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Dietary Mushrooms and Decreased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Case Study Approach to Validating an Experimental Design

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the primary killer of Americans. As such, alternative means of a dietary approach to preventing or mitigating the development of CVD is clearly needed in

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the primary killer of Americans. As such, alternative means of a dietary approach to preventing or mitigating the development of CVD is clearly needed in addition to the ongoing recommendation for increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Many studies suggest that fungi have the potential to decrease morbidity and mortality associated with CVD. Specifically, white button mushrooms, viz., Agaricus bisporus, are fairly common and inexpensive and full of untapped possibilities for efficacy although much additional research is needed. With antioxidants, e.g., selenium, and beta-glucans, viz., indigestible polysaccharides, white button mushrooms contain a plethora of bioactive ingredients that confer a potentially strong tool against the debilitating social impact of CVD.
The objective of this thesis was to establish protocols and a valid experimental design for testing whether dietary mushrooms could, in fact, be protective against CVD risk. Specifically, a case-study approach was used to validate this experimental method to test white button mushrooms and their impact on blood lipid levels and the inflammatory response. This dietary study involved preparation of two soups: a placebo, broth-based soup and one with one cup of white button mushrooms per cup of soup to provide one and a half cups of soup (and mushrooms) per day to each participant. The soup was prepared in The Kitchen Café at the ASU Downtown Campus (Phoenix, AZ).
After preparing the soup, the next goal was recruitment through listserv, local advertisements, flyers, and word of mouth of participants to test the overall plan. Over fifteen people responded; however, only one candidate met the inclusion criteria of someone at high risk of developing CVD and agreed to participate in the study. The participant visited the nutrition laboratory in downtown Phoenix (550 N. 5th Street). Anthropometric data and an initial blood draw were completed, and fourteen 1.5 cup containers of mushroom soup were dispensed to the participant. After two weeks, the individual returned and the same procedures were executed to include anthropometry and blood analysis. Even though the subject did not show changes in blood markers of CVD risk (lipids and inflammatory markers), the hypothesis for the thesis that the study design would be effective was accepted. Thus, the procedure was successful and validated and will be used in the future study.

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  • 2013-05

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Obesity and the Use of Brown Adipose Tissue as a Tool for Fat Loss in Obese Humans

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Obesity is now an epidemic in the United States and scientists must work to approach it from a unique angle. The focus of my thesis is the application of brown

Obesity is now an epidemic in the United States and scientists must work to approach it from a unique angle. The focus of my thesis is the application of brown adipose tissue as a combatant for fat loss in the body. Unused as adults, brown adipose tissue increases metabolism and mitochondrial function to burn more fat in individuals that cannot lose weight conventionally. Current research works to introduce safe hormonal pathways in the sympathetic nervous system to generate more of this tissue.

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  • 2013-05

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Assessing Diet Through Pictures; Compared to Traditional Methods

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Problem: Overweight and obesity are global issues. There are several strategies for weight loss and maintenance as well as general lifestyle change for overall better health. The goal is to

Problem: Overweight and obesity are global issues. There are several strategies for weight loss and maintenance as well as general lifestyle change for overall better health. The goal is to find an easy and convenient way for people to track their food intake, either for personal use and improvement, or to be used by professionals such as registered dietitians to gather data and help improve diet. Currently food journals, food frequency questionnaires and 24-hour recall are methods that are used by registered dietitians to get an idea of what is general diet is like from their patients or clients. It was proposed that pictures taken of the meal with a phone could be used as a method of recording food intake. It would be quick and extremely easy on the client; then everything from portion size, to type of food and toppings could be analyzed quickly and conveniently. If effective it could also give rise to the ability for foods to be analyzed immediately with the text or email of the picture. Methods: subjects already participating in a separate study where they were instructed to take pictures of their meals for a difference purpose were recruited. There recorded diet intake with phone pictures were able to be used from seven subjects. Subjects took a snapshot of their meals for 3 separate days and also logged on and completed a 24 hour recall with the ASA website. The pictures were analyzed and food intake, based off the pictures was entered in the program Food Processor to generate a nutritional report. The results from the ASA 24 hour recall, based on what the subject entered, were compared to the nutritional report, generated based on review of the pictures. Nutrient values that were compared include: total energy intake (calories), protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamin C, calcium and fiber. This was done to test if the pictures could be used as a valid source. Results: It was found that there were several problems with using the pictures as a method of analyzing food intake. Out of the seven subjects the result of only one subject was close between the two methods. All other results of calculated nutrient intake varied significantly and it did not prove to be effective to use pictures to analyze food intake. Conclusions: food intake recorded by picture method may prove to be useful in the future, however there would need to be greater compliance and training on picturing food that can be accurately analyzed. Short written explanation of food type and cooking method etc. would be most beneficial to include with actual picture. Pictures of food intake may be useful in other professional areas but as of now are not useful to generate nutritional reports.

