ObjectiveAgeing is accompanied by deterioration of multiple bodily functions and inflammation, which collectively contribute to frailty. We and others have shown that frailty co-varies with alterations in the gut microbiota in a manner accelerated by consumption of a restricted diversity diet. The Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) is associated with health. In the NU-AGE project, we investigated if a 1-year MedDiet intervention could alter the gut microbiota and reduce frailty.DesignWe profiled the gut microbiota in 612 non-frail or pre-frail subjects across five European countries (UK, France, Netherlands, Italy and Poland) before and after the administration of a 12-month long MedDiet intervention tailored to elderly subjects (NU-AGE diet).ResultsAdherence to the diet was associated with specific microbiome alterations. Taxa enriched by adherence to the diet were positively associated with several markers of lower frailty and improved cognitive function, and negatively associated with inflammatory markers including C-reactive protein and interleukin-17. Analysis of the inferred microbial metabolite profiles indicated that the diet-modulated microbiome change was associated with an increase in short/branch chained fatty acid production and lower production of secondary bile acids, p-cresols, ethanol and carbon dioxide. Microbiome ecosystem network analysis showed that the bacterial taxa that responded positively to the MedDiet intervention occupy keystone interaction positions, whereas frailty-associated taxa are peripheral in the networks.ConclusionCollectively, our findings support the feasibility of improving the habitual diet to modulate the gut microbiota which in turn has the potential to promote healthier ageing.
A multidisciplinary Tier 3 weight management service in primary care recruited patients with a body mass index ≥40 kg·m−2, or 30 kg·m−2 with obesity-related co-morbidity to a 1-year programme. A cohort of 230 participants was recruited and evaluated using the National Obesity Observatory Standard Evaluation Framework. The primary outcome was weight loss of at least 5% of baseline weight at 12 months. Diet was assessed using the two-item food frequency questionnaire, activity using the General Practice Physical Activity questionnaire and quality of life using the EuroQol-5D-5L questionnaire. A focus group explored the participants' experiences. Baseline mean weight was 124.4 kg and mean body mass index was 44.1 kg·m−2. A total of 102 participants achieved 5% weight loss at 12 months. The mean weight loss was 10.2 kg among the 117 participants who completed the 12-month programme. Baseline observation carried forward analysis gave a mean weight loss of 5.9 kg at 12 months. Fruit and vegetable intake, activity level and quality of life all improved. The dropout rate was 14.3% at 6 months and 45.1% at 1 year. Focus group participants described high levels of satisfaction. It was possible to deliver a Tier 3 weight management service for obese patients with complex co-morbidity in a primary care setting with a full multidisciplinary team, which obtained good health outcomes compared with existing services.
These data, which include direct measures of arterial stiffness and thickness, suggest that higher intake of anthocyanins and flavones are inversely associated with lower arterial stiffness. The intakes of anthocyanins associated with these findings could be incorporated into the diet by the consumption of 1-2 portions of berries daily and are, therefore, relevant for public health strategies to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
Background Anthocyanin-rich blueberry intake is associated with reduced type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in prospective studies, although long-term randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have not been conducted in at-risk populations. Objective In the longest-duration RCT to date, we examined the effect of 6-mo blueberry intake on insulin resistance and cardiometabolic function in metabolic syndrome. Methods A double-blind, parallel RCT (n = 115; age 63 ± 7 y; 68% male; body mass index 31.2 ± 3.0 kg/m2) was conducted, which fed 2 dietarily achievable blueberry intakes [equivalent to 1/2 and 1 cup/d (75/150 g)] compared with matched placebo. Insulin resistance was assessed via the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (primary endpoint) and confirmed by [6-6-2H2]-glucose-labeled, 2-step hyperinsulinemic clamp (n = 20). Clinically relevant cardiometabolic endpoints [including flow-mediated dilatation, augmentation index, lipoprotein status (by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy), and nitric oxide (NO)-related metabolite assay] and anthocyanin metabolism were assessed. Results A daily intake of 1 cup of blueberries improved endothelial function (flow-mediated dilatation: +1.45%; 95% CI: 0.83%, 2.1%; P = 0.003), systemic arterial stiffness (augmentation index: –2.24%; 95% CI: –3.97%, –0.61%; P = 0.04) and attenuated cyclic guanosine monophosphate concentrations. In statin nonusers (n = 71), elevated high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (+0.08 mmol/L; P = 0.03), high-density lipoprotein particle density (+0.48n, ×10–6; P = 0.002) and apolipoprotein A-I (+0.05 g/L; P = 0.01) concentrations were observed following the 1-cup/d intervention. Treatment compliance was 94.1% (wrapper returns) and total concentrations of anthocyanin-derived phenolic acid metabolites significantly increased, dose-dependently, in serum and 24-h urine (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively). Insulin resistance, pulse wave velocity, blood pressure, NO, and overall plasma thiol status were unaffected. Likewise, a half cup per day had no effect on any biomarkers. Conclusions Despite insulin resistance remaining unchanged we show, to our knowledge, the first sustained improvements in vascular function, lipid status, and underlying NO bioactivity following 1 cup blueberries/d. With effect sizes predictive of 12–15% reductions in CVD risk, blueberries should be included in dietary strategies to reduce individual and population CVD risk. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02035592.
