The group descriptor "multivitamin" doesn't guarantee that all vitamins are included in the product or that they are present in proportion to nutritional requirements. In fact the great majority of multivitamin preparations do not contain all the 13 established vitamins. We have reviewed the stated composition of all vitamin products registered with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration. All containing fewer than five vitamins were excluded and so were those containing non-culinary herbs or amino acids, or intended only for export, or designed for children and pregnancy or in the form of powder and injections. 163 multivitamins were left for scoring. One point was awarded for each vitamin but a point was deducted if the amount was below or clearly above the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI). We found two multivitamin preparations containing 13 vitamins at levels close to the RDIs: Centrum Complete (our score 11) and Centrum Select 50+ (score 10); five multivitamins containing 12 vitamins: the best Avon Women's Complete (score 12) and Pluravit (score 10). Others contain fewer vitamins (or scored less than 10). Centrum and Pluravit are available at major outlets and their cost is moderate. We recommend that these most complete multivitamins should be clearly listed in MIMS and dispensed in public hospitals when "Rx multivitamins" is prescribed. People who take a multivitamin supplement to insure that they obtain their vitamin requirements would be best to ask for a multivitamin that contains all (or nearly all) the 13 true vitamins.
Nationwide surveys of food and nutrient intake in China have revealed geographical variation between urban and rural areas. This study developed a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (SQFFQ) for cancer risk assessment suitable for both urban and rural populations by conducting a survey of food intake in Chongqing, China. We recruited 100 urban and 104 rural healthy residents aged from 35 to 55 years in Chongqing, and collected dietary data with 3-day weighed records to assist in the development of the SQFFQ. The intake of 35 nutrients was calculated according to Standard Food Composition Tables for China and Japan. For each nutrient estimated by percentage contribution analysis (CA) and multiple regression analysis (MRA), foods with up to a 90% contribution or a 0.90 cumulative R2 were selected as items for SQFFQs. The food items of the combined SQFFQ were selected from all items listed in either urban or rural SQFFQs. Mean intake of energy, protein and carbohydrate did not differ between the urban and rural residents. The latter consumed more fat than their urban counterparts. We selected 119 food items for the combined SQFFQ, comprising 22 specific items for the urban SQFFQ, 6 for the rural, and 78 common and 13 additional items. The combined SQFFQ covered 33 nutrients with up to a 90% contribution in each area. We were able to develop a data-based SQFFQ that can estimate nutrient intake of both urban and rural populations, with suitable coverage rates. Further reliability and reproducibility tests are now needed to assess its applicability..
The cobalt content of Australian foods is unknown, and as this content is, at least in part, related to the respective concentrations in the Australian soil, data collected previously in other countries may not reflect the levels in Australian produce. To compare reported food cobalt levels to that found in Australian foods, one hundred and fifty different food and beverage items from each of the major food groups were selected for analysis, based on annual sales figures in Australia. Food digests were analysed for cobalt content using a Finnigan High Resolution Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer. While some variation in cobalt content was seen in a small selection of foods from different States, in general terms, the cobalt content of Australian foods is similar to that seen in data from other countries.
Differences in the dietary intake of cobalt were assessed for vegans, lacto-ovo-vegetarian and non-vegetarian Australians using food intake logs, and daily or average trend recall over three months. A significant decrease in cobalt intake was observed for the lacto-ovo-vegetarian population compared with the intake in vegans and omnivores. There is no RDI for cobalt, however, the cobalt intake of Australians was similar to that reported in other countries. Microflora above the terminal ileum have been shown to produce significant amounts of biologically available vitamin B12. This study was unable to demonstrate a correlation between elemental cobalt intake and serum vitamin B12 concentrations in humans, as has been shown in vitro.
Saffron is a well-known spice and food colorant commonly consumed in different parts of the world. Recently, much attention has been focused on the biological and medicinal properties of saffron. In the present study the interactive effects of saffron with two commonly consumed dietary agents, garlic and curcumin was evaluated for anti-genotoxic effects against cyclophosphamide (CPH) in the mouse bone marrow micronucleus test. Experimental animals were orally pretreated with saffron (100 mg/kg body weight), garlic (250 mg/kg body weight) and curcumin (10 mg/kg body weight), either alone or in combination for five consecutive days, 2h prior to the administration of CPH. Maximum reduction in the frequencies of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (Mn PCEs) induced by CPH was observed when all the three test compounds were administered together. Furthermore, the protective effects were more pronounced in the garlic-administered groups compared to curcumin and/or saffron administered groups.
