23 November 2020 In Phenolic compounds

OBJECTIVES: Habitual diet plays a major role in shaping the composition of the gut microbiota, and also determines the repertoire of microbial metabolites that can influence the host. The typical Western diet corresponds to that of an omnivore; however, the Mediterranean diet (MD), common in the Western Mediterranean culture, is to date a nutritionally recommended dietary pattern that includes high-level consumption of cereals, fruit, vegetables and legumes. To investigate the potential benefits of the MD in this cross-sectional survey, we assessed the gut microbiota and metabolome in a cohort of Italian individuals in relation to their habitual diets.

DESIGN AND RESULTS: We retrieved daily dietary information and assessed gut microbiota and metabolome in 153 individuals habitually following omnivore, vegetarian or vegan diets. The majority of vegan and vegetarian subjects and 30% of omnivore subjects had a high adherence to the MD. We were able to stratify individuals according to both diet type and adherence to the MD on the basis of their dietary patterns and associated microbiota. We detected significant associations between consumption of vegetable-based diets and increased levels of faecal short-chain fatty acids, Prevotella and some fibre-degrading Firmicutes, whose role in human gut warrants further research. Conversely, we detected higher urinary trimethylamine oxide levels in individuals with lower adherence to the MD.

CONCLUSIONS: High-level consumption of plant foodstuffs consistent with an MD is associated with beneficial microbiome-related metabolomic profiles in subjects ostensibly consuming a Western diet.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: This study was registered at clinical trials.gov as NCT02118857.

23 November 2020 In Phenolic compounds

Low grade inflammation is characterized by raised concentrations of inflammatory markers in the absence of any overt symptoms and is recognized as a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Many studies suggest that low grade inflammation is mitigated by health promoting behaviours such as healthy eating patterns, physical activity, body weight maintenance and tobacco cessation. To date, large scale studies were mainly focused on circulating markers and little evidence is available on cellular biomarkers.

The MOLI-SANI study is a prospective cohort study that has recruited 24 325 men and women aged >/=35 years from the general population of the Molise Region, a Southern Italian area, with the purpose of investigating genetic and environmental risk/protection factors for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease and cancer. Within this cohort, a composite score of low grade inflammation based on the use of plasmatic (C-reactive protein) and cellular (leukocyte and platelet counts and granulocyte : lymphocyte ratio) biomarkers has been proposed and validated. This score accounts for all possible synergistic effects of such inflammatory markers, thus overcoming any potential bias linked to the multi-collinearity of these variables.

Of notice, the MOLI-SANI study was the first to address the relationship between the traditional Mediterranean diet and platelet and leucocyte counts as emerging cellular biomarkers of low grade inflammation. The present review paper will discuss the main findings derived from the MOLI-SANI study on the association of low grade inflammation with a Mediterranean eating pattern, with a particular emphasis on the associated dietary polyphenols.

23 November 2020 In Phenolic compounds

The Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) is one of the most widely described and evaluated dietary patterns in scientific literature. It is characterized by high intakes of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, grains, fish, seafood, extra virgin olive oil, and a moderate intake of red wine. A large body of observational and experimental evidence suggests that higher adherence to the MedDiet is associated with lower risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, and cancer.

Current mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of the MedDiet include reduction of blood lipids, inflammatory and oxidative stress markers, improvement of insulin sensitivity, enhancement of endothelial function, and antithrombotic function. Most likely, these effects are attributable to bioactive ingredients such as polyphenols, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, or fibre.

This review will focus on both established and less established mechanisms of action of biochemical compounds contained in a MedDiet. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed section on The Pharmacology of Nutraceuticals. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v177.6/issuetoc.

23 November 2020 In Liver Disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is defined by fat accumulation in liver that is not caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Safe limits of alcohol consumption in NAFLD are usually defined as alcohol consumption of less than 210 g per week for men and 140 g per week for women (30 g/day in men, 20 g/day in women) and alcohol consumption below safe limits is generally regarded as moderate alcohol consumption.

Many studies have investigated the effects of moderate alcohol consumption on NAFLD patients. Some studies showed that moderate alcohol consumption prevented the progression of fibrosis in the liver, whereas other reports showed worsening of fibrosis in the liver based on serologic, radiologic and liver biopsy findings compared with effects on total abstainers.

NAFLD is also thought to be a hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome, and when combined with excessive alcohol consumption results in the development of components of metabolic syndrome and systemic harmful effects. The effects of moderate alcohol consumption on NAFLD have yet to be established.

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