Food & Nutrition Research <p>As one of the first Open Access journals in its field,&nbsp;<em>Food &amp; Nutrition Research&nbsp;</em>(FNR) offers an important forum for researchers to exchange the latest results from research on human nutrition broadly and food-related nutrition in particular. FNR is widely indexed by relevant services and databases, including PubMed Central/PubMed, Scopus, Science Citation Index, with an&nbsp;<strong>Impact Factor of 3.647 (2019)</strong>.</p> Swedish Nutrition Foundation en-US Food & Nutrition Research 1654-6628 <p><span style="color: #4b7d92;">Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to SNF Swedish Nutrition Foundation. Read the full <a href="">Copyright- and Licensing Statement</a>.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Unlocking the potential for achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 – ‘Zero Hunger’ – in Africa: targets, strategies, synergies and challenges <p><strong>Background</strong>: The UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 (‘Zero Hunger’) aims to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030. Thus, a range of different strategies are needed to facilitate the achievement of SDG 2 to overcome challenges and enable synergies between various SDG targets.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: The aim of this review is to highlight Africa’s progress toward SDG 2, including targets, strategies, synergies and challenges.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: We scrutinized published research articles in peer-reviewed journals, UN reports and in-country Africa reports (between 2015 and 2020) that were relevant to the current topic.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: Several hunger indicators are showing slow progress or even deterioration in Africa. The prevalence of undernourishment in the general population was 19.1% in 2019 and is expected to increase to 25.7% by 2030. Improvements in child stunting in several regions in Africa are slow, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where about 34% of under-fives were stunted in 2012 and 31% in 2019. In Eastern Africa, stunting prevalence decreased from 38% in 2012 to 34% in 2019. Major drivers of hunger are poor governance and state fragility, war and conflicts, increasing inequality, weak economic development, climate change, biodegradation – and now lately the Covid 19 pandemic – factors that all increase food insecurity.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Africa is off track to reach SDG – ‘Zero Hunger’ – by 2030. Current efforts and progress are insufficient. Africa must champion the SDG agenda on a national, regional and global level to facilitate synergies to unlock the potential for reaching ‘Zero Hunger’ throughout the continent.</p> Prudence Atukunda Wenche Barth Eide Kristin R. Kardel Per Ole Iversen Ane C. Westerberg Copyright (c) 2021 Prudence Atukunda, Wenche Barth Eide, Kristin R. Kardel, Per Ole Iversen, Ane C. Westerberg 2021-05-25 2021-05-25 10.29219/fnr.v65.7686 A preliminary investigation of nutritional intake and supplement use in Australians with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome and the implications on health-related quality of life <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-thickness: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong><em>Background</em>:</strong>&nbsp;Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex, multisystem illness without a currently recognized pharmacological treatment. Dietary supplementation and modification have been posited as potential management strategies; however, their efficacy is controversial.</p> <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-thickness: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong><em>Objective</em>:</strong>&nbsp;This study aimed to assess the nutritional intake and supplement use of Australian ME/CFS patients and the perceived effect on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for the first time in an Australian patient population.</p> <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-thickness: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong><em>Design</em>:</strong>&nbsp;Between February 2019 and January 2020, ME/CFS patients across Australia volunteered in this cross-sectional study in response to online advertisements. Eligible respondents were invited to complete three online self-administered questionnaires investigating their supplement use, nutritional intake, and HRQoL. The study participants’ supplement use and nutritional intake were summarized and compared with the population data returned from the Australian Health Survey (2011–2012). Multiple linear regression analysis was also performed to determine the effect of participants’ supplement use and nutrient intake on HRQoL.</p> <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-thickness: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong><em>Results</em>:</strong>&nbsp;Twenty-four eligible ME/CFS patients (54.2% meeting the International Consensus Criteria, 79.2% female, mean age = 43.4 ± 10.5 years) completed the online questionnaires. Supplement use was highly prevalent among the study sample (87.5%) and considerably more common when compared with population data (31.9%). Daily total fats and caffeine intakes were significantly higher among ME/CFS patients when compared with the Australian population (<em>P</em>&nbsp;= 0.009 and&nbsp;<em>P</em>&nbsp;= 0.033, respectively), whereas daily intakes of total carbohydrates and alcohol were significantly lower (both&nbsp;<em>P</em>&nbsp;&lt; 0.001). No consistent trends between nutrition and supplement use with patients’ HRQoL could be identified.</p> <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-thickness: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong><em>Conclusions</em>:</strong>&nbsp;The daily diet and supplement use of ME/CFS patients appear to vary considerably from those of the general Australian population. Although the role of nutritional intake and supplement use on ME/CFS patients’ HRQoL remains unclear, dietary changes and the use of supplements appear to be of value to ME/CFS patients.</p> Breanna Weigel Natalie Eaton-Fitch Rachel Passmore Hélène Cabanas Donald Staines Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik Copyright (c) 2021 Breanna Weigel, Natalie Eaton-Fitch, Rachel Passmore, Hélène Cabanas, Donald Staines, Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik 2021-06-07 2021-06-07 10.29219/fnr.v65.5730 Association of two types of dietary pattern scores with cardiovascular disease risk factors and serum 25 hydroxy vitamin D levels in Saudi Arabia <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-thickness: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong><em>Background</em></strong>: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a main cause of mortality and disability worldwide. One of the key factors in the soaring prevalence of CVD globally has been nutrition transitions and changes in dietary patterns.</p> <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-thickness: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong><em>Objective</em></strong>: This study investigated the association between two diet scores, namely, a high-fat dietary (HFD) pattern score and a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) score, and CVD risk factors (obesity, hypertension, total cholesterol, and blood glucose) and serum 25 hydroxy vitamin D (25[OH]D) levels.</p> <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-thickness: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong><em>Methods</em></strong>: Three hundred twenty-one participants were included in this study. Fasting blood tests were collected from all participants for biochemical measurements. Blood pressure and anthropometric measurements were also taken. A validated, semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire was used to collect data on participants’ dietary intake. Dietary scores for the HFD pattern were calculated based on recommended food groups. MedDiet scores were calculated based on a previously validated method that contains 14 questions related to MedDiet. Both diet scores were classified into tertiles. Linear regression analyses were performed to assess the statistical significance of the tertile groups.</p> <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-thickness: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong><em>Result</em></strong>: A significant association was found between HFD score and obesity when comparing the lowest tertile (27.3±4.6 kg/m<sup>2</sup>) of HFD scores with the medium tertile (29.2±5.7 kg/m2;&nbsp;<em>P</em>&nbsp;= 0.02). A higher HFD score was significantly associated with lower 25(OH)D levels (<em>P</em>&nbsp;= 0.02). In addition, a significant association was observed between MedDiet scores and 25(OH)D levels, with an increase in MedDiet score resulting in an increase in 25(OH)D levels (<em>P</em>&nbsp;= 0.01). Furthermore, a significant negative association between MedDiet scores and low-density lipoprotein levels was reported only in participants with CVD (<em>P</em>&nbsp;= 0.03).</p> <p style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-thickness: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;"><strong><em>Conclusion</em></strong>: The results of this study revealed that HFD and MedDiet scores might have a role in the development of CVD and vitamin D deficiency among the Saudi Arabian population. Further studies are required using diet scores to assess the quality of dietary patterns and their association with an increased risk of diseases in Saudi Arabians.