ijms-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Role of Nutrition in Human Health and Disease

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 17732

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Research Council (CNR) Institute of Clinical Physiology (IFC), 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: pathogenesis of chronic disese; nutri- and pharmacogenomics applied to obesity and cardiovascular disease prevention; analysis of the anti-aterogenic and anti-inflammatory properties of nutritional fatty acids and plant food bioactives in the field of vascular biology and physical exercise; analysis of dietary patterns and nutritional status in health and chronic disease
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, University of Salento, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: metabolic diseases; cancer metabolic alterations; oxidative stress; endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and unfolded protein response; regulation of gene expression by hormones and nutrients

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Although foods and nutrients have been studied for centuries and the first food component recognized as functional, the thiamine, has been discovered and chemically defined nearly a century ago, the application of "nutritional science" to maintain health and fight disease is a surprisingly young discipline with potential applications that have yet to be fully defined.

For many decades indeed, researchers have pursued the strategy according to which, to achieve a complete understanding of nutrition, one should study the biochemical and physiological action of each chemicals present in food, and following define the mechanisms by which it protect/sustain a condition of well-being or, increase the risk for some disease. Thanks to this research strategy, also known as “reductionist approach”, nutritionists have successfully revealed the role played by vitamins, minerals, and other single nutrients in the homeostasis of human body and why their deficiencies and or excess lead to specific symptoms.

However, this “mechanistic strategy” has achieved little success in recent decades in terms of practical information in the set-up of efficient strategies targeting cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndromes and cancer. The reason for this likely lies in the great complexity of the human body that, with its 70 trillion cells each performing its respective function under an highly complex network of biological systems, make extraordinarily difficult the properly understand of the exact details of the pathways and molecular switches leading to disease. But, the poor success of mechanistic research applied to nutrition may also depend on the presence of thousands of separate substance and related metabolites that are conveyed in a single food and that may lead to a vast numbers of possible different interactions that rely on the genetic makeup of each individual.

Despite the increased awareness of the significant influence of diet on health, many of the basic mechanisms linking food intake to physiological consequences remain unexplained. Improved mechanistic understanding will be part of a broader, robust evidence base important for determining cause-effect relationships and developing healthier foods, optimising dietary guidelines, and establishing effective intervention strategies. There is therefore a need to explore and answer a variety of questions about the mechanisms by which dietary components influence biological processes and how these relationships affect health and disease.

This Special Issue aims to highlight recent advances made in the field of genomic integrity, immune systems and inflammation that are useful to prevent the individual risk of developing cancer and metabolic syndromes as well as to provide help for the advancement of preventive and nutraceutical strategies with the assessment of novel effective molecular targets.

We encourage investigators interested in these topics to submit original research that emphasizes current preclinical and clinical insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of specific targets involved in the development, progression, or treatment of non-communicable diseases. Manuscripts should address cutting-edge biology and physiology to provide new insights into the role of foods and nutrients in physiological and pathophysiological systems. Experimental medical approaches and human studies that provide opportunities for "back translation" into basic research are also within the scope. We welcome proposals aimed at improving the understanding of the physiological and pathological processes by which dietary patterns and/or food components influence health at the cellular, systemic and whole-body levels (in humans or in model systems, as appropriate). Moreover, critically and systematically, review articles, covering the related research, providing concluding remarks and an outlook, will be considered for inclusion in this Special Issue.

Dr. Marika Massaro
Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Damiano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • metabolic disease
  • cancer
  • cardiovascular disease
  • liver disease
  • osteoarthritis
  • DNA damage
  • inflammation
  • epigenetic
  • biomarkers
  • macro- and micro-nutrients
  • phytochemicals
  • dietary pattern
  • new targets for treatment

