Soup Kettle Topics: Diet– Nutrition, Absorption and Metabolism

Title: Western Diet and Western Diseases: Some Hormonal and Biochemical Mechanisms and Associations
Author: Adlercreutz, H.; 1990)
Journal: Scand J Clin Lab Invest Suppl; V. 201; Pages: 3-23

Abstract: Breast cancer, prostate cancer, coronary heart disease and colon cancer belong to the so-called Western diseases and a general opinion is that diet is a significant or even the main factor increasing incidence and mortality of these diseases in the Western world. This review describes studies carried out in this department for about 10 years, many in collaboration with scientists abroad, and with the aim to clarify some of the connections between the diet and sex hormone, lipid and bile acid metabolism. A Western-type diet elevates plasma levels of sex hormones and decreases the sex hormone binding globulin concentration, increasing the bioavailability of these steroids. The same diet results in low formation of mammalian lignans and isoflavonic phytoestrogens. These diphenolic compounds seem to affect hormone metabolism and production and cancer cell growth by many different mechanisms making them candidates for a role as cancer protective substances. The precursors of these diphenols are to be found in fiber-rich unrefined grain products, various seeds, beans and probably also in pulses, peas and berries. Some types of fiber seem to influence sex hormone and bile acid metabolism mainly by partial interruption of the enterohepatic circulation, by alteration of intestinal metabolism and by increasing fecal excretion of these compounds. The sex hormone pattern found in connection with a Western-type diet is prevailing in the breast cancer patients, but is only partly a result of the diet.
Notes: Journal Article
Review, Academic
Author Address: Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Helsinki, Meilahti Hospital, Finland.

Title: Diet and Asthma
Author: Baker, J. C.; Ayres, J. G.; (Date: Oct, 2000)
Journal: Respir Med; V. 94; Issue: 10; Pages: 925-34

Abstract: The role of food intolerance in asthma is well recognized, and where food avoidance measures are instituted considerable improvement in asthma symptoms and in reduction in drug therapy and hospital admissions can result. These benefits may have a greater impact in those patients with greater symptoms. However, the promise of such benefits should not result in an approach which ignores inhaled drug therapy, or in a dietary regime which is inappropriate in the face of mild symptoms. Whilst sub-optimal intake of dietary nutrients is also a recently recognized potential risk factor for asthma, available data are insufficient to implicate any as casual. A number of studies have sought to establish the role of the antioxidant vitamins, A, C and E and selenium, yet others of the elements sodium and magnesium. Sub-optimal nutrient intake may enhance asthmatic inflammation, consequently contributing to bronchial hyperreactivity. Prospective studies of supplementation therapy are needed to confirm this.
Notes: Journal Article
Review, Tutorial
Author Address: Heartlands Research Institute Birmingham, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, UK.

Title: Folate, Zinc, and Vitamin B-12 Intake During Pregnancy and Postpartum
Author: Berg, M. J.; Van Dyke, D. C.; Chenard, C.; Niebyl, J. R.; Hirankarn, S.; Bendich, A.; Stumbo, P.; (Date: Feb, 2001)
Journal: J Am Diet Assoc; V. 101; Issue: 2; Pages: 242-5

Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.

Title: Dietary Fat and Asthma: Is There a Connection?
Author: Black, P. N.; Sharpe, S.; (Date: Jan, 1997)
Journal: Eur Respir J; V. 10; Issue: 1; Pages: 6-12

Abstract: The last two decades have seen an increase in the prevalence of asthma, eczema, and allergic rhinitis in developed countries. This increase has been paralleled by a fall in the consumption of saturated fat and an increase in the amount of polyunsaturated fat in the diet. This is due to a reduction in the consumption of animal fat and an increase in the use of margarine and vegetable oils containing omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as linoleic acid. There is also evidence for a decrease in the consumption of oily fish which contain omega-3 PUFAs, such as eicosapentaenoic acid. In a number of countries, there are social class and regional differences in the prevalence of allergic disease, which are associated with differences in the consumption of PUFAs. Linoleic acid is a precursor of arachidonic acid, which can be converted to prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), whereas eicosapentaenoic acid inhibits the formation of PGE2. PGE2 acts on T-lymphocytes to reduce the formation of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) without affecting the formation of interleukin-4 (IL-4). This may lead to the development of allergic sensitization, since IL-4 promotes the synthesis of immunoglobulin E (IgE), whereas IFN-gamma has the opposite effect. Changes in the diet may explain the increase in the prevalence of asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis. The effects of diet may be mediated through an increase in the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 which in turn can promote the formation of immunoglobulin E.
Notes: Journal Article
Review, Tutorial
Author Address: Dept of Medicine University of Auckland Auckland Hospital, New Zealand.