</p> Najlaa Aljefree Noha M. Almoraie Israa M. Shatwan Copyright (c) 2021 Najlaa Aljefree, Noha M. Almoraie, Israa M. Shatwan 2021-06-02 2021-06-02 10.29219/fnr.v65.5481 Effect of Eurycoma longifolia standardised aqueous root extract– Physta® on testosterone levels and quality of life in ageing male subjects: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre study <p><strong>Background</strong>: Low testosterone levels cause physiological changes that compromise the quality of life in ageing men. A standardised water extract from the root of <em>Eurycoma longifolia</em> (EL), known as Physta<sup>®</sup>, is known to increase testosterone levels.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of Physta<sup>®</sup> in improving the testosterone levels and quality of life in ageing male subjects.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study enrolled 105 male subjects aged 50–70 years with a testosterone level &lt;300 ng/dL, BMI ≥ 18 and ≤30.0 kg/m<sup>2</sup>. The subjects were given either Physta<sup>®</sup> 100 mg, 200 mg or placebo daily for 12 weeks. The primary endpoints were changes in serum total and free testosterone levels. The secondary endpoints included changes in the level of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), dihydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), thyroid function tests (T3, T4, TSH and Free T3) and cortisol. Changes in Ageing Male Symptoms (AMS) score, Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) score and muscle strength are other secondary endpoints. The safety of the intervention products was measured by complete blood count, lipid profile, liver and renal function tests.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: There was a significant increase in the total testosterone levels at week 12 (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.05) in the Physta<sup>®</sup> 100 mg group and at weeks 4 (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.05), 8 (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.01) and 12 (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.001) in the Physta<sup>®</sup> 200 mg group compared to placebo. No significant between-group differences in free testosterone levels were observed but a significant within-group increase occurred at weeks 4 (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.01), 8 (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.001) and 12 (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.001) in the Physta<sup>®</sup>100 mg group and at weeks 2 (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.01), 4 (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.01), 8 (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.001) and 12 (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.001) in the Physta<sup>®</sup> 200 mg group. The AMS and FSS showed significant reduction (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.001) in total scores at all time-points within- and between-group in both Physta<sup>®</sup> groups. DHEA levels significantly increased (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.05) within-group in both Physta<sup>®</sup> groups from week 2 onwards. Cortisol levels significantly (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.01) decreased in the Physta<sup>®</sup> 200 mg group, while muscle strength significantly (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.001) increased in both Physta<sup>®</sup> groups at week 12 in the within-group comparison. There were no significant changes in SHBG. No safety related clinically relevant changes were observed.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Supplementation of Physta<sup>®</sup> at 200 mg was able to increase the serum total testosterone, reduce fatigue and improve the quality of life in ageing men within 2 weeks’ time.</p> <p><em>Trial registration</em>: This clinical study has been registered in (CTRI/2019/03/017959).</p> Sasikala M. Chinnappan Annie George Pragya Pandey Govinda Narke Yogendra Kumar Choudhary Copyright (c) 2021 Sasikala M. Chinnappan, Annie George, Pragya Pandey; Govinda Narke (Language Consultant); Yogendra Kumar Choudhary 2021-05-19 2021-05-19 10.29219/fnr.v65.5647 The metabolic effect of fructose on normal rats in a mild dose with glucose and saccharose as control <p><strong>Aims</strong>: To study the metabolic effects of fructose, glucose and saccharose in a moderate dose by analyzing changes of blood indicators, pancreas inflammation, liver fat accumulation and intestinal microbiota in normal Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats.</p> <p><strong>Subjects and methods</strong>: Six-week-old rats were assigned to four groups (<em>n</em> = 10), which were gavaged with normalsaline (Con), glucose dissolved in normal saline (Glu), saccharose-glucose dissolved in normal saline (Sac), and fructose dissolved in normal saline (Fru) for 20 weeks.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: No significant differences in body weight and blood parameters including total cholesterol (TC), total triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), lipase (LPS) and free fatty acid (FFA) among the Con, Glu, Sac and the Fru group. The fructose can significantly (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.05) decrease fasting and postprandial blood glucose increase compared to glucose, and the risk of pancreas inflammation and liver fat accumulation induced by fructose is lower than glucose in rats. We found there were no significant differences in intestinal microbial diversity. At the family level, rats in the Glu group had a relatively higher abundance of <em>Peptostreptococcaceae</em> and rats in the Fru group had a relatively higher abundance of Bacteroidaceae. Moreover, the proportions of <em>Peptostreptococcaceae romboutsia</em> and <em>Staphylococcus lentus</em> in the Glu group were significantly higher than in the Fru group, while the proportions of <em>Lachnospira; Lachnospiraceae blautia, Bacteroides</em> and <em>Cellulosilyticus</em> in the Fru group were significantly higher than in the Glu group. The concentration of isobutyric acid was relatively lower in all the sugar treated groups than in the Con. A significant decrease in isobutyric acid was found on comparing the Fru group to the Con group (<em>P</em> &lt; 0.05).</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Fructose, glucose and sucrose made no significant changes on rats in body weight, blood indicators, organ index and bacterial diversity. Moreover, fructose can potentially attenuate fasting and postprandial blood-glucose increase, pancreas inflammation and liver-fat accumulation when compared to glucose in mild doses. The relative abundance of six kinds of bacterial genera was found significantly different between rats fed on fructose and glucose.</p> Ge Song Wentao Qi Yong Wang Shaojie Pang Yong Li Copyright (c) 2021 Ge Song, Wentao Qi, Yong Wang, Shaojie Pang, Yong Li 2021-05-18 2021-05-18 10.29219/fnr.v65.5589 The mechanism and candidate compounds of aged citrus peel (<em>chenpi</em>) preventing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and its progression to lung cancer <p><strong>Background</strong>: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an important risk factor for developing lung cancer. Aged citrus peel (chenpi) has been used as a dietary supplement for respiratory diseases in China.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: To explore the mechanism and candidate compounds of chenpi preventing COPD and its progression to lung cancer.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: The active components and potential targets of chenpi were retrieved from the Traditional Chinese Medicine Systems Pharmacology (TCMSP) database. Disease-associated targets of COPD and lung cancer were collected in the Gene Cards and TTD database. The component-target network and PPI network were constructed using the Cytoscape 3.8.0 software. David database was used for GO and KEGG enrichment analysis. The main active components were verified by using the autodock Vina 1.1.2 software. Mouse lung cancer with COPD was induced by cigarette smoking (CS) combined with urethane injection to confirm preventing the effect of hesperetin (the candidate compound of chenpi) on COPD progression to lung cancer and its underlying mechanisms.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The network analysis revealed that the key active components of chenpi (nobiletin, naringenin, hesperetin) regulate five core targets (AKT1, TP53, IL6, VEGFA, MMP9). In addition, 103 potential pathways of chenpi were identified. Chenpi can prevent COPD and its progression to lung cancer by getting involved in the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway and MAPK signaling pathway. Molecular docking indicated that hesperetin had better binding activity for core targets. In mouse lung cancer with COPD, treatment with hesperetin dose-dependently improved not only lung tissue injury in COPD but also carcinoma lesions in lung cancer. Meanwhile, hesperetin could suppress the protein expression of AKT1, IL6, VEGFA, MMP9 and up-regulate the protein expression of TP53, and thus reduced the risk of COPD progression to lung cancer.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Hesperetin is a candidate compound of chenpi that helps in preventing COPD and its progression to lung cancer by regulating AKT1, IL6, VEGFA, MMP9 and TP53.