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

17 pages, 3057 KiB  
Article
Changes in Plasma Metabolomic Profile Following Bariatric Surgery, Lifestyle Intervention or Diet Restriction—Insights from Human and Rat Studies
by Ilja Balonov, Max Kurlbaum, Ann-Cathrin Koschker, Christine Stier, Martin Fassnacht and Ulrich Dischinger
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(3), 2354; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24032354 - 25 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1564
Abstract
Although bariatric surgery is known to change the metabolome, it is unclear if this is specific for the intervention or a consequence of the induced bodyweight loss. As the weight loss after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) can hardly be mimicked with an evenly [...] Read more.
Although bariatric surgery is known to change the metabolome, it is unclear if this is specific for the intervention or a consequence of the induced bodyweight loss. As the weight loss after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) can hardly be mimicked with an evenly effective diet in humans, translational research efforts might be helpful. A group of 188 plasma metabolites of 46 patients from the randomized controlled Würzburg Adipositas Study (WAS) and from RYGB-treated rats (n = 6) as well as body-weight-matched controls (n = 7) were measured using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. WAS participants were randomized into intensive lifestyle modification (LS, n = 24) or RYGB (OP, n = 22). In patients in the WAS cohort, only bariatric surgery achieved a sustained weight loss (BMI −34.3% (OP) vs. −1.2% (LS), p ≤ 0.01). An explicit shift in the metabolomic profile was found in 57 metabolites in the human cohort and in 62 metabolites in the rodent model. Significantly higher levels of sphingolipids and lecithins were detected in both surgical groups but not in the conservatively treated human and animal groups. RYGB leads to a characteristic metabolomic profile, which differs distinctly from that following non-surgical intervention. Analysis of the human and rat data revealed that RYGB induces specific changes in the metabolome independent of weight loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Nutrition in Human Health and Disease)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 6126 KiB  
Article
Kelulut Honey Regulates Sex Steroid Receptors in a Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Rat Model
by Datu Agasi Mohd Kamal, Siti Fatimah Ibrahim, Azizah Ugusman and Mohd Helmy Mokhtar
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(23), 14757; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232314757 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1397
Abstract
Reproductive and metabolic anomalies in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have been associated with the dysregulation of sex steroid receptors. Kelulut honey (KH) has been shown to be beneficial in PCOS-induced rats by regulating folliculogenesis and the oestrus cycle. However, no study has been [...] Read more.
Reproductive and metabolic anomalies in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have been associated with the dysregulation of sex steroid receptors. Kelulut honey (KH) has been shown to be beneficial in PCOS-induced rats by regulating folliculogenesis and the oestrus cycle. However, no study has been conducted to evaluate KH’s effect on sex steroid receptors in PCOS. Therefore, the current study examined the effects of KH, metformin, or clomiphene alone and in combination on the mRNA expression and protein distribution of androgen receptor (AR), oestrogen receptor α (ERα), oestrogen receptor β (ERβ), and progesterone receptor (PR) in PCOS-induced rats. The study used female Sprague-Dawley rats, which were treated orally with 1 mg/kg/day of letrozole for 21 days to develop PCOS. PCOS-induced rats were then divided and treated orally for 35 days with KH, metformin, clomiphene, KH + metformin, KH+ clomiphene and distilled water. In this study, we observed aberrant AR, ERα, ERβ and PR expression in PCOS-induced rats compared with the normal control rats. The effects of KH treatment were comparable with clomiphene and metformin in normalizing the expression of AR, ERα, and ERβ mRNA. However, KH, clomiphene and metformin did not affect PR mRNA expression and protein distribution. Hence, this study confirms the aberrant expression of sex steroid receptors in PCOS and demonstrates that KH treatment could normalise the sex steroid receptors profile. The findings provide a basis for future clinical trials to utilize KH as a regulator of sex steroid receptors in patients with PCOS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Nutrition in Human Health and Disease)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2745 KiB  
Article
Basophil Activation Test Utility as a Diagnostic Tool in LTP Allergy
by José A. Cañas, Natalia Pérez-Sánchez, Leticia Lopera-Doblas, Francisca Palomares, Ana Molina, Joan Bartra, María J. Torres, Francisca Gómez and Cristobalina Mayorga
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(9), 4979; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23094979 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2451
Abstract
Plant-food allergy is an increasing problem, with nonspecific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTPs) triggering mild/severe reactions. Pru p 3 is the major sensitizer in LTP food allergy (FA). However, in vivo and in vitro diagnosis is hampered by the need for differentiating between asymptomatic [...] Read more.
Plant-food allergy is an increasing problem, with nonspecific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTPs) triggering mild/severe reactions. Pru p 3 is the major sensitizer in LTP food allergy (FA). However, in vivo and in vitro diagnosis is hampered by the need for differentiating between asymptomatic sensitization and allergy with clinical relevance. The basophil activation test (BAT) is an ex vivo method able to identify specific IgE related to the allergic response. Thus, we aimed to establish the value of BAT in a precise diagnosis of LTP-allergic patients. Ninety-two individuals with peach allergy sensitized to LTP, Pru p 3, were finally included, and 40.2% of them had symptoms to peanut (n = 37). In addition, 16 healthy subjects were recruited. BAT was performed with Pru p 3 and Ara h 9 (peanut LTP) at seven ten-fold concentrations, and was evaluated by flow cytometry, measuring the percentage of CD63 (%CD63+) and CD203c (%CD203chigh) cells, basophil allergen threshold sensitivity (CD-Sens), and area under the dose–response curve (AUC). Significant changes in BAT parameters (%CD63+ and %CD203chigh) were found between the controls and patients. However, comparisons for %CD63+, %CD203chigh, AUC, and CD-Sens showed similar levels among patients with different symptoms. An optimal cut-off was established from ROC curves, showing a significant positive percentage of BAT in patients compared to controls and great values of sensitivity (>87.5%) and specificity (>85%). In addition, BAT showed differences in LTP-allergic patients tolerant to peanut using its corresponding LTP, Ara h 9. BAT can be used as a potential diagnostic tool for identifying LTP allergy and for differentiating peanut tolerance, although neither reactivity nor sensitivity can distinguish the severity of the clinical symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Nutrition in Human Health and Disease)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