Title: Dietary Magnesium, Lung Function, Wheezing, and Airway Hyperreactivity in a Random Adult Population Sample
Author: Britton, J.; Pavord, I.; Richards, K.; Wisniewski, A.; Knox, A.; Lewis, S.; Tattersfield, A.; Weiss, S.; (Date: Aug 6, 1994)
Journal: Lancet; V. 344; Issue: 8919; Pages: 357-62

Abstract: Magnesium is involved in a wide range of biological activities, including some that may protect against the development of asthma and chronic airflow obstruction. We tested the hypothesis that high dietary magnesium intake is associated with better lung function, and a reduced risk of airway hyper-reactivity and wheezing in a random sample of adults. In 2633 adults aged 18-70 sampled from the electoral register of an administrative area of Nottingham, UK, we measured dietary magnesium intake by semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire, lung function as the 1-sec forced expiratory volume (FEV1), and atopy as the mean skin-prick test response to three common environmental allergens. We measured airway reactivity to methacholine in 2415 individuals, defining hyper-reactivity as a 20% fall in FEV1 after a cumulative dose of 12.25 mumol or less. Mean (SD) daily intake of magnesium was 380 (114) mg/day. After adjusting for age, sex, and height, and for the effects of atopy and smoking, a 100 mg/day higher magnesium intake was associated with a 27.7 (95% CI, 11.9-43.5) mL higher FEV1, and a reduction in the relative odds of hyper-reactivity by a ratio of 0.82 (0.72-0.93). The same incremental difference in magnesium intake was also associated with a reduction in the odds of self-reported wheeze within the past 12 months, adjusted for age, sex, smoking, atopy, and kilojoule intake, by a ratio of 0.85 (0.76-0.95). Dietary magnesium intake is independently related to lung function and the occurrence of airway hyper-reactivity and self-reported wheezing in the general population. Low magnesium intake may therefore be involved in the aetiology of asthma and chronic obstructive airways disease.
Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: Division of Respiratory Medicine, University of Nottingham, City Hospital, UK.

Title: The Origins of Obstructive Airways Disease. A Role for Diet?
Author: Burney, P.; (Date: May, 1995)
Journal: Am J Respir Crit Care Med; V. 151; Issue: 5; Pages: 1292-3

Notes: Comment

Title: Nutrient Modulation of Inflammatory and Immune Function
Author: Cerra, F. B.; (Date: Feb, 1991)
Journal: Am J Surg; V. 161; Issue: 2; Pages: 230-4

Abstract: The metabolic response to injury occurs after a diverse group of surgical injuries including major surgical intervention, shock, infection, and sources of inflammation such as pancreatitis. The response is mediated by the macroendocrine system, the autonomic nervous system, and the cell-cell communication system. The clinical manifestations include now well-described clinical, physiologic, and metabolic characteristics. The approach of aggressive source control, invasive circulatory resuscitation, and nutrition/metabolic support has been associated with an overall reduction in morbidity and mortality. In those patients who do not respond to this approach, the disease process progresses to multiple organ failure syndrome with its associated high mortality. Altering the route of feeding, preventing single nutrient and generalized nutrient deficiency, and reducing nosocomial infections with selective gut decontamination have not significantly altered the course or outcome of the disease process in this latter group of patients with persistent hypermetabolism. The available data support the position that this persistent hypermetabolism represents abnormal metabolic regulation resulting in persistence of the inflammatory response with associated suppression of the immune defenses. A number of research approaches are being taken to understand and modulate this abnormal state of regulation. Because of the role of specific nutrients in these regulatory processes, beyond their role in classic nutrition support, nutrients such as arginine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and RNA are being evaluated for their ability to modulate inflammation and to improve immune function. Preliminary results are encouraging.
Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455.