</p> Lin Zhou Wenwen Gu Fuguang Kui Fan Gao Yuji Niu Wenwen Li Yaru Zhang Lijuan Guo Junru Wang Zhenzhen Guo Gangjun Du Copyright (c) 2021 Lin Zhou, Wenwen Gu, Fuguang Kui, Fan Gao, Yuji Niu, Wenwen Li, Yaru Zhang, Lijuan Guo, Junru Wang, Zhenzhen Guo, Gangjun Du 2021-05-17 2021-05-17 10.29219/fnr.v65.7526 The Effects of the antimicrobial peptide WK3 on diarrhea, growth performance and intestinal health of weaned piglets challenged with enterotoxigenic <em>Escherichia coli</em> K88 <p><strong>Background</strong>: Antibiotics are very effective for treating diarrhea in weaned pigs, but the global prohibition of antibiotics makes it urgent to find an alternative to antibiotics.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: An experiment was conducted to determine the antimicrobial activity of a linear trpzip-like β-hairpin antimicrobial peptide WK3 in vivo and to assess its effects on growth performance and intestinal health.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: Thirty-two piglets were weaned at 21 days and housed in individual metabolic cages, which were randomly divided into four groups and were maintained on a corn-soybean meal-based basal diet. Group 1 included a blank group. Groups 2, 3, and 4 were orally infected by feeding with Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) K88, which was followed by saline treatment (group 2), enrofloxacin injection at a dose of 2.5 mg/ kg (group 3), and WK3 injection at a dose of 2 mg/kg (group 4). The experiment lasted for 6 days, and feed and water were provided ad libitum.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: Both WK3 and enrofloxacin effectively attenuated diarrhea and improved growth performance of piglets. Compared with the control group, WK3 significantly improved the villus height in the ileum (P &lt; 0.05) but did not affect the villus height in the duodenum or jejunum. Additionally, we did not observe any obvious difference in crypt depth or villus height/crypt depth among the duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P &gt; 0.05). WK3 also reduced the numbers of Enterococcus spp (P &lt; 0.01) in the cecal contents, and the number of Enterobacterium spp tended to decrease (0.05 &lt; P &lt; 0.1). Moreover, the jejunal mucosa of the WK3 group exhibited lower interleukin-1α (IL-1a; P &lt; 0.01), toll-like receptors-4 (TLR-4; P &lt; 0.05), and myeloid differentiation primary response 88 (MyD88; P &lt; 0.01) messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression levels. The jejunum of the WK3 group also exhibited an increased antioxidant capacity, reduced concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA; P &lt; 0.05), and enhanced superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity (P &lt; 0.05).</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: WK3 has the potential to replace antibiotics as a new generation feed additive.</p> Licong Zhang Tao Guo Na Zhan Taotao Sun Anshan Shan Copyright (c) 2021 Licong Zhang, Tao Guo, Na Zhan, Taotao Sun, Anshan Shan 2021-05-12 2021-05-12 10.29219/fnr.v65.3448 Sesamol promotes browning of white adipocytes to ameliorate obesity by inducing mitochondrial biogenesis and inhibition mitophagy via β3-AR/PKA signaling pathway <p><strong>Background</strong>: Obesity is defined as an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure, and it is a serious risk factor of non-communicable diseases. Recently many studies have shown that promoting browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) to increase energy consumption has a great therapeutic potential for obesity. Sesamol, a lignan from sesame oil, had shown potential beneficial functions on obesity treatment.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: In this study, we used C57BL/6J mice and 3T3-L1 adipocytes to investigate the effects and the fundamental mechanisms of sesamol in enhancing the browning of white adipocytes to ameliorate obesity. Methods: Sixteen-week-old C57BL/6J male mice were fed high-fat diet (HFD) for 8 weeks to establish the obesity models. Half of the obese mice were administered with sesamol (100 mg/kg body weight [b.w.]/day [d] by gavage for another 8 weeks. Triacylglycerol (TG) and total cholesterol assay kits were used to quantify serum TG and total cholesterol (TC). Oil red O staining was used to detect lipid droplet in vitro. Mito-Tracker Green was used to detect the mitochondrial content. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to detect the levels of beige-specific genes. Immunoblotting was used to detect the proteins involved in beige adipocytes formation.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: Sesamol decreased the content of body fat and suppressed lipid accumulation in HFD-induced obese mice. In addition, sesamol significantly upregulated uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1) protein in adipose tissue. Further research found that sesamol also significantly activated the browning program in mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes, manifested by the increase in beige-specific genes and proteins. Moreover, sesamol greatly increased mitochondrial biogenesis, as proved by the upregulated protein levels of mitochondrial biogenesis, and the inhibition of the proteins associated with mitophagy. Furthermore, β3-adrenergic receptor (β3-AR), protein kinase A-C (PKA-C) and Phospho-protein kinase A (p-PKA) substrate were elevated by sesamol, and these effects were abolished by the pretreatment of antagonists β3-AR.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Sesamol promoted browning of white adipocytes by inducing mitochondrial biogenesis and inhibiting mitophagy through the β3-AR/PKA pathway. This preclinical data promised the potential to consider sesamol as a metabolic modulator of HFD-induced obesity.</p> Cui Lin Jihua Chen Minmin Hu Wenya Zheng Ziyu Song Hong Qin Copyright (c) 2021 Cui Lin, Jihua Chen, Minmin Hu, Wenya Zheng, Ziyu Song, Hong Qin 2021-05-10 2021-05-10 10.29219/fnr.v65.7577 Carbohydrate-dense snacks are a key feature of the nutrition transition among Ghanaian adults – findings from the RODAM study <p><strong>Background</strong>: African populations in sub-Saharan Africa and African migrants in Europe are facing a rapid upsurge in obesity. This trend has been related to urbanization, migration and associated shifts in lifestyle, including dietary habits. Whether changes in eating patterns contribute to the rising burden of obesity among African populations is currently unknown.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: Our aims in conducting this study were to characterize eating patterns among Ghanaian adults living in their country of origin and in Europe and to explore associations of meal patterns with body mass index (BMI).</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: Within the cross-sectional RODAM (Research on Obesity and Diabetes among African Migrants) study, data of single 24-h dietary recalls from Ghanaian adults in rural Ghana (<em>n</em> = 20), urban Ghana (<em>n</em> = 42), and Europe (<em>n</em> = 172) were recorded. Eating frequencies, energy intake, and macronutrient composition of eating occasions (EOs, i.e. meals or snacks) were compared between study sites based on descriptive statistics and χ2-/Kruskal–Wallis tests.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: A rising gradient of EO frequencies from rural Ghana through urban Ghana to Europe was observed, mainly reflecting the differences in snacking frequencies (≥1 snack per day: 20 vs. 48 vs. 52%, <em>P</em> = 0.008). Meal frequencies were similar across study sites (≥3 meals per day: 30 vs. 33 vs. 38%, <em>P </em>= 0.80). Meals were rich in carbohydrates (median 54.5, interquartile range (IQR): 43.2–64.0 energy%) and total fats (median: 27.0, IQR: 19.9–34.4 energy %); their protein content was lowest in rural Ghana, followed by urban Ghana and Europe (<em>P</em> = 0.0005). Snacks mainly contained carbohydrates (median: 75.7, IQR: 61.0–89.2 energy%). In linear regression analyses, there was a non-significant trend for an inverse association between snacking frequencies and BMI.</p> <p><strong>Discussion and conclusions</strong>: The observed integration of carbohydrate-dense snacks into the diet supports the growing evidence for a nutrition transition among African populations undergoing socioeconomic development. This analysis constitutes a starting point to further investigate the nutritional implications of increased snacking frequencies on obesity and metabolic health in these African populations.</p> Frauke Assmus Cecilia Galbete Sven Knueppel Matthias B. Schulze Erik Beune Karlijn Meeks Mary Nicolaou Stephen Amoah Charles Agyemang Kerstin Klipstein-Grobusch Silver Bahendeka Joachim Spranger Frank P. Mockenhaupt Liam Smeeth Karien Stronks Ina Danquah Copyright (c) 2021 Frauke Assmus, Cecilia Galbete, Sven Knueppel, Matthias B. Schulze, Erik Beune, Karlijn Meeks, Mary Nicolaou, Stephen Amoah, Charles Agyemang, Kerstin Klipstein-Grobusch, Silver Bahendeka, Joachim Spranger, Frank P. Mockenhaupt, Liam Smeeth, Karien Stronks, Ina Danquah 2021-05-06 2021-05-06 10.29219/fnr.v65.5435 Clusterin levels in undernourished SH-SY5Y cells <p>Food-related disorders are increasingly common in developed societies, and the psychological component of these disorders has been gaining increasing attention. Both overnourishment with high-fat diets and perinatal undernourishment in mice have been linked to a higher motivation toward food, resulting in an alteration in food intake. Clusterin (CLU), a multifaced protein, is overexpressed in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of overfed rats, as well as in those that suffered chronic undernutrition. Moreover, an increase of this protein was observed in the plasma of obese patients with food addiction, suggesting the implication of CLU in this eating disorder. To characterize CLU’s cellular mechanisms, in vitro experiments of undernutrition were performed using dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells. To mimic in vivo dietary conditions, cells were treated with different fetal bovine serum (FBS) concentrations, resulting in control (C group) diet (10% FBS), undernourishment (U group) diet (0.5% FBS), and undernourishment diet followed by restoration of control diet (UC group) (0.5 + 10% FBS). Undernourishment compromised cell viability and proliferation, and concomitantly increased CLU secretion as well as the cytosolic pool of the protein, while decreasing the mitochondrial level. The restoration of normal conditions tended to recover cell physiology, and the normal levels and distribution of CLU. This research study is a step forward toward the characterization of clusterin as a potential marker for food addiction and nutritional status.