Volume 148 (9) | September 2018
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The Journal of Nutrition Media Alerts
The following articles have been published in the September 2018 issue of  The Journal of Nutrition, a publication of the American Society for Nutrition. Summaries of the selected articles appear below; the full text of each article is available by clicking on the links listed. Manuscripts published in  The Journal of Nutrition are embargoed until the article appears online either as in press ( Articles in Press) or as a final version. The embargoes for the following articles have expired ( Editor's Choice Articles in bold):
  • Whole grains may be one of the most important food groups for the prevention of type 2 diabetes
  • Consuming iron-biofortified pearl millet improves both iron status and cognitive performance in Indian adolescents
  • Vitamin D status – Is there an association with early menopause?
  • Risk of cardiometabolic disease may be impacted by intestinal microbiota
  • SIRT1 expression is positively associated with nutritional status in older adults
Whole grains may be one of the most important food groups for the prevention of type 2 diabetes
Over the past 35 years, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has steadily increased worldwide. Healthy lifestyle practices such as engagement in regular physical activity, abstaining from smoking, weight management, and consuming diets rich in whole grains are well associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes. With respect to dietary practices, consumption of foods rich in whole-grains may be one of the most influential factors in diabetes prevention and management. Because whole grain foods differ in terms of nutrients, dietary fibers and bioactive components, the strength of this beneficial effect may vary according to the types whole grain food products consumed. A recent study conducted Kyrø et al. addresses this important question – do whole-grain foods have similar protective effects on type 2 diabetes risk?

Reference: Kyrø C, Tjønneland A, Overvad K, Olsen A, Landberg R . Higher Whole-Grain Intake Is Associated with Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes among Middle-Aged Men and Women: The Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Cohort .   J Nutr 2018 148(9):1434-44.
For More Information To contact the corresponding authors, send email to:
Int'l: Senior author, Prof. Rikard Landbege, Rikard.landberg@chalmers.se
Denmark: Corresponding author, Dr. Cecilie Kyrø, ceciliek@cancer.dk

Consuming iron-biofortified pearl millet improves both iron status and cognitive performance in Indian adolescents
Iron deficiency anemia, one of the most common diet-related micronutrient deficiency disorders, is particularly problematic in regions of the world where access to food and healthcare is limited. Chronic iron deficiency anemia can impair cognition, growth, and development in both children and adolescents. During pregnancy, impaired iron status increases risk of having low birth weight infants, which subsequently can compromise the health of future generations. In developed countries, a combination of dietary intervention and iron supplementation can effectively improve iron status. However, in impoverished regions of the world where iron deficiency anemia is most prevalent, these treatment options are largely unavailable. While food fortification efforts have been successful in many countries, those living in remote rural areas often have limited access to commercially fortified foods. Another approach, called nutrient biofortification, combats malnutrition by increasing the amounts of key essential micronutrients in staple foods either by plant breeding or mineral fertilization. To determine if iron status and measures of cognitive performance in school-going adolescents are positively affected by consumption of foods made with iron-biofortified pearl millet, Scott and colleagues conducted a 6-month randomized controlled efficacy trial.

Reference: Scott SP, Murray-Kolb LE, Wenger MJ, Udipi SA, Ghugre PS, Boy E, Haas JD . Cognitive Performance in Indian School-Going Adolescents Is Positively Affected by Consumption of Iron-Biofortified Pearl Millet: A 6-Month Randomized Controlled Efficacy Trial.   J Nutr 2018 148(9):1462-71.
For More Information: To contact the corresponding author, Dr. Laura Murray-Kolb, please send an e-mail to lem118@psu.edu.