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  • 2013-05

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Vinegar's effects on hemoglobin A1c and postprandial glycemia in individuals at risk for diabetes

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Objective: Vinegar consumption studies have demonstrated possible therapeutic effects in reducing HbA1c and postprandial glycemia. The purpose of the study was to closely examine the effects of a commercial vinegar

Objective: Vinegar consumption studies have demonstrated possible therapeutic effects in reducing HbA1c and postprandial glycemia. The purpose of the study was to closely examine the effects of a commercial vinegar drink on daily fluctuations in fasting glucose concentrations and postprandial glycemia, and on HbA1c, in individuals at risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2D). Design: Thirteen women and one man (21-62 y; mean, 46.0±3.9 y) participated in this 12-week parallel-arm trial. Participants were recruited from a campus community and were healthy and not diabetic by self-report. Participants were not prescribed oral hypoglycemic medications or insulin; other medications were allowed if use was stable for > 3 months. Subjects were randomized to one of two groups: VIN (8 ounces vinegar drink providing 1.5 g acetic acid) or CON (1 vinegar pill providing 0.04 g acetic acid). Treatments were taken twice daily immediately prior to the lunch and dinner meals. Venous blood samples were drawn at trial weeks 0 and 12 to measure insulin, fasting glucose, and HbA1c. Subjects recorded fasting glucose and 2-h postprandial glycemia concentrations daily using a glucometer. Results: The VIN group showed significant reductions in fasting capillary blood glucose concentrations (p=0.05) that were immediate and sustained throughout the duration of the study. The VIN group had reductions in 2-h postprandial glucose (mean change of −7.6±6.8 mg/dL over the 12-week trial), but this value was not significantly different than that for the CON group (mean change of 3.3±5.3 mg/dL over the 12-week trial, p=0.232). HbA1c did not significantly change (p=0.702), but the reduction in HbA1c in the VIN group, −0.14±0.1%, may have physiological relevance. Conclusions: Significant reductions in HbA1c were not observed after daily consumption of a vinegar drink containing 1.5 g acetic acid in non-diabetic individuals. However, the vinegar drink did significantly reduce fasting capillary blood glucose concentrations in these individuals as compared to a vinegar pill containing 0.04 g acetic acid. These results support a therapeutic effect for vinegar in T2D prevention and progression, specifically in high-risk populations.

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  • 2013

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Colonic fermentation as a byproduct of vinegar consumption: a parallel arm randomized control trial in adults at risk for type 2 diabetes

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Many people with or at risk for diabetes have difficulty maintaining normal postprandial blood glucose levels (120-140 mg/dl). Research has shown that vinegar decreases postprandial glycemia. The purpose of this

Many people with or at risk for diabetes have difficulty maintaining normal postprandial blood glucose levels (120-140 mg/dl). Research has shown that vinegar decreases postprandial glycemia. The purpose of this study was to examine a possible mechanism by which vinegar decreases postprandial glycemia, particularly the effect of vinegar ingestion on gut fermentation. In this parallel arm randomized control trial, the effects of daily ingestion of vinegar on gut fermentation markers were observed among adults at risk for type 2 diabetes in Phoenix, Arizona. Subjects (n=14) were randomly assigned to treatments consisting of a vinegar drink (1.5g acetic acid) or a placebo (2 vinegar pills containing 40mg acetic acid each). All participants were required to consume the vinegar drink (16 oz) or 2 placebo pills every day for 12 weeks. At week 12, participants filled out a questionnaire to report gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and three consecutive breath samples were taken from each subject to measure fasting breath hydrogen (BH2) with a breath analyzer. Fasting BH2 measures for the vinegar drink group (16.1+11.8 ppm) were significantly different than those from the pill group (3.6+1.4) with a partial eta squared of 0.39 (p=0.023). After adjusting for age as a confounding factor (r=0.406) and removing an outlier, fasting BH2 measures for the vinegar drink group (4.3+1.1 ppm) were still significantly different than those from the pill group (3.6+1.4) with a partial eta squared of 0.35 (p=0.045). Participants in both groups reported mild changes in GI symptoms. In conclusion, adults at risk for type 2 diabetes that consume 2 tablespoons of vinegar a day may have increased gut fermentation compared to those who do not consume vinegar.

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  • 2013

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Fish oil supplements and symptoms of the common cold in healthy young women

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Background: Research in animal models suggests that fish oil ingestion may impair immunity and increase risk for infection. To date there are no studies examining this relationship between fish oil

