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The efficacy of nopales (Opuntia spp) on lipoprotein profile and oxidative stress among moderately hypercholesterolemic adults

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Background: Evidence about the purported hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of nopales (prickly pear cactus pads) is limited. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of nopales for improving cardiometabolic risk factors and oxidative stress, compared to control, in adults with hypercholesterolemia. Design:

Background: Evidence about the purported hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of nopales (prickly pear cactus pads) is limited. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of nopales for improving cardiometabolic risk factors and oxidative stress, compared to control, in adults with hypercholesterolemia. Design: In a randomized crossover trial, participants were assigned to a 2-wk intervention with 2 cups/day of nopales or cucumbers (control), with a 2 to 3-wk washout period. The study included 16 adults (5 male; 46±14 y; BMI = 31.4±5.7 kg/m2) with moderate hypercholesterolemia (low density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-c] = 137±21 mg/dL), but otherwise healthy. Main outcomes measured included: dietary intake (energy, macronutrients and micronutrients), cardiometabolic risk markers (total cholesterol, LDL-c, high density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-c], triglycerides, cholesterol distribution in LDL and HDL subfractions, glucose, insulin, homeostasis model assessment, and C-reactive protein), and oxidative stress markers (vitamin C, total antioxidant capacity, oxidized LDL, and LDL susceptibility to oxidation). Effects of treatment, time, or interactions were assessed using repeated measures ANOVA. Results: There was no significant treatment-by-time effect for any dietary composition data, lipid profile, cardiometabolic outcomes, or oxidative stress markers. A significant time effect was observed for energy, which was decreased in both treatments (cucumber, -8.3%; nopales, -10.1%; pTime=0.026) mostly due to lower mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids intake (pTime=0.023 and pTime=0.003, respectively). Both treatments significantly increased triglyceride concentrations (cucumber, 14.8%; nopales, 15.2%; pTime=0.020). Despite the lack of significant treatment-by-time effects, great individual response variability was observed for all outcomes. After the cucumber and nopales phases, a decrease in LDL-c was observed in 44% and 63% of the participants respectively. On average LDL-c was decreased by 2.0 mg/dL (-1.4%) after the cucumber phase and 3.9 mg/dL (-2.9%) after the nopales phase (pTime=0.176). Pro-atherogenic changes in HDL subfractions were observed in both interventions over time, by decreasing the proportion of HDL-c in large HDL (cucumber, -5.1%; nopales, -5.9%; pTime=0.021) and increasing the proportion in small HDL (cucumber, 4.1%; nopales, 7.9%; pTime=0.002). Conclusions: These data do not support the purported benefits of nopales at doses of 2 cups/day for 2-wk on markers of lipoprotein profile, cardiometabolic risk, and oxidative stress in hypercholesterolemic adults.

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2013

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Selenium supplementation and cardiovascular outcome markers in hemodialysis patients: a randomized, controlled trial

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Background Hemodialysis (HD) patients elicit an oxidant-antioxidant imbalance in addition to a selenium deficiency, possibly contributing to cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. Objective To evaluate the effect of selenium supplementation on CVD outcomes and antioxidant status in HD patients. Design A

Background Hemodialysis (HD) patients elicit an oxidant-antioxidant imbalance in addition to a selenium deficiency, possibly contributing to cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. Objective To evaluate the effect of selenium supplementation on CVD outcomes and antioxidant status in HD patients. Design A randomized controlled intervention trial conducted from October 2012 to January 2013. Participants/setting The study included 27 maintenance HD patients (61.1+17.5y, 14M, 13F) receiving HD in the greater Phoenix, AZ area. Intervention Patients received one of three treatments daily: 2 Brazil nuts, (5g, 181µg/day of selenium as selenomethionine [predicted]), 1 tablet of selenium (200µg/day of selenium as selenomethionine), or control (3 gummy bears). Main outcome measures Antioxidant status outcome measures included total antioxidant capacity, vitamin C, and RBC and plasma glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px). CVD outcomes measures included brain natriuretic peptide; plasma cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, low density lipoprotein, triglycerides; blood pressure, and thoracic cavity fluid accumulation. Statistical analyses performed Repeated measures ANOVA analyzed changes over time and between groups at months 0 and 2 and months 0 and 3. Results Independent analysis showed the Brazil nuts provided 11µg of selenium/day and the pill provided 266µg of selenium/day. Consequently, the Brazil nut group was combined with the placebo group. 21 patients completed 2 months of the study and 17 patients completed the study in its entirety. Data was analyzed for months 0, 1 and 2. No significant differences were noted for antioxidant status outcome measures with the exception of plasma GSH-Px. Patients receiving the selenium pill had a significant increase in plasma GSH-Px compared to the placebo group (6.0+11 and -4.0+7.6, respectively, p=0.023 for change between month 0 and month 2). No significant differences were seen in total antioxidant capacity or for CVD outcome measures over time or between groups. Conclusions These data indicate that selenium supplementation increased plasma GSH-Px concentration in HD patients; however, oxidative stress was not altered by selenium supplementation. The low vitamin C status of HD patients warrants further research, specifically in conjunction with selenium supplementation.