</p> Carmen Rodríguez-Rivera María Dolores Pérez-Carrión Lucía Casariego Olavarría Luis F. Alguacil María José Polanco Mora Carmen González-Martín Copyright (c) 2021 Carmen Rodríguez-Rivera, María Dolores Pérez-Carrión, Lucía Casariego Olavarría, Luis F. Alguacil, María José Polanco Mora, Carmen González-Martín 2021-05-04 2021-05-04 10.29219/fnr.v65.5709 High hydrostatic pressure extract of mulberry leaves ameliorates hypercholesterolemia via modulating hepatic microRNA-33 expression and AMPK activity in high cholesterol diet fed rats <p><strong>Background</strong>: Mulberry leaf (<em>Morus alba L.</em>) contains multiple bioactive ingredients and has been used in the treatment of obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and atherosclerosis. High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) processing has been developed for the extraction of bioactive compounds from plants. However, the hypocholesterolemic effect of the HHP extract from mulberry leaves and its underlying mechanism have never been investigated.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: The specific aim of the present study was to investigate the hypocholesterolemic property of a novel extract obtained from mulberry leaves under HHP in rats.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: Sprague–Dawley rats were divided into four groups and fed either a normal diet (NOR), a high cholesterol diet containing 1% cholesterol and 0.5% cholic acid (HC), an HC diet containing 0.5% mulberry leaf extract (ML), or a 1% mulberry leaf extract (MH) for 4 weeks.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: High hydrostatic pressure extract of mulberry leaves significantly reduced the HC-increased serum levels of triglyceride (TG), cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and hepatic contents of TG and TC. The HHP extraction from mulberry leaves also increased the HC-decreased fecal TC and bile acid levels without changing body weight, food intake, liver weight, and serum activities of alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) (P &lt; 0.05). The mulberry leaf extract significantly enhanced the expression of hepatic genes such as cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1), liver X receptor alpha (LXRα), and ATP-binding cassette transporters, ABCG5/ABCG8, involved in hepatic bile acid synthesis and cholesterol efflux (P &lt; 0.05). In addition, the HHP extraction of mulberry leaves significantly suppressed hepatic microRNA(miR)-33 expression and increased adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: These results suggest that the HHP extract of mulberry leaves lowers serum cholesterol levels by partially increasing hepatic bile acid synthesis and fecal cholesterol excretion through the modulation of miR- 33 expression and AMPK activation in the liver.</p> Eunyoung Lee Mak-Soon Lee Eugene Chang Chong-Tai Kim Ae-Jin Choi In-Hwan Kim Yangha Kim Copyright (c) 2021 Eunyoung Lee, Mak-Soon Lee , Eugene Chang , Chong-Tai Kim , Ae-Jin Choi , In-Hwan Kim , Yangha Kim 2021-05-03 2021-05-03 10.29219/fnr.v65.7587 Effect of fucoidan on ethanol-induced liver injury and steatosis in mice and the underlying mechanism <p><strong>Background</strong>: Alcoholic liver disease is caused as a result of chronic alcohol consumption. In this study, we used an alcoholic liver injury mouse model to investigate the effect of fucoidan on ethanol-induced liver injury and steatosis and the underlying mechanisms.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: All mice were randomly divided into four groups: 1) control group, 2) model group, 3) diammonium glycyrrhizinate treatment group (200 mg/kg body weight), and 4) fucoidan treatment group (300 mg/kg body weight). Administration of ethanol for 8 weeks induced liver injury and steatosis in mice.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: Fucoidan treatment decreased serum alanine aminotransferase activity, serum total cholesterol levels, and hepatic triglyceride levels, and improved the morphology of hepatic cells. Fucoidan treatment upregulated the expression of AMPKα1, SIRT1, and PGC-1α and inhibited the expression of ChREBP and HNF-1α. The levels of hepatic IL-6 and IL-18 were significantly decreased in the fucoidan group. Further, the levels of cytochrome P450-2E1 (CYP2E1), glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 78, and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) in hepatic tissues were reduced in the fucoidan group as compared to the model group. Fucoidan significantly reversed the reduction of ileac Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and fibroblast growth factor 15 (FGF15) levels induced by alcohol- feeding and reduced CYP7A1 (cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase) expression and total bile acid levels in the liver tissue. In addition, fucoidan regulated the structure of gut flora, with increased abundance of <em>Prevotella</em> and decreased abundance of <em>Paraprevotella</em> and <em>Romboutsia</em> as detected by 16S rDNA high-throughput sequencing.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Fucoidan inhibited alcohol-induced steatosis and disorders of bile acid metabolism in mice through the AMPKα1/SIRT1 pathway and the gut microbiota–bile acid–liver axis and protected against alcohol- induced liver injury <em>in vivo</em>.</p> Meilan Xue Hui Liang Zhitong Zhou Ying Liu Xinjia He Zheng Zhang Ting Sun Jia Yang Yimin Qin Kunpeng Qin Copyright (c) 2021 Meilan Xue, Hui Liang, Zhitong Zhou, Ying Liu, Xinjia He, Zheng Zhang, Ting Sun, Jia Yang, Yimin Qin, Kunpeng Qin 2021-04-20 2021-04-20 10.29219/fnr.v65.5384 Commercially available kelp and seaweed products – valuable iodine source or risk of excess intake? <p><strong>Background</strong>: Seaweeds and kelps, also known as macroalgae, have long been common in the East-Asian diet. During recent years, macroalgae have entered the global food market, and a variety of macroalgae products are now available for consumers. Some macroalgae species are known to be particularly rich in iodine, but little data regarding the iodine content of macroalgae-containing foods exists.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: The aim of this research study was to analyse the iodine content in a large variety of commercially available macroalgae-containing foods and supplements and to evaluate whether such products are sources of adequate dietary iodine.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: Ninety-six different products were collected after surveying the Norwegian market for commercially available macroalgae products, collected from three categories: 1) wholefood macroalgae products (<em>n</em> = 43), 2) macroalgae-containing foods (<em>n</em> = 39), and 3) dietary supplements containing macroalgae (<em>n</em> = 14). All products were analysed for iodine content by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The iodine content in one portion of wholefood macroalgae products ranged from 128 to 62,400 μg. In macroalgae-containing foods, the iodine content ranged from 30 to 25,300 μg per portion, and in supplements it ranged from 5 to 5,600 μg per daily dose. The species with the highest analysed iodine content were oarweed, sugarkelp and kombu, with mean iodine levels of 7,800, 4,469 and 2,276 μg/g, respectively. For 54 products, the intake of one portion or dose would exceed the tolerable upper intake level (UL) for iodine.</p> <p><strong>Discussion and conclusion</strong>: The iodine content in the included products was variable and for most products high, exceeding the tolerable upper intake level (UL) if consumed as a serving or portion size. The labelling of macroalgae species included, and declaration of iodine content, were inadequate or inaccurate for several products. As macroalgae-containing products are unreliable iodine sources, inclusion of such products in the diet may pose a risk of consuming excessive amounts of iodine.</p> Inger Aakre Dina Doblaug Solli Maria Wik Markhus Hanne K. Mæhre Lisbeth Dahl Sigrun Henjum Jan Alexander Patrick-Andre Korneliussen Lise Madsen Marian Kjellevold Copyright (c) 2021 Inger Aakre, Dina Doblaug Solli , Maria Wik Markhus, Hanne K. Mæhre, Lisbeth Dahl, Sigrun Henjum, Jan Alexander, Patrick-Andre Korneliussen , Lise Madsen, Marian Kjellevold 2021-03-30 2021-03-30 10.29219/fnr.v65.7584 Antioxidant and reduced skin-ageing effects of a polyphenolenriched dietary supplement in response to air pollution: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study <p><strong>Background</strong>: Air pollution exposure is one of the major threats to skin health and accelerates skin ageing mainly through oxidative stress mechanisms. Since it is difficult to minimize skin exposure to air pollutants, especially in urban areas, strategies to protect the skin are needed. Plant phenolic compounds have been found to be effective in attenuating cellular oxidative stress and inflammation induced by different air pollutants and a dietary approach based on these compounds could provide an efficient protection measure.