Background: Research in animal models suggests that fish oil ingestion may impair immunity and increase risk for infection. To date there are no studies examining this relationship between fish oil ingestion and risk for infection in humans. Objective: The primary aim of this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-arm study was to examine the effect of 400 mg of EPA and 200 mg of DHA, the main components of fish oil (FO) supplements, on the incidence of symptoms related to upper respiratory tract infections in healthy young females, at a large southwestern university. Design: Healthy young women between 18 and 38 years of age who were non-obese (mean BMI 23.7 ± 0.6 kg/m2) were recruited from an urban southwestern university campus. Subjects were non-vegetarians, non-smokers, and reported consuming less than one serving (3.5 oz) of fish per week. Participants (n=26) were randomized according to age, body weight, BMI, and daily n-3 fatty acid (FA) intake into two groups: FO (one gel capsule of 600 mg EPA/DHA per day) or CO (one placebo gel capsule of 1000 mg coconut oil per day). Participants completed a validated daily cold symptom survey, the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey-21 for 8 weeks. Fasting blood samples measuring TNF-α concentrations were taken at weeks 1 and 8, when 24-hour dietary recalls were also performed. Anthropometric measurements were recorded via bioelectrical impedance at trial weeks 1, 4, and 8. Results: The 8-week trial of FO supplementation did not significantly change the average score for perception of cold symptoms between FO and CO groups (167 ± 71 and 185 ± 56, p=0.418, respectively). Plasma TNF-α levels (pg/mL) did not differ between groups (p=0.482). TNF-α levels were significantly correlated with body weight (r=0.480, p=0.037), BMI (r=0.481, p=0.037, and percent body fat (r=0.511, p=0.025) at baseline. Conclusions: Healthy young women taking a fish oil supplement of 400 mg EPA and 200 mg DHA per day over 8 weeks does not impose unintentional health consequences. These findings do not refute the American Heart Association's current recommendations for all Americans to consume two servings (3.5 oz) of a variety of oily fish per week. Depending on the type of fish, this current recommendation equates to approximately 200-300 mg per day of EPA and DHA n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Additional research is needed to investigate the effects of higher dosages of fish oils on daily cold symptoms.

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  • 2013

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Can a vegetarian diet affect resting metabolic rate or satiety: a pilot study utilizing a metabolic cart and the SenseWear armband

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Dietary protein is known to increase postprandial thermogenesis more so than carbohydrates or fats, probably related to the fact that amino acids have no immediate form of storage in the

Dietary protein is known to increase postprandial thermogenesis more so than carbohydrates or fats, probably related to the fact that amino acids have no immediate form of storage in the body and can become toxic if not readily incorporated into body tissues or excreted. It is also well documented that subjects report greater satiety on high- versus low-protein diets and that subject compliance tends to be greater on high-protein diets, thus contributing to their popularity. What is not as well known is how a high-protein diet affects resting metabolic rate over time, and what is even less well known is if resting metabolic rate changes significantly when a person consuming an omnivorous diet suddenly adopts a vegetarian one. This pilot study sought to determine whether subjects adopting a vegetarian diet would report decreased satiety or demonstrate a decreased metabolic rate due to a change in protein intake and possible increase in carbohydrates. Further, this study sought to validate a new device called the SenseWear Armband (SWA) to determine if it might be sensitive enough to detect subtle changes in metabolic rate related to diet. Subjects were tested twice on all variables, at baseline and post-test. Independent and related samples tests revealed no significant differences between or within groups for any variable at any time point in the study. The SWA had a strong positive correlation to the Oxycon Mobile metabolic cart but due to a lack of change in metabolic rate, its sensitivity was undetermined. These data do not support the theory that adopting a vegetarian diet results in a long-term change in metabolic rate.

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  • 2012

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Plasma vitamin C supplementation and physical activity in young men

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Vitamin C is a micronutrient with many important physiological roles. It can function as a reducing agent, a free radical scavenger, and an enzyme cofactor. Much research has examined the

Vitamin C is a micronutrient with many important physiological roles. It can function as a reducing agent, a free radical scavenger, and an enzyme cofactor. Much research has examined the potential of vitamin C supplements to enhance exercise capacity in trained athletes; however, little is known regarding the effects of vitamin C supplements on the promotion of leisure-time physical activity in the general population. This area deserves attention since 1/3 of Americans have below adequate vitamin C status, and since aversion to exercise, fatigue, and altered mood states are the earliest signs of poor vitamin C status. This study analyzed the effect of supplementing 500 mg twice daily of vitamin C on self-reported leisure-time activity levels and mood states in young men. Twenty-nine healthy, young men, aged 18-35 years, were stratified by age, BMI, smoking status, and plasma vitamin C concentrations and assigned to either a control (CON) or experimental group (VTC) for the 8-week randomized, double-blinded, parallel arm trial. Subjects were instructed to keep track of their leisure-time physical activity by filling out the validated Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire weekly for the entire study. In addition, subjects took the self-administered Profile of Mood States (POMS) at baseline, week 4, and week 8 to observe mood states. Plasma vitamin C concentrations were analyzed at the initial screening, week 4, and week 8 of the study. Plasma vitamin C concentrations significantly differed by group at week 4 and week 8. Furthermore, vitamin C supplementation significantly increased self-reported mild, moderate, and strenuous activity levels during the 8-week trial. Overall, total physical activity scores increased nearly 50% in the VTC group as compared to 18% in the CON group (p=0.001). However, mood states were not significantly impacted by vitamin C supplementation during the trial. This study provides the first experimental evidence that supplementing 500 mg of vitamin C twice daily can be effective in increasing leisure-time physical activity in healthy young men. This study, however, was unable to link improvements in physical activity rates to improved mood states. Since sedentary behaviors have been implicated in the rise of obesity in the U.S., further research should be conducted to substantiate the finding that vitamin C supplementation increases physical activity.

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Date Created
  • 2012