Title: Nutrition, Immunity, and Infection: Present Knowledge and Future Directions
Author: Chandra, R. K.; (Date: Mar 26, 1983)
Journal: Lancet; V. 1; Issue: 8326 Pt 1; Pages: 688-91

Notes: Journal Article

Title: Immunocompetence Is a Sensitive and Functional Barometer of Nutritional Status
Author: Chandra, R. K.; 1991)
Journal: Acta Paediatr Scand Suppl; V. 374; Pages: 129-32

Abstract: Nutrition is a critical determinant of immunocompetence and risk of illness. Young children with protein-energy malnutrition exhibit increased mortality and morbidity, due largely to infectious disease. Recent work has demonstrated that undernourished individuals have impaired immune responses. The most consistent abnormalities are seen in cell-mediated immunity, complement system, phagocytes, mucosal secretory antibody response, and antibody affinity. Many of these immunologic changes occur early in the course of nutritional depletion and therefore can serve as sensitive functional indices of nutritional status.
Notes: Journal Article
Review, Tutorial
Author Address: Department of Pediatrics, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada.

Title: Nutrition and the Immune Response — a Review
Author: Dreizen, S.; 1979)
Journal: Int J Vitam Nutr Res; V. 49; Issue: 2; Pages: 220-8

Abstract: This compacted overview of the nutrition-immune response connection underscores the role of nutrition as a deterrent to infection. Malnutrition enhances the propensity to and heightens the intensity of infections by weaknening the various host defense mechanisms. Thus: 1. Deficiencies of vitamin A, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin B12, pyridoxine, ascorbic acid, iron and protein disrupt the tissue barriers to infection. 2. Protein-calorie, folate, iron, pyridoxine and zinc deprivations markedly depress the cell-mediated immune system. 3. Deficiencies of protein, pyridoxine, folic acid, pantothenic acid, thiamine, biotin, riboflavin, niacin-tryptophan, vitamin A and ascorbic acid inhibit humoral antibody formation in mammalian systems. 4. Vitamin A lack prevents the formation of lacrimal, salivary and sweat gland lysozymes. 5. Complement, properdin, interferon and transferrin concentrations are reduced in those nutritional deficiencies that interfere with protein synthesis. 6. Protein-calorie, iron and folate deficiencies impair phagocytosis by interfering with phagocyte microbial killing power or with phagocyte production. 7. Protein, ascorbic acid and zinc deficiencies retard wound healing that prevents spread of infectious lesions.
Notes: Journal Article

Title: What Did Our Late Paleolithic (Preagricultural) Ancestors Eat?
Author: Eaton, S. B.; (Date: May, 1990)
Journal: Nutr Rev; V. 48; Issue: 5; Pages: 227-30

Notes: Comment
Historical Article

Title: The Role of Diet in the Aetiology of Asthma
Author: Fogarty, A.; Britton, J.; (Date: May, 2000)
Journal: Clin Exp Allergy; V. 30; Issue: 5; Pages: 615-27

Notes: Journal Article
Review, Tutorial
Author Address: Division of Respiratory Medicine, University of Nottingham, City Hospital, Nottingham, UK.

Title: Trace Metal Nutrition and the Immune Response
Author: Gershwin, M. E.; Keen, C. L.; Mareschi, J. P.; Fletcher, M. P.; (Date: Mar, 1991)
Journal: Compr Ther; V. 17; Issue: 3; Pages: 27-34

Notes: Journal Article
Review, Tutorial
Author Address: Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Clinical Immunology, University of California, Davis.

Title: Asthma, Oxidant Stress, and Diet
Author: Greene, L. S.; (Date: Nov-Dec, 1999)
Journal: Nutrition; V. 15; Issue: 11-12; Pages: 899-907

Abstract: It has been suggested that the increased prevalence of atopy and asthma observed in many developed countries over the past 30 y is in part the result of a decrease in the incidence and severity of early childhood infections. The immunologic consequence of this phenomenon has been the expansion of T-lymphocyte populations away from the T-helper 1 (Th1) subset and in the direction of the Th2 subset. This leads to the creation of a cytokine-mediated propensity for the development of an intense inflammatory response in the airways, resulting in oxidative stress, airway tissue injury, and the development of atopy and asthmatic symptomatology. Over this same period, there has been a decreased intake of dietary substances that contribute to antioxidant defense, and this appears to have contributed to the rise of atopy and asthma. Studies evaluating the efficacy of these antioxidant substances in the prevention of asthma and as adjuvants in the treatment of asthma are reviewed, and suggestions are made for the direction of future studies.
Notes: Journal Article
Review, Academic
Author Address: Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts-Boston 02125-3393, USA.