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: Here we investigated the efficacy of a commercially available polyphenol-enriched dietary supplement (Zeropollution®) in reducing pollution-induced oxidative stress and in improving different skin parameters related to skin ageing of Caucasian and Asian subjects exposed to air pollution. Zeropollution is composed of four standardized herbal extracts: <em>Olea europaea leaf, Lippia citriodora, Rosmarinus officinalis</em>, and <em>Sophora japonica</em>.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: A double-blind randomized, parallel group study was carried out on 100 outdoor workers living in a polluted urban European area (Milan) to assess the efficacy of the dietary supplement. The total antioxidant capacity on saliva (FRAP), the oxidative damage on skin (lipoperoxides content), skin moisturization (corneometer), transepidermal water loss (tewameter), skin radiance and colour (spectrophotometer), skin elasticity (cutometer), skin sebum content (sebumeter), and the skin roughness (image analysis) were measured.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: Both inter-group and intra-group analysis proved that the dietary supplement improved all clinical and biochemical-monitored parameters, in both Caucasian and Asian individuals. Some of the positive effects such as decreased wrinkle depth, increased elasticity and firmness, improved skin moisturization and transepidermal water loss, and reduced dark spots pigmentation were statistically significant as early as 2 weeks of product consumption.</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: The results of the study indicate reduced oxidative stress-induced skin damage in both Asian and Caucasian women living in a polluted urban area. Therefore, the oral intake of this four-plant based supplement could be considered a complementary nutrition strategy to avoid the negative effects of environmental pollution exposure.</p> Vincenzo Nobile Irene Schiano Ana Peral Silvana Giardina Eleonora Spartà Nuria Caturla Copyright (c) 2021 Nuria Caturla, Vincenzo Nobile, Irene Schiano , Ana Peral, Eleonora Spartà, Silvana Giardina 2021-03-29 2021-03-29 10.29219/fnr.v65.5619 Nutritional quality and costs of gluten-free products: a case-control study of food products on the Norwegian marked <p><strong>Background</strong>: Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disease triggered by gluten exposure in genetically predisposed individuals. A life-long intake of a gluten-free (GF) diet is required for its management. Wheat, rye and barley are eliminated in a GF diet and the nutritional adequacy of the diet has been questioned. In Norway, cereals and bread constitute a key role of the diet and are the main source of fiber intake. Gluten restrictions may therefore offer important implications for nutrient adequacy especially linked to fiber intake in people with celiac disease.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: The aim of the study was to investigate the nutritional quality and price of GF products and compare with gluten-containing counterparts available at instead of in the Norwegian market.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: The macronutrient content of 423 unique GF products were compared with 337 equivalents with gluten. All products were selected from grocery stores and web-based shops, with the aim of including as many GF products as possible. Listed macronutrients content and price in 11 different food categories were compared to gluten-containing counterparts with Wilcoxon signed rank test.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The GF products contained less protein and fiber, and higher content of saturated fat, carbohydrate and salt compared to the gluten-containing products. The total amount of fat was not different between the groups. A similar pattern was found within several of the food categories. More gluten-containing products met the nutrition claim “high in fiber” (fiber &gt; 6 g/100 g) compared to the GF products. The price of the GF products was higher; ranging from 46%–443% more expensive than the gluten-containing products.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: GF products are less nutritious and have a higher price compared to equivalent gluten-containing products. Knowing that an unhealthy diet is the most important risk factor for developing non-communicable diseases, the nutritional quality of a GF diet needs to be addressed and should be improved.</p> Mari C.W. Myhrstad Marlene Slydahl Monica Hellmann Lisa Garnweidner-Holme Knut E. A. Lundin Christine Henriksen Vibeke H. Telle-Hansen Copyright (c) 2021 Mari C.W. Myhrstad, Marlene Slydahl, Monica Hellmann, Lisa Garnweidner-Holme, Knut E. A. Lundin, Christine Henriksen, Vibeke H. Telle-Hansen 2021-03-26 2021-03-26 10.29219/fnr.v65.6121 Fisetin inhibits inflammation and induces autophagy by mediating PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells <p><strong>Background</strong>: Fisetin, a natural potent flavonoid, has various beneficial, pharmacological activities. In this study, we investigated expression changes of the fisetin regulating genes in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated RAW264.7 cells and explored the role of fisetin in inflammation and autophagy.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong> and results: Microarray analysis identified 1,071 genes that were regulated by fisetin in LPS-treated RAW264.7 cells, and these genes were mainly related to the process of immune system response. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Bio-Plex analysis indicated that fisetin decreased the expression and secretion of several inflammatory cytokines in cells administered with LPS. Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence assay showed that fisetin decreased microtubule-associated protein 1 light-chain 3B (LC3B) and lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1) expression in LPS-treated cells, while the autophagy inhibitor chloroquine (CQ) could partially reverse this effect. In addition, fisetin reduced the elevated expression of p-PI3K, p-AKT and p-mTOR induced by LPS in a concentration-dependent manner.</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: Fisetin diminished the expression and secretion of inflammatory cytokines and facilitated autophagosome- lysosome fusion and degradation in LPS-treated RAW264.7 cells via inhibition of the PI3K/ AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. Overall, the results of this study provide new clues for the anti-inflammatory mechanism of fisetin and explain the crosstalk between autophagy and inflammation to some extent.</p> Yue Sun Hong Qin Huihui Zhang Xiangling Feng Lina Yang De-Xing Hou Jihua Chen Copyright (c) 2021 Yue Sun, Hong Qin, Huihui Zhang, Xiangling Feng, Lina Yang, De-Xing Hou, Jihua Chen 2021-03-25 2021-03-25 10.29219/fnr.v65.6355 Vitamin D status and association with gestational diabetes mellitus in a pregnant cohort in Iceland <p><strong>Background</strong>: Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), one of the most common pregnancy complications. The vitamin D status has never previously been studied in pregnant women in Iceland.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: The aim of this research study was to evaluate the vitamin D status of an Icelandic cohort of pregnant women and the association between the vitamin D status and the GDM incidence.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: Subjects included pregnant women (n = 938) who attended their first ultrasound appointment, during gestational weeks 11–14, between October 2017 and March 2018. The use of supplements containing vitamin D over the previous 3 months, height, pre-pregnancy weight, and social status were assessed using a questionnaire, and blood samples were drawn for analyzing the serum 25‑hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) concentration. Information regarding the incidence of GDM later in pregnancy was collected from medical records.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The mean ± standard deviation of the serum 25OHD (S-25OHD) concentration in this cohort was 63±24 nmol/L. The proportion of women with an S-25OHD concentration of ≥ 50 nmol/L (which is considered adequate) was 70%, whereas 25% had concentrations between 30 and 49.9 nmol/L (insufficient) and 5% had concentrations &lt; 30 nmol/L (deficient). The majority of women (n = 766, 82%) used supplements containing vitamin D on a daily basis. A gradual decrease in the proportion of women diagnosed with GDM was reported with increasing S-25OHD concentrations, going from 17.8% in the group with S-25OHD concentrations &lt; 30 nmol/L to 12.8% in the group with S-25OHD concentrations ≥75 nmol/L; however, the association was not significant (P for trend = 0.11).</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Approximately one-third of this cohort had S-25OHD concentrations below adequate levels (&lt; 50 nmol/L) during the first trimester of pregnancy, which may suggest that necessary action must be taken to increase their vitamin D levels. No clear association was observed between the vitamin D status and GDM in this study.