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2013

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Effect of a Wii Fit® intervention on balance, muscular fitness, and bone health in middle-aged women

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Sustaining a fall can be hazardous for those with low bone mass. Interventions exist to reduce fall-risk, but may not retain long-term interest. "Exergaming" has become popular in older adults as a therapy, but no research has been done on

Sustaining a fall can be hazardous for those with low bone mass. Interventions exist to reduce fall-risk, but may not retain long-term interest. "Exergaming" has become popular in older adults as a therapy, but no research has been done on its preventative ability in non-clinical populations. The purpose was to determine the impact of 12-weeks of interactive play with the Wii Fit® on balance, muscular fitness, and bone health in peri- menopausal women. METHODS: 24 peri-menopausal-women were randomized into study groups. Balance was assessed using the Berg/FICSIT-4 and a force plate. Muscular strength was measured using the isokinetic dynamometer at 60°/180°/240°/sec and endurance was assessed using 50 repetitions at 240°/sec. Bone health was tracked using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for the hip/lumbar spine and qualitative ultrasound (QUS) of the heel. Serum osteocalcin was assessed by enzyme immunoassay. Physical activity was quantified using the Women's Health Initiative Physical Activity Questionnaire and dietary patterns were measured using the Nurses' Health Food Frequency Questionnaire. All measures were repeated at weeks 6 and 12, except for the DXA, which was completed pre-post. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in diet and PA between groups. Wii Fit® training did not improve scores on the Berg/FICSIT-4, but improved center of pressure on the force plate for Tandem Step, Eyes Closed (p-values: 0.001-0.051). There were no significant improvements for muscular fitness at any of the angular velocities. DXA BMD of the left femoral neck improved in the intervention group (+1.15%) and decreased in the control (-1.13%), but no other sites had significant changes. Osteocalcin indicated no differences in bone turnover between groups at baseline, but the intervention group showed increased bone turnover between weeks 6 and 12. CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate that WiiFit® training may improve balance by preserving center of pressure. QUS, DXA and osteocalcin data confirm that those in the intervention group were experiencing more bone turnover and bone formation than the control group. In summary, twelve weeks of strength /balance training with the Wii Fit® shows promise as a preventative intervention to reduce fall and fracture risk in non-clinical middle aged women who are at risk.

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2014

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A comparison of the impact of temperature and glucose concentration on percent glycated serum albumin between chickens and humans

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The glycation of plasma proteins leading to the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and subsequent damage is a driving factor in the pathophysiology of diabetic complications. The overall research objective was to elucidate the mechanisms by which birds

The glycation of plasma proteins leading to the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and subsequent damage is a driving factor in the pathophysiology of diabetic complications. The overall research objective was to elucidate the mechanisms by which birds prevent protein glycation in the presence of naturally high plasma glucose concentrations. This was accomplished through the specific purpose of examining the impact of temperature and glucose concentration on the percent glycation of chicken serum albumin (CSA) in comparison to human serum albumin (HSA). Purified CSA and HSA solutions prepared at four different glucose concentrations (0 mM, 5.56 mM, 11.11 mM, and 22.22 mM) were incubated at three different temperatures (37.0°C, 39.8°C, and 41.4°C) on separate occasions for seven days with aliquots extracted on days 0, 3, and 7. Samples were analyzed by LC-ESI-MS for percent glycation of albumin. The statistically significant interaction between glucose concentration, temperature, albumin type, and time as determined by four-way repeated measures ANOVA (p = 0.032) indicated that all independent variables interacted to affect the mean percent glycation of albumin. As glucose concentration increased, the percent glycation of both HSA and CSA increased over time at all temperatures. In addition, HSA was glycated to a greater extent than CSA at the two higher glucose concentrations examined for all temperature conditions. Temperature differentially affected percent glycation of HSA and CSA wherein glycation increased with rising temperatures for HSA but not CSA. The results of this study suggest an inherent difference between the human and chicken albumin that contributes to the observed differences in glycation. Further research is needed to characterize this inherent difference in an effort to elucidate the mechanism by which birds protect plasma proteins from glycation. Future related work has the potential to lead to the development of novel therapies to prevent or reverse protein glycation prior to the formation of AGEs in humans, thus preventing the development and devastating effects of numerous diabetic complications.