Title: Nutritional Modulation of Cytokine Biology
Author: Grimble, R. F.; (Date: Jul-Aug, 1998)
Journal: Nutrition; V. 14; Issue: 7-8; Pages: 634-40

Abstract: The pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidant molecules produced during the inflammatory response, which follows infection and injury, may be beneficial, or detrimental to the patient, depending on the amounts and contexts in which they are produced. Aberrant or excessive production has been implicated in inflammatory disease, and sepsis. The upregulation of cytokine production by NF kappa B and NFIL-6 activation by oxidants increases the likelihood of cytokine-induced mortality and morbidity. Complex systems exist for the control of cytokine production and oxidant actions. The former include the hormones of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, acute phase proteins, and endogenous inhibitors of interleukin (IL)-1 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). The latter include endogenously synthesized antioxidants, such as glutathione and dietary antioxidants, such as tocopherols, ascorbates and cachectins. Nutrients change cytokine production and potency by influencing tissue concentrations of many of the molecules involved in cytokine biology. Monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) suppress TNF and IL-1 production and actions, while n-6 PUFAs exert the opposite effect. Changes in eicosanoid production are more likely to underlie this effect than alterations in membrane fluidity. Low antioxidant intake results in enhanced cytokine production and effects. The anorexia that follows infection and injury, may be purposeful to permit release of substrate from endogenous sources to support and control the inflammatory process. Therefore, prior as well as concurrent nutrient intake are of importance in determining the outcome of the inflammatory response.
Notes: Journal Article
Review, Tutorial
Author Address: Institute of Human Nutrition, University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

Title: The Nutritional Basis of the Fetal Origins of Adult Disease
Author: Harding, J. E.; (Date: Feb, 2001)
Journal: Int J Epidemiol; V. 30; Issue: 1; Pages: 15-23

Notes: Journal Article
Review, Tutorial
Author Address: Research Centre for Developmental Medicine and Biology, School of Medicine, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.

Title: Investigation of the Effect of Short-Term Change in Dietary Magnesium Intake in Asthma
Author: Hill, J.; Micklewright, A.; Lewis, S.; Britton, J.; (Date: Oct, 1997)
Journal: Eur Respir J; V. 10; Issue: 10; Pages: 2225-9

Abstract: Epidemiological evidence suggests that a low dietary intake of magnesium is associated with impaired lung function, bronchial hyperreactivity and wheezing. This study was designed to investigate whether short-term alterations of dietary magnesium intake have an effect on the clinical control of asthma. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study, 17 asthmatic subjects adhered to a low magnesium diet for two periods of 3 weeks, preceded and separated by a 1 week run-in/wash-out, in which they took either placebo or magnesium (400 mg x day(-1)) tablet supplementation. Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and the provocative dose of methacholine required to cause a 20% fall in FEV1 from baseline (PD20,FEV1) were measured at the beginning and end of each treatment period, and variation in peak expiratory flow (PEF) rate, bronchodilator use and symptom scores recorded throughout. Asthma symptom scores were significantly lower during the magnesium treatment period, the median (95% confidence interval) difference from placebo being 3.8 (0.5-7.0) symptom points per 7 days (p=0.02). However, there was no significant improvement in FEV1, PD20,FEV1, log amplitude percentage mean PEF variation or bronchodilator use during magnesium supplementation. A high magnesium intake was associated with improvement in symptom scores, though not in objective measures of airflow or airway reactivity, in these stable asthmatic subjects.
Notes: Clinical Trial
Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Author Address: Division of Respiratory Medicine, City Hospital, Nottingham, UK.

Title: Increased Consumption of Polyunsaturated Oils May Be a Cause of Increased Prevalence of Childhood Asthma
Author: Hodge, L.; Peat, J. K.; Salome, C.; (Date: Dec, 1994)
Journal: Aust N Z J Med; V. 24; Issue: 6; Pages: 727

Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: Institute of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW.