</p> Kristin S. Magnusdottir Ellen A. Tryggvadottir Ola K. Magnusdottir Laufey Hrolfsdottir Thorhallur I. Halldorsson Bryndis E. Birgisdottir Ingibjorg T. Hreidarsdottir Hildur Hardardottir Ingibjörg Gunnarsdottir Copyright (c) 2021 Kristin S. Magnusdottir, Ellen A. Tryggvadottir, Ola K. Magnusdottir, Laufey Hrolfsdottir, Thorhallur I. Halldorsson, Bryndis E. Birgisdottir, Ingibjorg T. Hreidarsdottir, Hildur Hardardottir, Ingibjörg Gunnarsdottir 2021-03-23 2021-03-23 10.29219/fnr.v65.5574 Resveratrol stimulates microRNA expression during differentiation of bovine primary myoblasts <p><strong>Background</strong>: Resveratrol (RSV), a phenolic compound, is present in many human dietary sources, such as peanuts, peanut butter, grapes skin, and grape wine. RSV has been widely known for its benefits on human health. Beef from cattle skeletal muscle is one of the main sources of protein for human consumption. Previous studies have also found that pork and chicken qualities are influenced by the feed supplementation with RSV. In addition, our previous study demonstrated the RSV effects on bovine myoblast differentiation using messenger RNA (mRNA) data. In this study, we mainly focused on the influences of RSV on microRNA (miRNA) expression.</p> <p><strong>Method</strong>: We used 20 μM RSV to treat primary bovine myoblasts and extracted RNA for miRNA sequencing. After quality control and alignment for clean reads, we conducted quantification and analysis of differentially expressed (DE) miRNAs in the case (RSV-treated) group versus control (non-RSV treated) group. Next, we predicted the target genes for the DE miRNAs and analyzed them for the enrichments of Gene Ontology (GO) terms and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: Finally, we identified 93 DE miRNAs (adjusted P-value &lt; 0.05), of them 44 were upregulated and 49 were downregulated. Bta-miR-34c was the most significantly upregulated miRNA. In silico, prediction results indicated 1,869 target genes for the 93 DE miRNAs. GO enrichment analysis for the genes targeted by DE miRNAs revealed two significant GO terms (adjusted P-value &lt; 0.05), in which the most significant one was stereocilium (GO:0032420). KEGG enrichment analysis showed five significant pathways, and the top significant KEGG pathway was the insulin signaling pathway (bta04910) (adjusted P-value &lt; 0.05).</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: This study provided an improved understanding of effects of RSV on primary bovine myoblast differentiation through the miRNA modulations. The results suggested that RSV could promote differentiation of primary bovine myoblast by stimulating the miRNA expressions. The target genes of DE miRNAs were significantly enriched in the insulin signaling pathway, thus potentially contributing to improving muscle leanness by increasing the energy metabolism.</p> Dan Hao Xiao Wang Xiaogang Wang Bo Thomsen Kaixing Qu Xianyong Lan Yongzhen Huang Chuzhao Lei Bizhi Huang Hong Chen Copyright (c) 2021 Dan Hao, Xiao Wang, Xiaogang Wang, Bo Thomsen, Kaixing Qu, Xianyong Lan, Yongzhen Huang, Chuzhao Lei, Bizhi Huang, Hong Chen 2021-03-18 2021-03-18 10.29219/fnr.v65.5453 Factors determining household-level food insecurity during COVID-19 epidemic: a case of Wuhan, China <p><strong>Background</strong>: In coping with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic, cities adopted social isolation and lockdown measures; however, little is known about the impacts of these restrictions on household food security.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: This study provides a timely assessment of household food insecurity (HFI) in the Chinese city of Wuhan during the COVID-19 epidemic period and also investigates its determinant factors.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: We collected valid data on food insecurity from 653 households in Wuhan via an online questionnaire in March 2020. The Household Food Insecurity Access Scale Score (HFIASS) was used to measure HFI, and a multiple linear regression model was used to determine the HFIASS.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The mean HFIASS in Wuhan was 9.42 (standard deviation: 5.82), with more than 50% of the households had an HFIASS &lt; 9. Compared with normal conditions, lockdown measures had a huge negative impact on household food security. The results revealed that socio-demographic characteristics remained the underlying determinants of HFIASS during the epidemic. Households in Wuhan with local Hukou (city household registration) and self-owned property had a lower risk of food insecurity.</p> <p><strong>Discussion and conclusion</strong>: After the restriction of conventional food access channels, intermediary food purchase methods such as group purchasing, shopping with the help of neighborhood committees, property management agents, and volunteers became the most important or the only channel for residents to access food. There were similarities in the use of these intermediary channels. Based on the probability that the epidemic will continue and the probability of similar public health-related outbreaks in the future, the study calls for a more resilient and responsive sustainable food supply system by harnessing the capacity of communities, e-commerce and rapid logistics.</p> Yu Zhang Kui Yang Song Hou Taiyang Zhong Jonathan Crush Copyright (c) 2021 Yu Zhang, Kui Yang, Song Hou, Taiyang Zhong, Jonathan Crush 2021-03-08 2021-03-08 10.29219/fnr.v65.5501 Extract of <em>Acalypha australis L. </em>inhibits lipid accumulation and ameliorates HFD-induced obesity in mice through regulating adipose differentiation by decreasing PPARγ and CEBP/α expression <p><strong>Background</strong>: Obesity is a principal risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Natural plants and/or foods play an important role in the management of obesity.<em> Acalypha australis L.</em> (AAL) is a kind of potherb popular among Asian populations, and it is also consumed as a food ingredient and traditional herbal medicine.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: We investigated the effects of water extract from AAL on high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced obese mice and 3T3-L1 adipocytes to develop a new functional food material.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: Nine-week-old male mice were randomly divided into control (chow diet, n = 6) and HFD (n = 30) group. From 12-weeks onward, mice in the HFD group were further separated into model (saline, 6 mL/ kg), simvastatin (0.11 mg/mL, 6 mL/kg), and AAL treatment (low, middle, and high dosage: 300, 600, and 900 mg/kg) group, with 6 animals per group, while mice in the control group were treated with saline (6 mL/ kg). Food intake, body/fat weight, liver/kidney indexes, and lipid profiles were determined. Tissues were fixed with formalin for pathological examination. Western blotting and PCR were performed to evaluate the protein and mRNA expression in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Oil Red O staining was used to determine lipid accumulation.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: AAL administration significantly suppressed body weight gain, and reduced fat pad weight and Lee’s index in obese mice, but had no effect on liver/kidney index. AAL also reduced serum cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL-C and increased HDL-C levels. Histological analysis revealed that AAL significantly ameliorated lipid accumulation in the liver and subcutaneous adipose tissue. In vitro, Oil Red O staining showed that AAL inhibited adipose differentiation by down-regulating the gene and protein expression of PPARγ and C/EBPα. AAL also reversed HFD-induced intestinal dysbacteriosis.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: AAL water-soluble extract has a significant anti-adipogenic effect in the HFD-induced obese mice model.</p> Lang You Fengxia Li Yan Sun Liang Luo Jian Qin Tao Wang Yuchen Liu Ruogu Lai Ruohan Li Xiaoran Guo Qiuyan Mai Yihang Pan Jianrong Xu Ningning Li Copyright (c) 2021 Lang You, Fengxia Li, Yan Sun, Liang Luo, Jian Qin, Tao Wang, Yuchen Liu, Ruogu Lai, Ruohan Li, Xiaoran Guo, Qiuyan Mai, Yihang Pan, Jianrong Xu, Ningning Li 2021-03-01 2021-03-01 10.29219/fnr.v65.4246 A comparison of meal tolerance test and oral glucose tolerance test for predicting insulin therapy in patients with gestational diabetes <p><strong>Aims</strong>: To identify factors predicting a need for insulin therapy in gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) by comparing plasma glucose (PG) levels in a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (75-g OGTT) with those in a 500-kcal meal tolerance test (MTT) containing 75 g of carbohydrate.</p> <p><strong>Subjects and methods</strong>: The MTT was performed in 61 patients who diagnosed with GDM by a 75-g OGTT (age, 33.2 ± 4.5 years; prepregnancy body mass index, 22.6 ± 4.7 kg/m2; number of gestational weeks, 25.1 ± 6.4 weeks). PG and serum insulin levels were measured before the meal and up to 180 min after the meal. The insulin secretion capacity and resistance index were calculated.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: PG levels increased from 86.8 ± 8.8 mg/dL at fasting to 132.7 ± 20.1 mg/dL at 30 min, and 137.8 ± 27.7 mg/dL at 60 min after MTT in the 35 patients with needed insulin therapy; these levels were significantly higher than those in the 26 patients, who only needed diet therapy. The patients with needed insulin therapy had significantly higher fasting PG levels in the 75-g OGTT, PG levels at fasting and 30 min after the MTT, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and a significantly lower disposition index (DI) and insulin index than patients treated by diet alone. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed for factors involved in insulin therapy, with the following cutoff values: fasting PG in the 75-g OGTT, 92 mg/dL; PG 30 min after MTT, 129 mg/dL; HOMA-IR, 1.51; DI, 3.9; HbA1c, 5.4%. Multivariate analysis revealed that the 30-min PG level after MTT and HOMA-IR predicted insulin therapy.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: PG levels at 30 min after MTT may be useful for identifying patients with GDM, who need insulin therapy.</p> Mai Hijikata Mariko Higa Takamasa Ichijo Takahisa Hirose Copyright (c) 2021 Mai Hijikata, Mariko Higa, Takamasa Ichijo, Takahisa Hirose 2021-02-26 2021-02-26 10.29219/fnr.v65.5490 Prevalence and risk factors for micronutrient deficiencies during pregnancy in Cayenne, French Guiana <p><strong>Background</strong>: Involved in physical and brain development, immunity and metabolism, micronutrients have profound health effects. The nutritional status of pregnant women is a major determinant of foetal health. French Guiana has a rapid population growth. Social inequalities, cultural practices and gastrointestinal nematode infections in French Guiana could affect the prevalence of these deficiencies. The main objective of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of micronutrient deficiency among pregnant women in French Guiana. The secondary objective was to identify socio-demographic, dietary, obstetrical and neonatal risk factors associated with deficiencies.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: Pregnant women over 22 weeks of pregnancy hospitalized for delivery at the Obstetrical Emergency Department of the Hospital Center in Cayenne from May 2018 to March 2019 were included. A socio-demographic and food questionnaire was administered. Medical data were collected from the medical records. Blood and urine samples were taken. The descriptive analysis used Student and chi-squared tests.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: A total of 341 women were included. The majority were born in Haiti (39%) and French Guiana (34%). At least one micronutrient deficiency was observed in 81% of women. Precarious women had a significantly greater risk of micronutrient deficiency during pregnancy compared to those with both normal and complementary health insurance.</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: Micronutrient deficiencies in pregnant women in French Guiana are a public health problem, a fact that was previously overlooked in the context of rising obesity. With over half the women overweight or obese, and 81% with at least 1 micronutrient deficiency, balanced nutrition should be a major focus.</p> Amandine Duclau Fanny Abad Antoine Adenis Nadia Sabbah Malika Leneuve Mathieu Nacher Copyright (c) 2021 Amandine Duclau, Fanny Abad, Antoine Adenis, Nadia Sabbah, Malika Leneuve, Mathieu Nacher 2021-02-22 2021-02-22 10.29219/fnr.v65.5268 Liking, Preference and Practical Implications of Protein and Energy Enriched In-Between-Meals Designed for Elderly People <p><strong>Background</strong>: An adequate dietary intake, especially of protein and energy, is important for maintaining health among elderly people, especially those in care homes. One strategy to ensure nutritional intake is to customise attractive products through enrichment to match the needs of elderly people in care homes.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: To evaluate liking and practical aspects of protein and energy enriched in-between meals designed for elderly people in care homes through the use of quantitative and qualitative assessments.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: A broad range of energy and protein enriched in-between meals, including both savoury and sweet products, were included. The products were evaluated by a consumer test and a focus group discussion with elderly respondents. The products were also evaluated by a second focus group discussion with care staff.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The most liked products were ice cream and cheesecake. All products achieved high scores for appearance, taste/flavour and texture. No product included in the study was extremely disliked. However, the least liked product was tomato soup, which scored above the middle of the scale except for texture. It was clear from the focus group discussions that a colourful appearance, small portion size and texture were of primary importance. The temperature had an impact on liking and swallowability.</p> <p><strong>Discussion</strong>: Most products were perceived by the elderly participants as appealing and tasting good, and possible to include in a daily diet. It was clear that the colours of the foods were of primary importance. In line with other studies, it was found that highly liked in-between meals were frozen, cold and sweet. These products were also easy to swallow.</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: It is possible to produce highly liked energy and protein enriched in-between meal products designed for elderly people. The temperature had a great impact on the liking of texture, taste and flavour. In-between meals should preferably be colourful and have a small portion size.</p> Karin Wendin Maria Biörklund-Helgesson Kristina Andersson-Stefanovic Anders Lareke Olof Böök Christina Skjöldebrand Copyright (c) 2021 Karin Wendin, Maria Biörklund-Helgesson, Kristina Andersson-Stefanovic, Anders Lareke, Olof Böök, Christina Skjöldebrand 2021-02-15 2021-02-15 10.29219/fnr.v65.5635 Nutritional impact of adding a serving of mushrooms to USDA Food Patterns – a dietary modeling analysis <p>Mushrooms are part of vegetables and are important source of nutrients and bioactive compounds. The objective was to assess the nutritional impact of adding a serving of mushrooms in USDA Food Patterns using a similar approach to that used by USDA for Dietary Guidelines.</p> <p>A composite of commonly consumed raw mushrooms (white, brown/crimini and portabella; at 1:1:1 ratio) and raw speciality mushrooms (oyster mushrooms) were used for modeling. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Data central database (<em></em>) was used to obtain nutrient profiles of mushrooms. Nutritional profiles of USDAs Food Patterns were obtained from the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Appendix E-3 (<em> 2015-scientific-report/15-appendix-E3/</em>) and dietary modeling was accomplished by adding nutrients from mushrooms.</p> <p>Addition of an 84 g serving of commonly consumed raw mushrooms to USDA Food Patterns resulted in about 1% increase in calories, less than 5% increase in macronutrients, 2–3% increase in fiber, 8–12% increase in potassium, 12–18% increase in riboflavin, 11–26% increase in niacin, 11–23% selenium and 16–26% increase in copper depending upon the pattern type and calorie level. Mushrooms exposed to UV light to increase vitamin D levels to 200 IU/serving also increased vitamin D by 67–90% in USDA Food Patterns. Addition of oyster mushroom also additionally increased 8–11% vitamin D and 10–16% choline in USDA Food Patterns.</p> <p>Addition of mushrooms had minimal effect on sodium (1% or less increase) and no effect on saturated fat or cholesterol in USDA Food Patterns. Based on published data, a serving of commonly consumed mushrooms would also be expected to add 2.2 mg ergothioneine and 3.5 mg glutathione to the USDA Food Patterns. Addition of mushrooms to USDA Food Patterns increased several micronutrients including shortfall nutrients (such as potassium, vitamin D and choline), and had a minimal or no impact on overall calories, sodium or saturated fat.</p> Sanjiv Agarwal Victor L. Fulgoni III Copyright (c) 2021 Sanjiv Agarwal, Victor L. Fulgoni III 2021-02-05 2021-02-05 10.29219/fnr.v65.5618 The mechanism and active compounds of semen <em>armeniacae amarum</em> treating coronavirus disease 2019 based on network pharmacology and molecular docking <p><strong>Background</strong>: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is progressing rapidly, and poses significant threats to public health. A number of clinical practice results showed that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) plays a significant role for COVID-19 treatment.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: To explore the active components and molecular mechanism of semen<em> armeniacae amarum</em> treating COVID-19 by network pharmacology and molecular docking technology.</p> <p><strong>Methods</strong>: The active components and potential targets of semen <em>armeniacae amarum</em> were retrieved from traditional Chinese medicine systems pharmacology (TCMSP) database. Coronavirus disease 2019-associated targets were collected in the GeneCards, TTD, OMIM and PubChem database. Compound target, compound- target pathway and medicine-ingredient-target disease networks were constructed by Cytoscape 3.8.0. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks were drawn using the STRING database and Cytoscape 3.8.0 software. David database was used for gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis. The main active components were verified by AutoDock Vina 1.1.2 software. A lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced lung inflammation model in Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice was constructed and treated with amygdalin to confirm effects of amygdalin on lung inflammation and its underlying mechanisms by western blot analyses and immunofluorescence.