, IC is strongly recommended for assessing energy requirements. Further research is needed to externally validate these predictive equations.
Glucose transporter 1 deficiency syndrome: nutritional and growth pattern phenotypes at diagnosis.
European journal of clinical nutrition. 2020;(9):1290-1298
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES Glucose Transporter 1 Deficiency Syndrome (GLUT1-DS; OMIM #606777) is a rare disease caused by dominant mutations in SLC2A1 encoding GLUT1, which is a ubiquitous transporter of glucose across plasma membranes, particularly across the blood-brain barrier. Hypoglycorrhachia symptoms are the cornerstones of GLUT1-DS, but delayed growth has also been suggested. This led us to investigate, at diagnosis, the relationship between the glycemia/glycorrhachia ratio and the nutritional and growth pattern phenotype of 30 GLUT-DS patients. SUBJECTS/METHODS An assessment was made of body weight (BW), body length/height (BL, BH) and body composition by anthropometry and DEXA, and the results put with BL and BW at birth, genetic target, glycemia, insulinemia, and glycorrhachia values. RESULTS At birth, 21% of patients had a BW below -1.645 z-score, whereas no patients had BL below the reference values. At diagnosis 23% of the patients had an impaired nutritional status, 19.2% and 3.8% being respectively underweight and overweight/obese; 10%, all under 10 years old, had BL/BH below -1.645 z-score, with no specific features related to body composition. Finally, there was no association between glycemia, glycorrhachia, and growth phenotype. CONCLUSIONS GLUT1-DS is associated with impaired BW but not BL intrauterine growth, with a slower than normal pattern of growth rather than growth failure. These data could be useful for the interpretation of any long-term effects of the ketogenic diet, e.g. nutritional and growth pattern decline.
Is Abdominal Fat Distribution Associated with Chronotype in Adults Independently of Lifestyle Factors?
Both abdominal obesity and its visceral component are independently associated with cardiometabolic diseases. Among the non-modifiable and modifiable determinants, lifestyle plays a central role, while chronotype is an emerging factor. Evening type (E-Type), more active and efficient in the last part of the day, has been associated with a health-impairing style, resulting in a higher risk of obesity and cardiometabolic diseases than morning type (M-Type). However, no study has examined the contribution of chronotype to abdominal fat distribution, even considering adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD). We conducted a cross-sectional study on 416 adults (69.5% females, 50 ± 13 years). Waist circumference (WC), visceral fat (VAT) using ultrasonography, chronotype through the reduced Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (rMEQ), and adherence to MD were studied. Our results showed no differences in WC and VAT between chronotypes. However, adherence to MD resulted significantly lower in the E-Types compared to M-Types. WC decreased with increasing Mediterranean score and rMEQ score, and VAT decreased with increasing rMEQ score, indicating that E-Types have +2 cm of WC and +0.5 cm of VAT compared to M-Types. In conclusion, these results showed that chronotype is independently associated with abdominal obesity and visceral fat, underlining the potential implications of the individual circadian typology on abdominal obesity.