Title: Consumption of Oily Fish and Childhood Asthma Risk
Author: Hodge, L.; Salome, C. M.; Peat, J. K.; Haby, M. M.; Xuan, W.; Woolcock, A. J.; (Date: Feb 5, 1996)
Journal: Med J Aust; V. 164; Issue: 3; Pages: 137-40

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between diet and airway disease in children in the light of epidemiological studies suggesting that consumption of fish more than once a week reduces the risk of developing airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). DESIGN: Diet was assessed by a detailed food frequency questionnaire and airway disease by respiratory symptoms or airway responsiveness to exercise. METHODS: A questionnaire, containing questions about the frequency of eating more than 200 foods, was sent to the parents of 574 children in whom we had measured recent wheeze (by questionnaire), AHR (by exercise) and atopy (by skin prick tests) six months before this study. We defined current asthma as the presence of both recent wheeze and AHR. RESULTS: Response rate to the questionnaire was 81.5% (n=468.) After adjusting for confounders such as sex, ethnicity, country of birth, atopy, respiratory infection in the first two years of life and a parental history of asthma or smoking, children who ate fresh, oily fish (>2% fat) had a significantly reduced risk of current asthma (odds ratio, 0.26; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.72; P<0.01). No other food groups or nutrients were significantly associated with either an increased or reduced risk of current asthma. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that consumption of oily fish may protect against asthma in childhood.
Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: Institute of Respiratory Medicine, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Title: Atopy in Childhood and Diet in Infancy. A Nine-Year Follow-up Study. I. Clinical Manifestations
Author: Poysa, L.; Korppi, M.; Remes, K.; Juntunen-Backman, K.; (Date: Mar-Apr, 1991)
Journal: Allergy Proc; V. 12; Issue: 2; Pages: 107-11

Abstract: A national program for the prevention of atopy in children has been in progress in Finland since 1979. Its aim is to prevent or at least to reduce atopic symptoms in childhood. Since the start of the program we have followed a group of 119 children with and without a family history of atopy. Half the atopy-prone children kept to the diet intended to prevent atopy, i.e., breast-feeding prolonged up to age 3 months and introduction of solid food and formulae based on cow’s milk after age 3 months. All children were examined at ages 5 and 10 years. In addition to clinical examination and interview, skin-prick tests using eight common inhalant allergens were performed. At age 9 to 10 years, 38 of the 119 children (32%) exhibited at least one atopic illness (bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, atopic eczema or food allergy). Forty percent of children with family histories of atopy had atopic illness, independent of diet in infancy. The occurrence of atopic manifestations in the children of nonatopic families was 21%. Only half the children who had atopic symptoms at age 12 months had symptoms 9 years later. Asthma, allergic rhinitis, and positive skin-prick test results at age 5 years, however, correlated well with the subsequent occurrence of respiratory allergy. Our observations indicate that the preventive measures in early infancy intended to reduce the risk of atopy had no influence on atopic manifestations 9 years later.
Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: Department of Paediatrics, Kuopio University Central Hospital, Finland.

Title: Diet in Infancy and Bronchial Hyperreactivity Later in Childhood
Author: Poysa, L.; Pulkkinen, A.; Korppi, M.; Remes, K.; Juntunen-Backman, K.; (Date: Aug, 1992)
Journal: Pediatr Pulmonol; V. 13; Issue: 4; Pages: 215-21

Abstract: Sixty-seven atopy-prone children (atopic family group, AFG) and 52 children with no family history of atopy (NAFG) were followed for 10 years. During infancy, the mothers of the newborn AFG children were advised to adjust their infants’ diet, with a view toward minimizing the risk of atopy, and not to keep pets. Pulmonary function tests, methacholine inhalation challenge (MIC), and skin prick tests (SPT) were done in order to evaluate the bronchial reactivity and skin reactivity in the two groups. A pathological result in MIC was found in 20 (30%) of the AFG children and in 10 (19%) of the NAFG children. Such results of MIC were more common in the children with positive SPT results than in those without (67% vs. 24%). In regard to the diet consumed in infancy, MIC was pathological in 23% of children with and in 36% without prophylactic diet in infancy. For MIC, using the new, Spira electro 2 dosimeter equipment, the sensitivity was 75% and specificity 97%, but the predictive value for diagnosing bronchial asthma was only 25%. The important advantage of our method is that the degree of bronchial reactivity can be estimated by responses to increasing provocative doses. Our observations confirm that the new method is suitable for detecting bronchial asthma in clinical practice but it seems not to be optimal for epidemiological studies. We concluded that later bronchial hyperreactivity can not be diminished by avoiding home pets or providing a hypoallergenic diet during infancy.
Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: Department of Paediatrics, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland.