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2016

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Effects of a fat-sugar supplemented diet, with and without exercise training, on endothelial function, blood pressure, and markers of cardiovascular risk

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The Western Pattern diet has been characterized by having greater than 50 percent consumption coming from fat and sugar. This macronutrient allocation has been shown to have deleterious effects on endothelial function and metabolic markers of cardiovascular disease. Exercise has

The Western Pattern diet has been characterized by having greater than 50 percent consumption coming from fat and sugar. This macronutrient allocation has been shown to have deleterious effects on endothelial function and metabolic markers of cardiovascular disease. Exercise has been shown to improve vascular reactivity and metabolic markers related to cardiovascular health. The objective of the study was to determine if exercise training can prevent the anticipated deleterious effects of a fat-sugar supplemented diet on endothelial function and blood markers of cardiovascular risk in young men. Twenty-one, healthy college-aged males were randomly assigned to either the doughnut + exercise or doughnut only groups. Both groups were fed 2 doughnuts per day, 6 days per week, for three weeks, while maintain their current diet. The exercise group completed 4 exercise training sessions per week consisting of 2 high intensity interval training bouts (up to 95% VO2peak) on a cycle ergometer and two moderate intensity, steady-state bouts (at 75% VO2peak) on a treadmill. Changes in body weight and composition, markers of endothelial function, oxidative stress, serum lipids, and blood glucose were measured in each group. As expected, cardiovascular fitness increased significantly in the doughnut-supplemented + exercise group as compared to the doughnut-supplemented (p=0.005). Significant increases in body weight (p=0.036), fat mass (p=0.013), and body fat percentage (p=0.014) were seen in the doughnut only group as compared to the doughnut + exercise group. The doughnut + exercise group showed significant improvements in fasting serum triglycerides (p=0.036), plasma insulin (p=0.039) and insulin sensitivity (HOMA; p=0.05) as compared to the doughnut only group. The doughnut + exercise group saw a significant improvement in nitric oxide availability whereas the doughnut only group experienced a significant decline (p=0.014). There were no significant changes in other markers. Despite the addition of a fat/sugar supplement of ~11,600 kcal over three weeks, 4 exercise sessions per week were sufficient to prevent a gain in body weight and fat mass, and also improve some measures of cardiometabolic risk. These results suggest that exercise may be necessary to prevent some adverse health outcomes associated with transient periods of excessive energy consumption.

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2013

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Mitochondrial physiology in avian and mammalian skeletal muscle

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While exercising mammalian muscle increasingly relies on carbohydrates for fuel as aerobic exercise intensity rises above the moderate range, flying birds are extraordinary endurance athletes and fuel flight, a moderate-high intensity exercise, almost exclusively with lipid. In addition, Aves have

While exercising mammalian muscle increasingly relies on carbohydrates for fuel as aerobic exercise intensity rises above the moderate range, flying birds are extraordinary endurance athletes and fuel flight, a moderate-high intensity exercise, almost exclusively with lipid. In addition, Aves have long lifespans compared to weight-matched mammals. As skeletal muscle mitochondria account for the majority of oxygen consumption during aerobic exercise, the primary goal was to investigate differences in isolated muscle mitochondria between these species and to examine to what extent factors intrinsic to mitochondria may account for the behavior observed in the intact tissue and whole organism. First, maximal enzyme activities were assessed in sparrow and rat mitochondria. Citrate synthase and aspartate aminotransferase activity were higher in sparrow compared to rat mitochondria, while glutamate dehydrogenase activity was lower. Sparrow mitochondrial NAD-linked isocitrate dehydrogenase activity was dependent on phosphate, unlike the mammalian enzyme. Next, the rate of oxygen consumption (JO), electron transport chain (ETC) activity, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production were assessed in intact mitochondria. Maximal rates of fat oxidation were lower than for carbohydrate in rat but not sparrow mitochondria. ETC activity was higher in sparrows, but no differences were found in ROS production between species. Finally, fuel selection and control of respiration at three rates between rest and maximum were assessed. Mitochondrial fuel oxidation and selection mirrored that of the whole body; in rat mitochondria the reliance on carbohydrate increased as the rate of oxygen consumption increased, whereas fat dominated under all conditions in the sparrow. These data indicate fuel selection, at least in part, can be modulated at the level of the mitochondrial matrix when multiple substrates are present at saturating levels. As an increase in matrix oxidation-reduction potential has been linked to a suppression of fat oxidation and high ROS production, the high ETC activity relative to dehydrogenase activity in avian compared to mammalian mitochondria may result in lower matrix oxidation-reduction potential, allowing fatty acid oxidation to proceed while also resulting in low ROS production in vivo.