The phenylpropanoid pathway (PPP) was stimulated in fenugreek sprouts through the pentose phosphate and shikimate pathway, by natural elicitors such as Fish Protein Hydrolysates (FPH), Lactoferrin (LF) and Oregano Extract (OE). Among treatments 0.5 ml /L FPH elicited fenugreek sprouts had the highest phenolic content of 0.75 mg/g FW on day 3 of germination which was approximately 25 % higher than control on the same day. The antioxidant activity estimated by b-carotene assay was highest for LF and OE elicited sprouts on day 2 and 4, respectively with an antioxidant protection factor (APF) of 1.47 for both. In all treatments and control, higher antioxidant activity was observed during early germination, which correlates to higher phenolic content, suggesting that initially phenolics are antioxidant in nature. This increased activity also correlates with high guaiacol peroxidase (GPX) activity indicating that the polymerized phenolics required for lignification with growth have antioxidant function. The antioxidant activity as estimated by b-carotene and 1,1,-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) assays indicate that fenugreek sprout extract can quench the superoxide free radical and also possibly scavenge the hydrogen peroxide generated in the reaction mix. OE elicited the highest levo dihydroxy phenylalanine (L-DOPA) synthesis of 1.59 mg/g FW, followed by FPH with 1.56 mg/g FW and LF 1.5 mg/g FW all on day 2 which was 24.5 %, 23 % and 20 % higher than control, respectively. Higher L-DOPA content was observed in the elicited fenugreek sprouts during early germination, correlating to high phenolics and antioxidant activity, suggesting that L-DOPA also contributes to the high antioxidant activity. The glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) activity was higher during early germination (day 1-4) and gradually decreased during later stages (day 5-8) for all treatments and control. The early increase is possibly due to the carbohydrate mobilization from the cotyledons directed towards the high nutrient requirements of the growing sprout. As mobilization occurred, an allosteric feedback inhibition by sugar-phosphates is suggested, as lower G6PDH activity was observed on days 6-8. The elevated levels of GPX during early germination coincide with the higher phenolic synthesis; SOD activity and antioxidant activity suggests the elevated production and quenching of reactive oxygen species by elicitation. High antimicrobial activity against peptic ulcer-linked Helicobacter pylori was observed in the fenugreek sprout extract from control and LF treatments only. We hypothesized that in fenugreek sprouts, simple free phenolics that are less polymerized have more antimicrobial function.
Antioxidants play an important role in inhibiting and scavenging radicals, thus providing protection to humans against infections and degenerative diseases. Literature shows that the antioxidant activity is high on herbal and vegetable plants. Realizing the fact, this research was carried out to determine total antioxidant activity and the potential anticancer properties in three types of selected local vegetable shoots such as Diplazium esculentum (paku shoot), Manihot utillissima (tapioca shoot) and Sauropous androgynus (cekur manis). The research was also done to determine the effect of boiling, on total antioxidant activity whereby samples of fresh shoots are compared with samples of boiled shoots. In every case, antioxidant activity is compared to alpha-tocopherol and two methods of extraction used are the organic and the aqueous methods. Besides that, two research methods used were the ferric thiocyanate (FTC) and thiobarbituric acid (TBA) with absorbance of 500nm and 532nm respectively. Oneway ANOVA test at P < 0.05 determines significant differences between various samples. In the cytotoxic study, the ethanolic extract and several cell lines i.e. breast cancer (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7), colon cancer (Caco-2), liver cancer (HepG2) and normal liver (Chang liver) were used. The IC50-value was determined by using the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) assay. The antioxidant study found that all the samples in both aqueous and organic extraction were significantly different. The total antioxidant activity values of aqueous extract in descending order are as follows : M. utilissima (fresh) > D. esculentum (fresh) > S.androgynus (fresh) > M.utilissima (boiled) > D. esculentum (boiled) > S.androgynus (boiled). It also was found that S.androgynus shoots ethanolic extract was able to inhibit the viability of the breast cancer cell lines, MDA-MB-231 with the IC50 value of 53.33 mg/ml. However, S.androgynus shoots and D. esculentum shoots ethanolic extracts did not inhibit the viability of MDA-MB-231 cell line. While, the tapioca shoot ethanolic extract was able to inhibit the viability of MCF-7 cell line with the IC50 value of 52.49 mg/ml. S.androgynus shoots and D.esculentum shoots ethanolic extracts did not give an IC50 value against the MCF-7 cell line. S.androgynus, tapioca and D.esculentum shoots ethanolic extracts did not show cytotoxic effect against the Caco-2 and HepG2. There was no IC50-value from any sample against Chang Liver cell line. In conclusion, the antioxidant activity of both fresh and boiled samples were higher than alpha-tocopherol, although fresh vegetable shoots were found to be higher in antioxidant activity compared to boiled shoots. This study also suggested that S.androgynus shoots and tapioca shoots have potential as an anticancer agent against certain breast tumours.
Indonesia, like many developing countries, is experiencing a rapid urbanisation characterised by double burden of disease in which non communicable diseases become more prevalent while infectious diseases remain undefeated. This report describes the nutrition transition which occurred to Indonesia after economic transformation in 1966, based on information gathered from published reports. The major sources of information used in this paper were: a) a series of Indonesian National Socio-Economic Surveys (SUSENAS) conducted regularly by Central Bureau of Statistics (which provided a coherent picture of the nutrition transition in Indonesia) and b) data collected from two relatively smaller surveys conducted in West Sumatra (which demonstrated the changes in food and nutrient intakes over the period 1983-1999). It was found that while Indonesia had a rapid economic growth since 1970s, major dietary changes included an increase in expenditure for meat, eggs, milk and prepared food, and a fall in expenditure in cereal products. Nutrient proportions had changed from carbohydrate to fat and protein but the proportions remained close to the ideal ratio. There was also a dramatic shift in causes of death from infectious to chronic diseases. It is concluded that the nutrition transition in Indonesia is similar to patterns in other developing countries. Although fat consumption increased slightly, there is movement to maintain the traditional diet.
Group A beta haemolytic streptococcal (GABHS) infection induce an abnormal immune response in a susceptible host. Micronutrient deficiency may affect the immune response of an individual. The aim of this study was to determine whether antioxidant vitamins could improve the abnormal immune response in GABHS infected children in rural Bangladesh. A total of 516 GABHS infected school children aged 5 to 15 years were randomly assigned to two groups. Group 1 (N=258) was treated with phenoxymethyl penicillin V and group 2 (N=258) was treated with penicillin V plus antioxidant vitamins (beta carotene, alpha tocopherol and ascorbic acid). From each group two blood samples were drawn; the first sample at the beginning of the study and another one after eight weeks. Streptococcal antibodies and immunoglobulin levels were compared between the two samples. The mean age of the study population was 10.6 years. Equal number of boys and girls were included in both groups. After treatment, antistreptolysin O (ASO) and antideoxyribonuclease B (ADNase B) titres were decreased in both groups. Serum alpha tocopherol and beta-carotene levels were increased significantly in group 2. In group 1 immunoglobulin M and A levels decreased significantly (P = 0.0001) whereas immunoglobulin G showed no change. To the contrary, concentration of three immunoglobulins decreased significantly (P =0.0001) in group 2. Least-square means of between-group differences showed highly significant results for ASO, ADNase B, immunoglobulins M, A and G (P =0.0001). Our data indicate that treatment by antioxidant vitamins plus penicillin is more effective in decreasing immunological abnormalities in GABHS infected children then penicillin alone.