Title: Nutritional Regulation of Host Resistance and Predictive Value of Immunologic Tests in Assessment of Outcome
Author: Puri, S.; Chandra, R. K.; (Date: Apr, 1985)
Journal: Pediatr Clin North Am; V. 32; Issue: 2; Pages: 499-516

Abstract: In this review, the authors describe the current information on nutrition modulation of immunity, enumerate the various immunologic tests that are potentially useful in nutritional assessment, examine the reliability of tests predicting disease and complications, and discuss how immunologic evaluation may help in the decision process regarding nutritional support.
Notes: Journal Article

Title: Diet, Infection and Wheezy Illness: Lessons from Adults
Author: Seaton, A.; Devereux, G.; 2000)
Journal: Pediatr Allergy Immunol; V. 11 Suppl 13; Pages: 37-40

Abstract: An increase in asthma and atopic disease has been recorded in many countries where society has become more prosperous. We have investigated two possible explanations: a reduction in childhood infections and a change in diet. In a cohort of people followed up since 1964, originally selected as a random sample of primary school children, we have investigated the relevance of family size and the common childhood infectious diseases to development of eczema, hay fever and asthma. Although membership of a large family reduced risks of hay fever and eczema (but not asthma), this was not explained by the infections the child had suffered. Indeed, the more infections the child had had, the greater the likelihood of asthma, although measles gave a modest measure of protection. We have investigated dietary factors in two separate studies. In the first, we have shown the risks of bronchial hyper-reactivity are increased seven-fold among those with the lowest intake of vitamin C, while the lowest intake of saturated fats gave a 10-fold protection. In the second, we have shown that the risk of adult-onset wheezy illness is increased five-fold by the lowest intake of vitamin E and doubled by the lowest intake of vitamin C. These results were supported by direct measurements of the vitamins and triglycerides in plasma. We have proposed that changes in the diet of pregnant women may have reflected those observed in the population as a whole and that these may have resulted in the birth of cohorts of children predisposed to atopy and asthma. The direct test of this is to study the diet and nutritional status of a large cohort of pregnant women and to follow their offspring forward. This is our current research.
Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, University of Aberdeen Medical School, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.

Title: Bronchial Reactivity and Dietary Antioxidants
Author: Soutar, A.; Seaton, A.; Brown, K.; (Date: Feb, 1997)
Journal: Thorax; V. 52; Issue: 2; Pages: 166-70

Abstract: BACKGROUND: It has been postulated that dietary antioxidants may influence the expression of allergic diseases and asthma. To test this hypothesis a case-control study was performed, nested in a cross sectional study of a random sample of adults, to investigate the relationship between allergic disease and dietary antioxidants. METHODS: The study was performed in rural general practices in Grampian, Scotland. A validated dietary questionnaire was used to measure food intake of cases, defined, firstly, as people with seasonal allergic-type symptoms and, secondly, those with bronchial hyperreactivity confirmed by methacholine challenge, and of controls without allergic symptoms or bronchial reactivity. RESULTS: Cases with seasonal symptoms did not differ from controls except with respect to the presence of atopy and an increased risk of symptoms associated with the lowest intake of zinc. The lowest intakes of vitamin C and manganese were associated with more than fivefold increased risks of bronchial reactivity. Decreasing intakes of magnesium were also significantly associated with an increased risk of hyperreactivity. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that diet may have a modulatory effect on bronchial reactivity, and is consistent with the hypothesis that the observed reduction in antioxidant intake in the British diet over the last 25 years has been a factor in the increase in the prevalence of asthma over this period.
Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, University Medical School, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, UK.

