Cobalamin is an essential molecule for humans. It acts as a cofactor in one-carbon transfers through methylation and molecular rearrangement. These functions take place in fatty acid, amino acid and nucleic acid metabolic pathways. The deficiency of vitamin B12 is clinically manifested in the blood and nervous system where the cobalamin plays a key role in cell replication and in fatty acid metabolism. Hypovitaminosis arises from inadequate absorption, from genetic defects that alter transport through the body, or from inadequate intake as a result of diet. With the growing adoption of vegetarian eating styles in Western countries, there is growing focus on whether diets that exclude animal foods are adequate. Since food availability in these countries is not a problem, and therefore plant foods are sufficiently adequate, the most delicate issue remains the contribution of cobalamin, which is poorly represented in plants. In this review, we will discuss the status of vitamin B12 among vegetarians, the diagnostic markers for the detection of cobalamin deficiency and appropriate sources for sufficient intake, through the description of the features and functions of vitamin B12 and its absorption mechanism.
Thyroid hemiagenesis prevalence was studied by neck ultrasound examination in 24,032 unselected 11- to 14-yr-old schoolchildren from southeastern Sicily. Twelve cases of thyroid hemiagenesis were identified, with a prevalence of 0.05%. The female to male ratio was 1:1.4. Thyroid hemiagenesis was always due to the absence (11 cases) or severe hypoplasia (1 case) of the left lobe. The hemiagenetic thyroid volume was within the normal total thyroid volume range normalized to age in 4 of 12 cases, enlarged in 3, and significantly reduced in 5. Thyroid function (thyroid hormones and TSH, both basal and 30 min after administration of 200 micro g TRH, iv) was evaluated in 9 of 12 children and was always within the normal range. However, children with thyroid hemiagenesis had an average serum TSH significantly higher than that of 18 matched controls (2.8 +/- 0.6 vs. 1.9 +/- 0.5 mU/liter; P < 0.001). This study confirms that thyroid hemiagenesis is nearly always due to left lobe defect, and that its prevalence is similar to the cumulative prevalence of thyroid agenesis and ectopia. Compensatory hypertrophy of the residual thyroid lobe occurs in most, but not all, cases and is due to thyroid tissue overstimulation by TSH. The high risk of goiter and hypothyroidism suggests systematic follow-up of all identified cases of thyroid hemiagenesis.
Background: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) have demonstrated a lot of important effects in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism and in the correct functioning of adipose tissue. Recently, many studies have evaluated a possible effect of PPARs on tumor cells. The purpose of this review is to describe the effects of PPARs, their action and their future prospective; Methods: Narrative review aimed to synthesize cutting-edge evidence retrieved from searches of computerized databases; Results: PPARs play a key role in metabolic diseases, which include several cardiovascular diseases, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, impaired immunity and the increasing risk of cancer; in particular, PPARα and PPARβ/δ mainly enable energy combustion, while PPARγ contributes to energy storage by enhancing adipogenesis; Conclusion: PPAR agonists could represent interesting types of molecules that can treat not only metabolic diseases, but also inflammation and cancer. Additional research is needed for the identification of high-affinity, high-specificity agonists for the treatment of obesity, type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and other metabolic diseases. Further studies are needed also to elucidate the role of PPARs in cancer.
Fluconazole susceptibility among 800 clinical Candida isolates (60% C. albicans) and two control strains (C. krusei ATCC 6258 and C. parapsilosis ATCC 22019) was tested with the NCCLS M27-A method (gold standard) and six commercial products (Candifast, disk, Etest, Fungitest, Integral System Yeasts, and Sensititre YeastOne). Results were classified as susceptible, susceptible-dose dependent, or resistant using M27-A breakpoints or, for Fungitest, Integral System Yeasts, and Candifast, as susceptible, intermediate, or resistant, according to the manufacturers' instructions. Concordance with NCCLS M27-A results was analyzed with the 2 test. Intra-and interlaboratory reproducibility was also evaluated. NCCLS M27-A (90.1%), Etest (93.1%), Sensititre YeastOne (93.1%), disk (96.7%), Fungitest (92.6%), Integral System Yeasts (40.6%), and Candifast (6.0%) classified the indicated percentages of C. albicans isolates as susceptible. Among non-C. albicans strains, the percentages of susceptible isolates were as follows: NCCLS M27-A, 74.0%; Etest, 83.8%; Sensititre YeastOne, 64.1%; disk, 60.6%; Fungitest, 76.6%; Integral System Yeasts, 28.3%; and Candifast, 27.4%. All methods except Candifast and Integral System Yeasts showed good agreement with NCCLS M27-A results for both C albicans and non-C. albicans isolates. Intralaboratory reproducibility was excellent for NCCLS M27-A, Etest, Sensititre YeastOne, disk, and Fungitest (88 to 91%). Similar results emerged from the interlaboratory reproducibility evaluation. Our findings indicate that some commercial methods can be useful for fluconazole susceptibility testing of clinical Candida isolates. Those characterized by a lack of medium standardization and/or objective interpretative criteria should be avoided. Particular caution is necessary when testing is being done for clinical and epidemiological purposes.
The prevalence of obesity and metabolic diseases (such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidaemia, and cardiovascular diseases) has increased in the last decade, in both industrialized and developing countries. This also coincided with our observation of a similar increase in the prevalence of cancers. The aetiology of these diseases is very complex and involves genetic, nutritional, and environmental factors. Much evidence indicates the central role undertaken by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) in the development of these disorders. Due to the fact that their ligands could become crucial in future target-therapies, PPARs have therefore become the focal point of much research. Based on this evidence, this narrative review was written with the purpose of outlining the effects of PPARs, their actions, and their prospective uses in metabolic diseases and cancers.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by chronical anovulation and hyperandrogenism which may be present in a different degree of severity. Insulin-resistance and hyperinsulinemia are the main physiopathological basis of this syndrome and the failure of inositol-mediated signaling may concur to them. Myo (MI) and D-chiro-inositol (DCI), the most studied inositol isoforms, are classified as insulin sensitizers. In form of glycans, DCI-phosphoglycan and MI-phosphoglycan control key enzymes were involved in glucose and lipid metabolism. In form of phosphoinositides, they play an important role as second messengers in several cellular biological functions. Considering the key role played by insulin-resistance and androgen excess in PCOS patients, the insulin-sensitizing effects of both MI and DCI were tested in order to ameliorate symptoms and signs of this syndrome, including the possibility to restore patients' fertility. Accumulating evidence suggests that both isoforms of inositol are effective in improving ovarian function and metabolism in patients with PCOS, although MI showed the most marked effect on the metabolic profile, whereas DCI reduced hyperandrogenism better. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on inositol signaling and correlate data on biological functions of these multifaceted molecules, in view of a rational use for the therapy in women with PCOS.
Appropriate use of real-time continuous glucose monitoring improved glycometabolic control in T1D patients. The effects of continuous glucose monitoring were more evident in patients under multiple daily insulin treatment, compared with insulin pump therapy. Glucose variability, in addition to glycaemic control, was improved in compliant diabetic patients.
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