Vitamin D status – Is there an association with early menopause?
Unlike other vitamins needed to keep us healthy, our bodies can make vitamin D. Sometimes considered to be a pro-hormone, vitamin D can be synthesized when skin is exposed to sunlight. However, vitamin D is also found in food, and is particularly abundant in fortified milk and other dairy products. The list of health benefits attributed to vitamin D is impressive, and includes reduced risk of bone loss (osteoporosis), type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Researchers now wonder if there is another possible health benefit associated with vitamin D – protecting ovaries from premature aging. Early menopause (cessation of ovarian function before 45 years of age) leaves women at greater risk for long-term health problems such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, and memory loss. In addition to these adverse health outcomes, fertility drastically declines during the years leading up to early menopause, thus making it difficult for women to conceive. Approximately 10% of women experience early menopause, and some researchers believe that vitamin D may play a role. However, studies linking vitamin D status and accelerated ovarian aging have been inconclusive. A study conducted by Purdue-Smithe and colleagues provides further investigation as to whether there is an association between vitamin D concentrations and early menopause.

Reference: Purdue-Smithe AC, Whitcomb BW, Manson JE, Hankinson SE, Troy LM, Rosner BA, Bertone-Johnson ER . Vitamin D Status Is Not Associated with Risk of Early Menopause.   J Nutr 2018 148(9):1445-52.
For More Information: To contact the corresponding author,Dr. Purdue-Smithe, please send an e-mail to apurdues@umass.edu.

Read full summaries here .
JN  Editor's Choice Articles

Risk of cardiometabolic disease may be impacted by intestinal microbiota
Tindall and colleagues provide a review of the literature exploring the relationship among diet, intestinal microbiota and metabolites, and cardiometabolic disease. The evidence indicates differences in microbial populations that exist among individuals consuming a vegan, vegetarian or omnivore dietary pattern. A vegetarian or Mediterranean dietary pattern was associated with not only altered microbial populations, but also changes in microbial metabolites including short chain fatty acids, secondary bile acids and trimethylamine. The changes in metabolites were also associated with improved cardiometabolic risk factors. The authors conclude the evidence reviewed suggests the beneficial impact of diet on cardiometabolic disease is, at least in part, mediated by the intestinal microbiome and their metabolome.

Reference: Tindall AM, Petersen KS, Kris-Etherton PM . Dietary Patterns Affect the Gut Microbiome—The Link to Risk of Cardiometabolic Diseases J Nutr 2018 148(9):1402-07 .
For More Information: To contact the corresponding author, Dr. Penny M. Kris-Etherton, please send an email to pmk3@psu.edu.

SIRT1 expression is positively associated with nutritional status in older adults
The mechanisms contributing to the relationship between nutritional status and the decrements associated with aging are not well understood. One hypothesis is that the expression of genes involved in the cellular responses to stress is altered, thus contributing to the physical and mental deterioration that can occur during aging.  El Assar et al. report on a study that explored the impacts of nutritional status, adherence to a Mediterranean diet and frailty on expres-sion of 15 genes involved in cellular stress responses. The subjects (average age 76.5 and 22% frail) were part of the Toledo Study for Healthy Aging con-ducted in Spain. Subjects were assessed for nutritional status and adherence to the Mediterranean diet using standard approaches and blood samples were collected to determine gene expression. Of the genes monitored, only SIRT1 was differentially expressed based on nutritional status, with those having a higher level of expression having better nutritional status. The expression difference remained significant even when confounders, such as age, sex, frailty and adherence to the Mediterranean diet were included in the model. Risk of malnutrition was negatively related to SIRT1 levels. The authors suggest these observations may indicate the utility of SIRT1 expression levels as a biomarker for nutritional status, yet recognize the need for further longitudinal studies to determine the efficacy of this hypothesis..

Reference: El Assar M, Angulo J, Walter S, Carnicero JA, García-García FJ, Sánchez -Puelles J-M, Sánchez-Puelles C, Rodríguez-Mañas L. Better Nutritional Status Is Positively Associated with mRNA Expression of SIRT1 in Community-Dwelling Older Adults in the Toledo Study for Healthy Aging J Nutr 2018 148(9):1408–14.
For More Information: To contact the corresponding author, Dr. Leocadio Rodríguez-Mañas, send an email to leocardio.rodriguez@salud.madrid.org.
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