Title: Modern Diets and Diseases: No-Zinc Balance. Under Th1, Zinc and Nitrogen Monoxide (No) Collectively Protect against Viruses, Aids, Autoimmunity, Diabetes, Allergies, Asthma, Infectious Diseases, Atherosclerosis and Cancer
Author: Sprietsma, J. E.; (Date: Jul, 1999)
Journal: Med Hypotheses; V. 53; Issue: 1; Pages: 6-16

Abstract: Thanks to progress in zinc research, it is now possible to describe in more detail how zinc ions (Zn++) and nitrogen monoxide (NO), together with glutathione (GSH) and its oxidized form, GSSG, help to regulate immune responses to antigens. NO appears to be able to liberate Zn++ from metallothionein (MT), an intracellular storage molecule for metal ions such as zinc (Zn++) and copper (Cu++). Both Zn++ and Cu++ show a concentration-dependent inactivation of a protease essential for the proliferation of the AIDS virus HIV-1, while zinc can help prevent diabetes complications through its intracellular activation of the enzyme sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH). A Zn++ deficiency can lead to a premature transition from efficient Th1-dependent cellular antiviral immune functions to Th2-dependent humoral immune functions. Deficiencies of Zn++, NO and/or GSH shift the Th1/Th2 balance towards Th2, as do deficiencies of any of the essential nutrients (ENs) – a group that includes methionine, cysteine, arginine, vitamins A, B, C and E, zinc and selenium (Se) – because these are necessary for the synthesis and maintenance of sufficient amounts of GSH, MT and NO. Via the Th1/Th2 balance, Zn++, NO, MT and GSH collectively determine the progress and outcome of many diseases. Disregulation of the Th1/Th2 balance is responsible for autoimmune disorders such as diabetes mellitus. Under Th2, levels of interleukin-4 (II-4), II-6, II-10, leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) are raised, while levels of II-2, Zn++, NO and other substances are lowered. This makes things easier for viruses like HIV-1 which multiply in Th2 cells but rarely, if ever, in Th1 cells. AIDS viruses (HIVs) enter immune cells with the aid of the CD4 cell surface receptor in combination with a number of co-receptors which include CCR3, CCR5 and CXCR4. Remarkably, the cell surface receptor for LTB4 (BLTR) also seems to act as a co-receptor for CD4, which helps HIVs to infect immune cells. The Th2 cytokine II-4 increases the number of CXCR4 and BLTR co-receptors, as a result of which, under Th2, the HIV strains that infect immune cells are precisely those that are best able to accelerate the AIDS disease process. The II-4 released under Th2 therefore not only promotes the production of more HIVs and the rate at which they infect immune cells, it also stimulates selection for the more virulent strains. Zn++ inhibit LTB4 production and numbers of LTB4 receptors (BLTRs) in a concentration-dependent way. Zn++ help cells to keep their LTB4 ‘doors’ shut against the more virulent strains of HIV. Moreover, a sufficiency of Zn++ and NO prevents a shift of the Th1/Th2 balance towards Th2 and thereby slows the proliferation of HIV, which it also does by inactivating the HIV protease. Research makes it look likely that deficiencies of ENs such as zinc promote the proliferation of Th2 cells at the expense of Th1 cells. Zinc deficiency also promotes cancer. Under the influence of Th1 cells, zinc inhibits the growth of tumours by activating the endogenous tumour-suppressor endostatin, which inhibits angiogenesis. The modern Western diet, with its excess of refined products such as sugar, alcohol and fats, often contains, per calorie, a deficiency of ENs such as zinc, selenium and vitamins A, B, C and E, which results in disturbed immune functions, a shifted Th1/Th2 balance, chronic (viral) infections, obesity, atherosclerosis, autoimmunity, allergies and cancer. In view of this, an optimization of dietary composition would seem to give the best chance of beating (viral) epidemics and common (chronic) diseases at a realistic price.
Notes: Journal Article
Review, Academic
Author Address: Bennekom, The Netherlands.

