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> 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