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2012

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The effect of vitamin C supplementation on sICAM-1 in asthmatic study participants

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The common cold is a significant cause of morbidity world-wide, with human rhinovirus infections accounting for a majority colds suffered each year. While the symptoms of the common cold are generally mild and self-limiting, vulnerable populations such as individuals

The common cold is a significant cause of morbidity world-wide, with human rhinovirus infections accounting for a majority colds suffered each year. While the symptoms of the common cold are generally mild and self-limiting, vulnerable populations such as individuals with asthma can experience severe secondary complications including acute asthma exacerbation which can result in severe morbidity. Most human rhinovirus types utilize Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (ICAM-1) as a receptor to enter cells and initiate infection. Expression of this cell-surface protein is elevated in the respiratory tract of asthma patients. The theoretical basis for this research is the observation that plasma measures of the soluble form of Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 (sICAM-1) decrease in response to vitamin C supplementation. As rhinovirus infection occurs in the upper respiratory tract, the primary aim of this study was to evaluate change in sICAM-1 concentration in nasal lavage of asthmatic individuals in response to vitamin C supplementation. Otherwise healthy asthmatic adults between the ages of 18-65 years who were not currently using steroidal nasal sprays, smoking, or actively training for competitive sports were recruited from a university community and surrounding area to participate in an 18-day double-blind randomized placebo-controlled supplement study with a parallel arm design. 13 subjects were stratified based on age, gender, BMI and baseline plasma vitamin C level to receive either 500 mg vitamin C twice daily (VTC, n=7) or placebo (PLC, n=6). Biochemical measures included nasal lavage sICAM-1, plasma sICAM-1, plasma histamine, and plasma vitamin C. Survey measures included Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey-21 to assess colds, Daytime Symptom Diary Scale to assess asthma symptoms, and measures of diet quality including a vitamin C food frequency questionnaire and Rapid Eating Assessment for Participants. No between group comparison of means reached significance (Mann-Whitney U test, p>0.05). Nasal lavage sICAM-1 levels were decreased in VTC group by 37% at study day 4, although this finding did not reach significance. Findings in this study can be used to develop future investigations into the response of nasal lavage sICAM-1 to vitamin C supplementation.

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2014

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Effect of a short term high fat diet on kidney morphology and function

Description

Long term high fat diets (HFD) are correlated with the development of diabetes

and kidney disease. However, the impact of short term high fat intake on the etiology of kidney disease has not been well-studied. Therefore, this study examined the impact

Long term high fat diets (HFD) are correlated with the development of diabetes

and kidney disease. However, the impact of short term high fat intake on the etiology of kidney disease has not been well-studied. Therefore, this study examined the impact of a six week HFD (60% fat) on kidney structure and function in young male Sprague-Dawley rats. Previous studies have shown that these animals develop indices of diabetes compared to rats fed a standard rodent chow (5% fat) for six weeks. The hypothesis of this study is that six weeks of HFD will lead to early stages of kidney disease as evidenced by morphological and functional changes in the kidney. Alterations in morphology were determined by measuring structural changes in the kidneys (changes in mass, fatty acid infiltration, and structural damage). Alterations in kidney function were measured by analyzing urinary biomarkers of oxidative RNA/DNA damage, renal tissue lipid peroxidation, urinary markers of impaired kidney function (urinary protein, creatinine, and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)), markers of inflammation (tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin 6 (IL-6)), as well as cystatin C, a plasma biomarker of kidney function. The results of these studies determined that short term HFD intake is not sufficient to induce early stage kidney disease. Beyond increases in renal mass, there were no significant differences between the markers of renal structure and function in the HFD and standard rodent chow-fed rats.