Title: A Prospective Study of Diet and Adult-Onset Asthma
Author: Troisi, R. J.; Willett, W. C.; Weiss, S. T.; Trichopoulos, D.; Rosner, B.; Speizer, F. E.; (Date: May, 1995)
Journal: Am J Respir Crit Care Med; V. 151; Issue: 5; Pages: 1401-8

Abstract: A role for diet in the pathophysiology of asthma may be mediated by altered immune or antioxidant activity with consequent effects on airway inflammation. We evaluated associations between several dietary factors assessed by a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire, and incidence of asthma over a 10-yr period in 77,866 women 34 to 68 yr of age. Women in the highest quintile of vitamin E intake from diet, but not from supplements, had a risk of 0.53 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.33 to 0.86) compared with women in the lowest quintile. This relationship, however, was attenuated when the contribution from nuts, a major source of vitamin E in these data and a possible allergen, was removed (relative risk = 0.74 [0.50 to 1.10], p for trend = 0.007). Positive associations were found for vitamins C and E from supplements, but appeared to be explained by women at high risk of asthma initiating use of vitamin supplements prior to diagnosis. A nonsignificant inverse association with carotene intake was noted, but no clear relations with asthma were demonstrated for intake of linoleic acid or omega-3 fatty acids. These data suggest that antioxidant supplementation and intake of various fats during adulthood are not important determinants of asthma, although vitamin E from diet may have a modest protective effect.
Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: Channing Laboratory, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Title: Effect of Dietary Supplementation with Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Bronchial Hyperreactivity in Subjects with Seasonal Asthma
Author: Villani, F.; Comazzi, R.; De Maria, P.; Galimberti, M.; 1998)
Journal: Respiration; V. 65; Issue: 4; Pages: 265-9

Abstract: Dietary supplementation with omega-3 essential fatty acids results in the production of uniqe 5-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase products which are biologically less active and may inhibit the production, or actions, of the eicosanoids produced when arachidonic acid is the substrate for 5-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase, rather than omega-3 essential fatty acids. Since airway inflammation may play a central role in the pathophysiology of asthma, we studied the effect of omega-3 essential fatty acids on bronchial responsiveness in 7 atopic patients suffering from seasonal asthma due to airborne allergens, and positive to intracutaneous skin reaction to two or more allergens. Bronchial responsiveness to ultrasonically nebulized distilled water (UNDW) was determined 30 days from the initial ingestion of 3 g/day of omega-3 essential fatty acids and 30 days after stopping dietary supplementation. Flow volume curves and Raw were recorded before the provocation test, at the end of inhalation, and at 10-, 20-, 30- and 60-min intervals. The maximum fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and the maximum increase in airway resistance (Raw) were chosen as the main outcome parameters. After 30 days of dietary supplementation, bronchial responsiveness to UNDW was significantly improved (in fact maximum fall in FEV1 was -11% vs. -28% before treatment, and maximum increase in Raw was +37% vs. +265% before treatment). The challenge test repeated 30 days after stopping dietary supplementation was the same as that recorded before treatment. The present data strongly suggest the hypothesis that dietary supplementation with omega-3 essential fatty acids could decrease bronchial hyperreactivity in atopic patients.
Notes: Clinical Trial
Journal Article
Author Address: Divisione di Fisiopatologia Respiratoria, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Milano, Italia.

Title: Nutritional Quality of Organic Versus Conventional Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains
Author: Worthington, V.; (Date: Apr, 2001)
Journal: J Altern Complement Med; V. 7; Issue: 2; Pages: 161-73

Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To survey existing literature comparing nutrient content of organic and conventional crops using statistical methods to identify significant differences and trends in the data. DESIGN: Published comparative measurements of organic and conventional nutrient content were entered into a database for calculation. For each organic-to-conventional comparison, a percent difference was calculated: (organic – conventional)/conventional x 100. For nutrients where there was adequate data, the Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to identify significant differences in nutrient content as represented by the percent difference. Mean percent difference values were also calculated for each significant nutrient by study and by vegetable for the most frequently studied vegetables. The nutrient content of the daily vegetable intake was calculated for both an organic and conventional diet. RESULTS: Organic crops contained significantly more vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus and significantly less nitrates than conventional crops. There were nonsignificant trends showing less protein but of a better quality and a higher content of nutritionally significant minerals with lower amounts of some heavy metals in organic crops compared to conventional ones. CONCLUSIONS: There appear to be genuine differences in the nutrient content of organic and conventional crops.
Notes: Journal Article
Author Address: Nutrikinetics, Washington, DC 20036, USA.

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