There are very few reports from the developing world on the prevalence of obesity among children even though in developed countries it has reached epidemic proportions. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of obesity in pre-adolescent and adolescent children in a developing country (India) using WHO guidelines for defining obesity and overweight. This cross-sectional study was carried out on 2008 school-children aged 9-15 years. Approximately half the subjects belonged to a school attended by children of well to do families while the rest belonged to two schools from middle and lower socio-economic background. Weight and height were taken for all children and the body mass index (BMI) calculated. Children whose BMI was >85th percentile for age and sex were defined as overweight. Triceps skin fold thickness (TSFT) was measured for all overweight children and those with TSFT >90th percentile for age and sex were defined as obese. The overall prevalence of obesity and overweight was 11.1% and 14.2% respectively. The prevalence of obesity as well as overweight was higher in boys as compared to girls (12.4% vs 9.9%, 15.7% vs 12.9%). Prevalence of obesity decreased significantly with age, from 18.5% at 9 years to 7.6% at 14 years, rising at 15 years to 12.1%. Significantly more children from higher socio-economic status were obese and overweight than those from lower socio-economic status groups. No significant gender difference for obesity prevalence was seen among children from a less privileged background, however, amongst children from affluent families, significantly more boys were obese as compared to girls. Pediatric obesity is an emerging problem in developing countries, especially among higher socio-economic status groups. Significant gender disparity is seen, with boys of affluent background having a higher prevalence.
The aims of this study were to determine food and nutrient intakes and the socio-economic factors influencing food and nutrient intakes of rural Thai-Muslim women in the third trimester of pregnancy. The study was conducted in Pattani province, Thailand, where 166 women were interviewed between 32 and 40 weeks gestation. A questionnaire, including a Food Frequency Questionnaire was used. Data on food items were compiled into the five basic Thai food groups, and food intakes were computed into macro and micro- nutrients. Mean weight intake of each of the five groups was below the recommended level for pregnant Thai women. Mean intake of niacin, vitamin A (RE) and vitamin C were above the recommended Thai level. Thiamin, calcium, phosphorus and iron intakes were lower than 50% of recommended levels. Intakes of the five food groups were not associated with socio-economic status, although total non-haem iron intake was associated with level of education. Under-consumption of food and nutrients among pregnant women in the study area was due to poor education, poverty and food availability. Integrated strategies should be considered to promote increased intakes to meet nutrient recommendations.
The effects of light resistance exercise using dumbbells and rubber band with mild energy restriction on body composition and physical fitness were studied in 11 mildly obese Korean women aged 38-59 years. The subjects performed dumbbell exercises with pairs of 0.5-1 kg dumbbells and rubber band exercise 3 days per week for approximately 40 min. Subjects were restricted to approximately 80% of energy intake RDA for Korean women for 12 weeks. Subjects were measured for body composition, physical fitness, and blood and serum biochemical data before commencing the experiment and again at 12 weeks while still dieting. During the 12-week experimental period, body weight and body fat decreased significantly without reducing fat free mass. Grip and back strength increased significantly during the experimental period. These results suggest that combination of dumbbell and rubber band exercises decreases body weight and body fat without reducing FFM while increasing physical fitness.
Factors related to overweight were examined in a cross-sectional survey that included 1612 women workers from 10 large electronics assembly factories in Peninsular Malaysia. Respondents were Malaysian citizens, direct production workers below the supervisory level, and had worked at least a year in the factory where they were presently employed. Heights and weights were taken to calculate the body mass index (BMI). Weights and BMI increased with increasing age. After adjusting for age, odds ratios for overweight were significantly raised for married women in relation to not married women (OR 1.5, 95% CI=1.15-2.02), lower secondary education in relation to higher than upper secondary education (OR 1.8, 95% CI=1.06-3.14), monthly income RM800-999 (OR 1.7, 95% CI=1.21-2.45) and ³RM1,000 (OR 1.8, 95% CI=1.23-2.72) in relation to <RM600, working in rotating shifts that included nightshifts (OR 1.6, 95% CI=1.28-2.06), and not staying in hostel (OR 1.4, 95% CI=1.02-1.88). In a logistic regression model with all variables included as covariates, the factors significantly associated with overweight were age, marital status, education, income, and working in rotating shifts. The overall prevalence of overweight was 37.4%; the overall mean BMI was 24.2±5.4 kg/m2. Prevalence of overweight and mean BMI for younger age groups were similar to Malay women in the country-wide representative National Health and Morbidity Survey II, but the older age groups in this study had higher overweight prevalence and mean BMI than the national sample. Electronics women workers face a higher risk of overweight, and is an important group for nutrition intervention.
Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25 (OH) D) were determined in 276 (103 Malays and 173 Chinese) postmenopausal women, aged 50 to 65 years. The level of 25 (OH) D was significantly lower in the postmenopausal Malay women (44.4 ± 10.6 nmol/L) compared to the Chinese women (68.8 ± 15.7 nmol/L) (P<0.05). There were 27% Malay women with serum 25 (OH) D in the range of 50 - 100 nmol/L (defined as lowered vitamin D status, or hypovitaminosis D) and 71% with levels in the range of 25 - 50 nmol/L (defined as vitamin D insufficiency) compared to 87% and 11% Chinese women respectively. Serum 25 (OH) D was found to significantly correlate with BMI, fat mass and PTH level. Multivariate analyses showed that race has a strong association with vitamin D status. The high prevalence of inadequate levels of serum vitamin D found in our study may have important public health consequences and warrants the development of a strategy to correct this problem in the older adult Malaysian population.
The use of the knee height caliper is a convenient way to estimate a patient's body weight. However, the equation devised to estimate an individual's body weight was specifically designed for Caucasians and Blacks. Therefore, this study is to assess the suitability of the knee height caliper among Chinese geriatric patients residing in Hong Kong. Over a six-month period, all geriatric patients from an acute care hospital and private nursing home in the Kwun Tong were recruited into the study. Only patients/residents that were considered unstable with ascites; low blood pressure; on cardiac monitors or had respiratory difficulties were excluded. Measurements from the knee height caliper and mid-arm muscle circumference of the patients were necessary for estimating their body weights. The actual body weights measured with calibrated bed, chair or portable scales was compared with the calculated body weights from the equation. A comparison of the mean and linear regression was performed for analysis of the results. A total of 300 geriatric patients (200 females and 100 males) were recruited. The mean MAC and knee height results were as follows: 25.1 cm (SD 3.9) for females and 26.2 cm (SD 3.2) for males; and 45.75 cm (SD 2.09) for females and 48.98 cm (SD 2.09) for males respectively. The mean difference among the male group was 0.4222 (95% CI: -0.54, 1.39) with a mean estimated body weight of 58.1 kg (SD 10.1) and a mean actual body weight of 57.7 kg (SD 9.9). The mean difference among the female group was 2.9649 (95% CI: 2.30, 3.63) with a mean estimated body weight of 51.6 kg (SD 10.9) and a mean actual body weight of 48.6 kg (SD 10.1). A new equation devised from the data is as follows: Chinese males (over 60 years of age) (R-square -0.81) Weight = [knee height (cm) x 0.928 + mid-arm circumference (cm) x 2.508 - age (years) x 0.144] - 42.543 + 9.9kg of actual weight for 95% of Chinese males; Chinese females (over 60 years of age) (R-square - 0.82) Weight (kg) = [knee height (cm) x 0.826 + mid-arm circumference (cm) x 2.116 - age (years) x 0.133] - 31.486 + 10.1kg of actual weight for 95% of Chinese females. The results showed that the mean estimated body weight calculated from the knee height equation (for Caucasians) was significantly larger than the mean actual body weight for the Chinese subjects. This study suggests that the knee height caliper is a useful tool for estimating the body weights. However, a multi-center study is necessary to validate the new equation for the elderly Chinese population.
The present study identified dietary sources of fat, fatty acids, and cholesterol in Koreans residing in and near Seoul. The study also identified foods to be included in a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) by both contribution analysis (CA) and multiple regression analysis (MRA). Three-day dietary records were collected from 224 subjects (107 men and 117 women) aged 30 to 85 years. Pork was the main source of total fat and the largest contributor to saturated fatty acids (SFA) was beef. MRA identified animal food as the primary source of between-person variance for SFA. Arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid originated primarily from marine products. About a fourth of the total cholesterol intake was derived from chickens' eggs by CA, while chickens' eggs accounted for 46% of the cholesterol intake for between-person variance by MRA. With 10 food items, the FFQ could explain more than half of total intakes except for total fat and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and at least 65% of between-person variances. The percentage coverage in the FFQ ranged from 61% for n-6 PUFA and linoleic acid and to 90% for arachidonic acid. The value of this FFQ is that it can estimate usual dietary food patterns and nutrient intake in Koreans for epidemiological studies. It can also potentially be used to study the relationship between specific diseases and nutrient intakes of interest.