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: The network analysis revealed that nine key, active components regulated eight targets (Protooncogene tyrosine-protein kinase SRC (SRC), interleukin 6 (IL6), mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1), mitogen- activated protein kinase 3 (MAPK3), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), HRAS proto-oncogene (HRAS), caspase-3 (CASP3)). Gene ontology and KEGG enrichment analysis suggested that semen armeniacae amarum plays a role in COVID- 19 by modulating 94 biological processes, 13 molecular functions, 15 cellular components and 80 potential pathways. Molecular docking indicated that amygdalin had better binding activity to key targets such as IL6, SRC, MAPK3, SARS coronavirus-2 3C-like protease (SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro) and SARS-CoV-2 angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2). Experimental validation revealed that the lung pathological injury and inflammatory injury were significantly increased in the model group and were improved in the amygdalin group.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: Amygdalin is a candidate compound for COVID-19 treatment by regulating IL6, SRC, MAPK1 EGFR and VEGFA to involve in PI3K-Akt signalling pathway, VEGF signalling pathway and MAPK signalling pathway. Meanwhile, amygdalin has a strong affinity for SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro and SARS-CoV-2 ACE2 and therefore prevents the virus transcription and dissemination.</p> Yuehua Wang Wenwen Gu Fuguang Kui Fan Gao Yuji Niu Wenwen Li Yaru Zhang Zhenzhen Guo Gangjun Du Copyright (c) 2021 Yuehua Wang, Wenwen Gu, Fuguang Kui, Fan Gao, Yuji Niu, Wenwen Li, Yaru Zhang, Zhenzhen Guo, Gangjun Du 2021-02-04 2021-02-04 10.29219/fnr.v65.5623 Pentadecanoic acid promotes basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in C2C12 myotubes <p><strong><em>Background:</em></strong> Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) generally have been thought to worsen insulin-resistance and increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Recently, accumulating evidence has revealed that SFAs are not a single homogeneous group, instead different SFAs are associated with T2DM in opposing directions. Pentadecanoic acid (C15:0, PA) is directly correlated with dairy products, and a negative association between circulating PA and metabolic disease risk was observed in epidemiological studies. Therefore, the role of PA in human health needs to be reinforced. Whether PA has a direct benefit on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity needs further investigation.</p> <p><strong><em>Objective:</em></strong> The present study aimed to investigate the effect and potential mechanism of action of PA on basal and insulin stimulated glucose uptake in C2C12 myotubes.</p> <p><strong><em>Methods:</em></strong> Glucose uptake was determined using a 2-(N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl) amino)-2-deoxyglucose (2-NBDG) uptake assay. Cell membrane proteins were isolated and glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) protein was detected by western blotting to examine the translocation of GLUT4 to the plasma membrane. The phosphorylation levels of proteins involved in the insulin and 5'-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathways were examined by western blotting.</p> <p><strong><em>Results:</em></strong> We found that PA significantly promoted glucose uptake and GLUT4 translocation to the plasma membrane. Mechanistically, PA had no effect on the insulin-dependent pathway involving insulin receptor substrate (Tyr632) and Akt, but increased phosphorylation of AMPK and Akt substrate of 160 kDa (AS160). Compound C (an AMPK inhibitor) blocked PA-induced AMPK activation and reversed PA-induced GLUT4 translocation, indicating that PA promotes glucose uptake via the AMPK pathway <em>in vitro</em>. Moreover, PA significantly promoted insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in myotubes. Under insulin stimulation, PA did not affect the insulin-dependent pathway, but still activated AMPK.</p> <p><strong><em>Conclusion:</em></strong> PA, an odd-chain saturated fatty acid, significantly stimulates glucose uptake via the AMPK-AS160 pathway and exhibits an insulin-sensitizing effect in myotubes.</p> Wen-Cheng Fu Hai-Yan Li Tian-Tian Li Kuo Yang Jia-Xiang Chen Si-Jia Wang Chun-Hui Liu Wen Zhang Copyright (c) 2021 Wen-Cheng Fu, Hai-Yan Li, Tian-Tian Li, Kuo Yang, Jia-Xiang Chen, Si-Jia Wang, Chun-Hui Liu, Wen Zhang 2021-01-22 2021-01-22 10.29219/fnr.v65.4527 Anti-diabetic effects of the soluble dietary fiber from tartary buckwheat bran in diabetic mice and their potential mechanisms <p><strong>Background</strong>: Tartary buckwheat has beneficial effects on glucose and lipid metabolism of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, the physiological effects of a soluble dietary fiber (SDF) from tartary buckwheat have rarely been studied, especially <em>in vivo</em>.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: This study aimed to examine the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of SDF from tartary buckwheat bran on high-fat diet/streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: The SDF of tartary buckwheat bran was collected according to the Association of Official Analytical Chemists method 991.43. Diabetic mice were treated with high-fat diets supplemented with 0.5, 1, and 2% SDF for 8 weeks. Parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolism and relevant mechanisms, including the excretion of short-chain fatty acids and the glycemic signaling pathway in the liver, were investigated. In addition, the structural characterization of a purified polysaccharide from SDF of tartary buckwheat bran was illustrated.</p> <p><strong>Result</strong>: Supplementation with SDF in the diet resulted in reduced levels of fasting blood glucose, improved oral glucose tolerance, increased levels of liver glycogen and insulin, as well as improved lipid profiles in both the serum and liver, in diabetic mice. The amelioration of glucose and lipid metabolism by SDF was accompanied by an increase in the short-chain fatty acid levels in the cecum and co-regulated by hepatic adenosine- 5′-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation. A neutral tartary buckwheat polysaccharide with an average molecular weight of 19.6 kDa was purified from the SDF, which consisted mainly of glucose with α-glycosidic bonds.</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: The SDF of tartary buckwheat bran exhibits hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects in diabetic mice, contributing to the anti-diabetic mechanisms of tartary buckwheat.</p> Weijing Wu Zaigui Li Fei Qin Ju Qiu Copyright (c) 2021 Weijing Wu, Zaigui Li, Fei Qin, Ju Qiu 2021-01-08 2021-01-08 10.29219/fnr.v65.4998 Iron intake among Lebanese women: sociodemographic factors, iron-rich dietary patterns, and preparation of hummus, a Mediterranean dish <p><strong>Background</strong>: Plant-based foods such as hummus are alternative to animal protein, and when properly prepared, they help to alleviate nutritional iron deficiency that leads to anemia, a global health problem.</p> <p><strong>Objective</strong>: The objective was to assess iron intake among Lebanese women and related participant’s characteristics, discern iron-rich dietary patterns, evaluate their association with nutrients intake and participant’s sociodemographic characteristics, and identify the women preparing hummus traditionally and properly for an enhanced iron bioavailability.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong>: A cross-sectional study of 400 Lebanese women (18–74 years old) was conducted in Lebanon. Data from a questionnaire, including sociodemographic and health characteristics, dietary intake, and hummus preparation and consumption, were collected. Dietary data were obtained by a food frequency questionnaire and a 24-h recall. Dietary patterns were identified by principal component analysis. Linear regression and binomial logistic regression models were used to explore the association between the intake of dietary iron, its patterns, and the participants’ characteristics.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: About 60% of the women had iron intake deficiency, especially with lower income (odds ratio [OR] = 1.88, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.107, 3.194). Four iron-rich dietary patterns were identified: legumes; organ/lunch meat and chicken; canned fish; and beef and hummus. The factor scores of the latter were positively correlated with protein, vitamin C, iron, folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin A with r = 0.195 and P &lt; 0.01 for all. No significant difference was shown among the women’s sociodemographic characteristics for the consumption of the hummus-related pattern. Only 9.2 and 22.7% of the women considered proper preparation of chickpea and hummus, respectively, which significantly (P &lt; 0.05) correlated with older women (66.7%).</p> <p><strong>Discussion &amp; Conclusion</strong>: The majority of the Lebanese women still have iron intake deficiency and the minority reported proper preparation of hummus. Intervention programs spreading awareness among Lebanese women are needed for encouraging adequate iron intake and considering proper steps to improve iron bioavailability from plant-based food.</p> Nour Doumani Jacqueline Maalouly Elias Bou-Maroun Nicolas Sok Philippe Cayot Maya Tueni Copyright (c) 2021 Nour Doumani, Jacqueline Maalouly, Elias Bou-Maroun, Nicolas Sok, Philippe Cayot, Maya Tueni 2021-01-06 2021-01-06 10.29219/fnr.v65.5556