Reduced gut microbiome diversity is associated with multiple disorders including metabolic syndrome (MetS) features, though metabolomic markers have not been investigated. Our objective was to identify blood metabolite markers of gut microbiome diversity, and explore their relationship with dietary intake and MetS. We examined associations between Shannon diversity and 292 metabolites profiled by the untargeted metabolomics provider Metabolon Inc. in 1529 females from TwinsUK using linear regressions adjusting for confounders and multiple testing (Bonferroni: P < 1.71 × 10−4). We replicated the top results in an independent sample of 420 individuals as well as discordant identical twin pairs and explored associations with self-reported intakes of 20 food groups. Longitudinal changes in circulating levels of the top metabolite, were examined for their association with food intake at baseline and with MetS at endpoint. Five metabolites were associated with microbiome diversity and replicated in the independent sample. Higher intakes of fruit and whole grains were associated with higher levels of hippurate cross-sectionally and longitudinally. An increasing hippurate trend was associated with reduced odds of having MetS (OR: 0.795[0.082]; P = 0.026). These data add further weight to the key role of the microbiome as a potential mediator of the impact of dietary intake on metabolic status and health.
Although laboratory data suggest that several flavonoid subclasses are involved in glucose metabolism, limited clinical and epidemiologic data are available. The current study examined associations between habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses, insulin resistance, and related inflammatory biomarkers. In a cross-sectional study of 1997 females aged 18-76 y, intakes of total flavonoids and their subclasses (flavanones, anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, polymeric flavonoids, flavonols, flavones) were calculated from food frequency questionnaires using an extended USDA database. Fasting serum glucose, insulin, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP; n = 1432), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (n = 843), and adiponectin (n = 1452) concentrations were measured. In multivariable analyses, higher anthocyanin and flavone intake were associated with significantly lower peripheral insulin resistance [homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance; quintile 5 (Q5) to Q1 = -0.1, P-trend = 0.04 for anthocyanins and flavones] as a result of a decrease in insulin concentrations (Q5-Q1 = -0.7 μU/mL, P-trend = 0.02 anthocyanins; Q5-Q1 = -0.5 μU/mL, P-trend = 0.02 flavones). Higher anthocyanin intake was also associated with lower hs-CRP concentrations (Q5-Q1 = -0.3 mg/L, P-trend = 0.04), whereas those in the highest quintile of flavone intake had improved adiponectin concentrations (Q5-Q1 = 0.7 μg/L, P-trend = 0.01). Anthocyanin-rich foods were also associated with lower insulin and inflammation levels. No significant associations were observed for total or other flavonoid subclasses. Higher intakes of both anthocyanins and flavones were associated with improvements in insulin resistance and hs-CRP. These associations were found with intakes readily achieved in the diet. The observed reduction in insulin concentrations was similar to that reported previously for other lifestyle factors. Dose-response trials are needed to ascertain optimal intakes for the potential reduction of type 2 diabetes risk.
There is a growing body of research examining the disclosure of sexual assault. But the focus on time to first disclosure does not capture the whole picture. Survivors also differ in how long they continue to disclose, to whom they disclose, and the types of reactions received during disclosure. To provide a more comprehensive view of disclosure, this study sought to identify patterns of disclosure among a sample of 103 female sexual assault survivors recruited from the community. This study also sought to identify characteristics of each disclosure pattern, differences in how each disclosure pattern tends to unfold (e.g., who is told and how they react), and differences in how these disclosure patterns are related to physical and mental health outcomes. Results revealed four distinct disclosure patterns: nondisclosers, slow starters, crisis disclosers, and ongoing disclosers. Assault characteristics and rape acknowledgment distinguished nondisclosers and slow starters from the other two disclosure groups. Slow starters were also less likely to disclose to police and medical personnel and received negative reactions less frequently while nondisclosers experienced more symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress than other groups. Implications of these findings for future research and practice are discussed.
HighlightsIron-deficiency anaemia is relatively common in old age.It is mainly caused by an inadequate diet and the presence of inflammation.It leads to a decline in physical performance, increased risk of falling, and depression.High dose iron supplements may have adverse effects.Iron status is difficult to measure in elderly people and there are no universally agreed ‘cut-off’ values.
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