34 pages, 1360 KiB  
Review
Ketogenic Diet and Ketone Bodies against Ischemic Injury: Targets, Mechanisms, and Therapeutic Potential
by Ciara I. Makievskaya, Vasily A. Popkov, Nadezda V. Andrianova, Xinyu Liao, Dmitry B. Zorov and Egor Y. Plotnikov
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(3), 2576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24032576 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5791
Abstract
The ketogenic diet (KD) has been used as a treatment for epilepsy since the 1920s, and its role in the prevention of many other diseases is now being considered. In recent years, there has been an intensive investigation on using the KD as [...] Read more.
The ketogenic diet (KD) has been used as a treatment for epilepsy since the 1920s, and its role in the prevention of many other diseases is now being considered. In recent years, there has been an intensive investigation on using the KD as a therapeutic approach to treat acute pathologies, including ischemic ones. However, contradictory data are observed for the effects of the KD on various organs after ischemic injury. In this review, we provide the first systematic analysis of studies conducted from 1980 to 2022 investigating the effects and main mechanisms of the KD and its mimetics on ischemia–reperfusion injury of the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, gut, and eyes. Our analysis demonstrated a high diversity of both the composition of the used KD and the protocols for the treatment of animals, which could be the reason for contradictory effects in different studies. It can be concluded that a true KD or its mimetics, such as β-hydroxybutyrate, can be considered as positive exposure, protecting the organ from ischemia and its negative consequences, whereas the shift to a rather similar high-calorie or high-fat diet leads to the opposite effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Nutrition in Human Health and Disease)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1024 KiB  
Review
A Systematic Review of the Effects of High-Fat Diet Exposure on Oocyte and Follicular Quality: A Molecular Point of View
by Francesca Gonnella, Fani Konstantinidou, Chiara Di Berardino, Giulia Capacchietti, Alessia Peserico, Valentina Russo, Barbara Barboni, Liborio Stuppia and Valentina Gatta
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 8890; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23168890 - 10 Aug 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2659
Abstract
Worldwide, infertility affects between 10 and 15% of reproductive-aged couples. Female infertility represents an increasing health issue, principally in developing countries, as the current inclinations of delaying pregnancy beyond 35 years of age significantly decrease fertility rates. Female infertility, commonly imputable to ovulation [...] Read more.
Worldwide, infertility affects between 10 and 15% of reproductive-aged couples. Female infertility represents an increasing health issue, principally in developing countries, as the current inclinations of delaying pregnancy beyond 35 years of age significantly decrease fertility rates. Female infertility, commonly imputable to ovulation disorders, can be influenced by several factors, including congenital malformations, hormonal dysfunction, and individual lifestyle choices, such as smoking cigarettes, stress, drug use and physical activity. Moreover, diet-related elements play an important role in the regulation of ovulation. Modern types of diet that encourage a high fat intake exert a particularly negative effect on ovulation, affecting the safety of gametes and the implantation of a healthy embryo. Identifying and understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for diet-associated infertility might help clarify the confounding multifaceted elements of infertility and uncover novel, potentially curative treatments. In this view, this systematic revision of literature will summarize the current body of knowledge of the potential effect of high-fat diet (HFD) exposure on oocyte and follicular quality and consequent female reproductive function, with particular reference to molecular mechanisms and pathways. Inflammation, oxidative stress, gene expression and epigenetics represent the main mechanisms associated with mammal folliculogenesis and oogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Nutrition in Human Health and Disease)
Show Figures

Figure 1

28 pages, 739 KiB  
Review
The Role of Nutritional Status, Gastrointestinal Peptides, and Endocannabinoids in the Prognosis and Treatment of Children with Cancer
by Magdalena Schab and Szymon Skoczen
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(9), 5159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23095159 - 05 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2761
Abstract
Neoplastic diseases in children are the second most frequent cause of death among the young. It is estimated that 400,000 children worldwide will be diagnosed with cancer each year. The nutritional status at diagnosis is a prognostic indicator and influences the treatment tolerance. [...] Read more.
Neoplastic diseases in children are the second most frequent cause of death among the young. It is estimated that 400,000 children worldwide will be diagnosed with cancer each year. The nutritional status at diagnosis is a prognostic indicator and influences the treatment tolerance. Both malnutrition and obesity increase the risk of mortality and complications during treatment. It is necessary to constantly search for new factors that impair the nutritional status. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a signaling system whose best-known function is regulating energy balance and food intake, but it also plays a role in pain control, embryogenesis, neurogenesis, learning, and the regulation of lipid and glucose metabolism. Its action is multidirectional, and its role is being discovered in an increasing number of diseases. In adults, cannabinoids have been shown to have anti-cancer properties against breast and pancreatic cancer, melanoma, lymphoma, and brain tumors. Data on the importance of both the endocannabinoid system and synthetic cannabinoids are lacking in children with cancer. This review highlights the role of nutritional status in the oncological treatment process, and describes the role of ECS and gastrointestinal peptides in regulating appetite. We also point to the need for research to evaluate the role of the endocannabinoid system in children with cancer, together with a prospective assessment of nutritional status during oncological treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Nutrition in Human Health and Disease)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop