The use of dietary supplements (DSs) has been steadily increasing all over the world and additionally, the sales of DSs have dynamical increased in the wake of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in most of the countries. We investigated DSs phenomenon in 2020 through (1) exploration of Google searches worldwide and in Poland (with Google Trends (GT) tool), and (2) analyses of results of PLifeCOVID-19 Online Studies conducted during the first and second wave of the pandemic. The conducted GT analysis and cross-sectional studies revealed that during the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, the interest in immune-related compounds and foods like vitamins C and D, zinc, omega-3, garlic, ginger, or turmeric, as well as their consumption increased. Improving immunity was the main reason behind the supplementation and changes in consumption of pro-healthy foods. GT analysis has shown these interests were positively correlated with the interest in COVID-19, but adversely with cumulative cases or deaths. Respondents tended to start supplementation during the first COVID-19 wave rather than the second one. Except for the role of vitamins D and C, zinc, and selenium in patients with deficiencies of those nutrients, there are no clear and convincing studies that support the role of DSs use in COVID-19 prevention and treatment in healthy, well-nourished individuals. Moreover, as the risk of elevated intake of some nutrients due to the popularity of DSs exists, effective education of consumers in rationale use of DSs and health-protecting behaviors against COVID-19 should be developed.
There is limited information on the relationships between restrictions linked to COVID-19 and changes in body weight. The aim of the study was to identify the body weight changes and their determinants in the nutritional and socio-demographic context during the COVID-19 pandemic in Polish women. During lockdown in Poland, 34% of women gained weight, while 18% of women reduced weight. As many as 44% of women with obesity before the pandemic increased their body weight, and 74% of women that were underweight reduced their body weight. In a group with weight gain, women increased their body weight by 2.8 kg on average and around 65% of them increased their total food intake. Unhealthy dietary changes and the negative lifestyle changes that comprised of an increase in screen time and a decrease in physical activity were found as key factors associated with weight gain. A higher risk of weight gain was associated with being obese before the pandemic or living in a macroeconomic region >50% of EU-28 GDP, while those younger in age and carrying out remote work had a higher chance of weight loss. Concluding, the specific conditions during lockdown worsened the nutritional status, which may increase the risk of complicatedness and mortality from COVID-19. It seems advisable to create dietary and lifestyle recommendations tailored to the individual needs of women who are underweight or have excessive body weight. More attention should be paid also to environmental impacts. Both, the reduction of excessive body weight and the maintenance of a normal weight should be based on the principle to eat and live sustainably and healthily.
There is growing evidence that bone health may be programmed in the first years of life. Factors during the prenatal period, especially maternal nutrition, may have an influence on offspring’s skeletal development and thus the risk of osteoporosis in further life, which is an increasing societal, health and economic burden. However, it is still inconclusive which early life factors are the most important and to what extent they may affect bone health. We searched through three databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, Cochrane Library) and after eligibility criteria were met, the results of 49 articles were analyzed. This narrative review is an overall summary of up-to-date studies on maternal diet, nutritional status, and birth-related factors that may affect offspring bone development, particularly bone mineral density (BMD). Maternal vitamin D status and diet in pregnancy, anthropometry and birth weight seem to influence BMD, however other factors such as subsequent growth may mediate these associations. Due to the ambiguity of the results in the analyzed studies, future, well-designed studies are needed to address the limitations of the present study.
Early nutrition plays a crucial role not only in providing essential nutrients for proper child development, but may also be an important step in creating desirable eating behaviors, which can be transmitted into adulthood. The aim of this study was to assess possible links between early feeding factors, such as breastfeeding, complementary feeding (timing and method) as well as types of complementary foods and mealtime environment during the first three months of complementary feeding and eating behaviors in children aged 1–3 years old. This cross-sectional, online survey involved 467 mothers of toddlers aged 1–3 years old from the whole of Poland. The questionnaire consisted of questions about early feeding and the Children’s Eating Behavior Questionnaire (CEBQ). The adjusted linear regression model revealed that longer duration of any breastfeeding was negatively related to enjoyment of food (EF), desire to drink (DD) and positively related to satiety responsiveness (SR) and slowness in eating (SE) subscales. Moreover, offering homemade complementary foods more often than commercial may be related to higher SR. Eating meals during distraction seems to be negatively associated with EF, and positively with DD and SE subscales. Our study highlights possible links between early feeding factors and toddlers’ eating behaviors, so further investigation, also including dietary factors, is needed.
Previous studies provided contradictory results regarding the influence of maternal, seasonal, and infant factors on breastmilk cortisol, and its associations with breastmilk composition and infant development. This study aimed to assess breastmilk cortisol levels at the first, third, and sixth months of lactation and evaluate the associations with maternal psychosocial, seasonal, and infant factors, breastmilk composition, and infant anthropometric and psychomotor development and temperament. Cortisol concentrations were assessed by ELISA in 24 h breastmilk samples obtained from 38 healthy mothers. Maternal psychological status was assessed by EPDS and PSS-10 and infant psychomotor development was assessed using the Children’s Development Scale (DSR). Breastmilk cortisol was 11.2 ± 6.2, 11.2 ± 4.3, and 12.7 ± 6.2 ng/mL at the first, third, and sixth months of lactation (p > 0.05), respectively. In the spring-summer season, we observed lower and higher levels of cortisol in the first and sixth months of lactation (p ≤ 0.05), respectively, but no other associations were detected regarding maternal or infant characteristics. In the third month of lactation, cortisol was related to breastmilk crude protein (β = 0.318, 0.007–0.630) and infant BMI z-score before adjustment for infant birthweight and sex (Model 2: β = 0.359, 0.021–0.697), but no other associations with breastmilk composition, infant development, or temperament were confirmed. Our results indicated that breastmilk cortisol is unrelated to maternal and infant factors and has limited influence on breastmilk crude protein, but not on infant anthropometric and psychomotor development.
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