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Date Created
2015

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Vitamin C and the common cold in the asthmatic population

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ABSTRACT

Asthma is a high-stress, chronic medical condition; 1 in 12 adults in the United States combat the bronchoconstriction from asthma. However, there are very few strong studies indicating any alternative therapy for asthmatics, particularly following a cold incidence. Vitamin

ABSTRACT

Asthma is a high-stress, chronic medical condition; 1 in 12 adults in the United States combat the bronchoconstriction from asthma. However, there are very few strong studies indicating any alternative therapy for asthmatics, particularly following a cold incidence. Vitamin C has been proven to be effective for other high-stress populations, but the asthmatic population has not yet been trialed. This study examined the effectiveness of vitamin C supplementation during the cold season on cold incidence and asthmatic symptoms. Asthmatics, otherwise-healthy, who were non-smokers and non-athletes between the ages of 18 and 55 with low plasma vitamin C concentrations were separated by anthropometrics and vitamin C status into two groups: either vitamin C (500 mg vitamin C capsule consumed twice per day) or control (placebo capsule consumed twice per day). Subjects were instructed to complete the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey-21 and a short asthma symptoms questionnaire daily along with a shortened vitamin C Food Frequency Questionnaire and physical activity questionnaire weekly for eight weeks. Blood samples were drawn at Week 0 (baseline), Week 4, and Week 8. Compliance was monitored through a calendar check sheet. The vitamin C levels of both groups increased from Week 0 to Week 4, but decreased in the vitamin C group at Week 8. The vitamin C group had a 19% decrease in plasma histamine while the control group had a 53% increase in plasma histamine at the end of the trial, but this was not statistically significant (p>0.05). Total symptoms recorded from WURSS-21 were 129.3±120.7 for the vitamin C and 271.0±293.9, but the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.724). Total asthma symptoms also slightly varied between the groups, but again was not statistically significant (p=0.154). These results were hindered by the low number of subjects recruited. Continued research in this study approach is necessary to definitively reject or accept the potential role of vitamin C in asthma and cold care.

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Date Created
2015

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Effects of vinegar on colonic fermentation and glycemia

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ABSTRACT This randomized, controlled, double-blind crossover study examined the effects of a preprandial, 20g oral dose of apple cider vinegar (ACV) on colonic fermentation and glycemia in a normal population, with the ultimate intention of identifying the mechanisms by which

ABSTRACT This randomized, controlled, double-blind crossover study examined the effects of a preprandial, 20g oral dose of apple cider vinegar (ACV) on colonic fermentation and glycemia in a normal population, with the ultimate intention of identifying the mechanisms by which vinegar has been shown to reduce postprandial glycemia and insulinemia. Fifteen male and female subjects were recruited, ages 20-60y, who had no prior history of gastrointestinal (GI) disease or resections impacting normal GI function, were non-smokers, were non-vegetarian/vegan, were not taking any medications known to alter (glucose) metabolism, and were free of chronic disease including diabetes. Subjects were instructed to avoid exercise, alcohol and smoking the day prior to their trials and to consume a standardized, high-carbohydrate dinner meal the eve prior. There was a one-week washout period per subject between appointments. Breath hydrogen, serum insulin and capillary glucose were assessed over 3 hours after a high-starch breakfast meal to evaluate the impact of preprandial supplementation with ACV or placebo (water). Findings confirmed the antiglycemic effects of ACV as documented in previous studies, with significantly lower mean blood glucose concentrations observed during ACV treatment compared to the placebo at 30 min (p=0.003) and 60 min (p=0.005), and significantly higher mean blood glucose concentrations at 180 min (p=0.045) postprandial. No significant differences in insulin concentrations between treatments. No significant differences were found between treatments (p>0.05) for breath hydrogen; however, a trend was observed between the treatments at 180 min postprandial where breath hydrogen concentration was visually perceived as being higher with ACV treatment compared to the placebo. Therefore, this study failed to support the hypothesis that preprandial ACV ingestion produces a higher rate of colonic fermentation within a 3 hour time period following a high-carbohydrate meal. Due to variations in experiment duration noted in other literature, an additional study of similar nature with an expanded specimen collections period, well beyond 3 hours, is warranted.

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2012