Browsing by Subject "Diet"

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  • Kaukonen, Riikka; Lehto, Elviira; Ray, Carola; Vepsäläinen, Henna; Nissinen, Kaija; Korkalo, Liisa; Koivusilta, Leena; Sajaniemi, Nina; Erkkola, Maijaliisa; Roos, Eva (2019)
    Although evidence exists of the association between children's temperament and weight, only few studies have examined how temperament is associated with actual food consumption among preschoolers. We examined concurrent associations between children's temperament and the consumption of different foods, and investigated whether the association between children's temperament and vegetable consumption is mediated by vegetable-related parenting practices. We utilized the data from the cross-sectional DAGIS study of 864 preschool children aged between three to six and their families, conducted between 2015 and 2016 in Finland. The parents reported their children's temperament, food consumption, and their vegetable-related parenting practices. Adjusted logistic regression analyses found positive associations between surgency and vegetable consumption as well as between effortful control and vegetable consumption. Both associations were mediated by one examined vegetable-related parenting practice: enhanced availability and autonomy support. No associations were found between children's negative affectivity and food consumption or vegetable-related parenting practices. In conclusion, children's temperament may be an important factor behind food-related parenting practices and children's diet. However, further longitudinal research and research covering different food-related parenting practices and home environment factors is necessary to better understand the complex associations between temperament and food consumption among young children.
  • Berk, Benjamin A; Packer, Rowena M A; Law, Tsz H; Wessmann, Annette; Bathen-Nöthen, Andrea; Jokinen, Tarja S; Knebel, Anna; Tipold, Andrea; Pelligand, Ludovic; Volk, Holger A (BioMed Central, 2019)
    Abstract Background Epilepsy is the most common brain disease in dogs. Recently, diets have been reported to have a positive impact on seizure activity and behaviour in various species including dogs with idiopathic epilepsy (IE). Historically, classic high fat ketogenic diets (KD) and medium chain triglycerides (MCT) KD have been successfully used to manage drug-resistant epilepsy. Similarly, an MCT enriched diet has been shown to improve seizure control and behavioural comorbidities in some dogs with IE. However, it is unknown whether an MCT dietary supplement (DS) may provide similar positive effects. Methods A 6-month prospective, randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover, multicentre dietary trial is designed comparing a 9% metabolic energy based calculated medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil supplement to a conventional ‘control’ DS. Only dogs which will have an International Veterinary Epilepsy Task Force Tier II level like diagnosis of IE which satisfied the following inclusion criteria are included: age between 6 months and ≤ 12 years; weighing between 4 and ≤ 65 kg; unremarkable interictal neurological examinations; no clinically significant findings on routine laboratory diagnostics; unremarkable brain MRI scan; have had at least 3 seizures in the previous 3 months prior to enrolment; treated with at least one ASD and being classified as resistant. All dogs are fed initially for 90 ± 2 days with either the control oil or the MCT oil alongside their normal diet, followed by 97 ± 2 days with the other supplement including a 7-day washout period. Overall, the aim is to recruit thirty-six patients at five different centres and to investigate the effect of MCTs as DS on seizure activity, tolerability, behavioural comorbidities and quality of life (QoL). Discussion Dietary interventions are rarely studied in a standardised form in veterinary medicine. The background diet, the cohort of animals and ASD received is standardised in this prospective diet trial to ensure representative data about the potential effect of MCT DS. If the study data confirms former findings, this would provide further evidence for the efficacy of MCTs as a management option for canine epilepsy. This publication should offer a repository of trial conditions and variable description with forecasted statistical analysis.
  • Tuomisto, Jouko; Airaksinen, Riikka; Kiviranta, Hannu; Tukiainen, Erkki; Pekkanen, Juha; Tuomisto, Jouni T. (2016)
    A number of studies have found an association between the concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POP) and type 2 diabetes. Causality has remained uncertain. This study describes the pharmacokinetic behavior of PCDD/Fs (polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans) both in a theoretical model based on elimination rate constants, and in a group of 409 adult surgical patients with known PCDD/F concentrations and dietary information. A model assuming 10% annual decrease in past PCDD/F intake, predicted the measured profile of TEQ (toxic equivalents) in the patient population fairly well. The dominant determinant of PCDD/F level was age, and the level in patients was also associated with consumption of animal source products. Predicted daily intakes correlated with diet, but also with body mass index (BMI), indicating that high BMI was preceded by high consumption of foods containing PCDD/Fs. The results suggest that a third factor, e. g. high intake of animal source foods, could explain both higher levels of POPs in the body and higher incidence of type 2 diabetes, and BMI is not sufficient in describing the confounding caused by diet. Thus, to fully address the causality between POPs and type 2 diabetes, careful studies considering the pharmacokinetics of the studied compounds, and including the analysis of food consumption, are needed. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Uusitalo, Liisa; Erkkola, Maijaliisa; Lintonen, Tomi; Rahkonen, Ossi; Nevalainen, Jaakko (BioMed Central, 2019)
    Abstract Background Alcohol consumption is a significant cause of disease, death and social harm, and it clusters with smoking tobacco and an unhealthy diet. Using automatically registered retail data for research purposes is a novel approach, which is not subject to underreporting bias. Based on loyalty card data (LoCard) obtained by a major Finnish retailer holding a market share of 47%, we examined alcohol expenditure and their associations with food and tobacco expenditures. Methods The data consisted of 1,527,217 shopping events in 2016 among 13,274 loyalty card holders from southern Finland. A K-means cluster analysis was applied to group the shopping baskets according to their content of alcoholic beverages. The differences in the absolute and relative means of food and tobacco between the clusters were tested by linear mixed models with the loyalty card holder as the random factor. Results By far, the most common basket type contained no alcoholic beverages, followed by baskets containing a small number of beers or ciders. The expenditure on food increased along with the expenditure on alcoholic beverages. The foods most consistently associated with alcohol purchases were sausages, soft drinks and snacks. The expenditure on cigarettes relative to total basket price peaked in the mid-price alcohol baskets. Conclusion Clustering of unhealthy choices occurred on the level of individual shopping events. People who bought many alcoholic beverages did not trim their food budget. Automatically registered purchase data provide valuable insight into the health behaviours of individuals and the population.
  • Saari, Sini; Kemppainen, Esa; Tuomela, Tero; Oliveira, M.T.; Dufour, E.; Jacobs, H.T. (2019)
    The mitochondrial alternative oxidase, AOX, present in most eukaryotes apart from vertebrates and insects, catalyzes the direct oxidation of ubiquinol by oxygen, by-passing the terminal proton-motive steps of the respiratory chain. Its physiological role is not fully understood, but it is proposed to buffer stresses in the respiratory chain similar to those encountered in mitochondrial diseases in humans. Previously, we found that the ubiquitous expression of AOX from Ciona intestinalis in Drosophila perturbs the development of flies cultured under low-nutrient conditions (media containing only glucose and yeast). Here we tested the effects of a wide range of nutritional supplements on Drosophila development, to gain insight into the physiological mechanism underlying this developmental failure. On low-nutrient medium, larvae contained decreased amounts of triglycerides, lactate, and pyruvate, irrespective of AOX expression. Complex food supplements, including treacle (molasses), restored normal development to AOX-expressing flies, but many individual additives did not. Inhibition of AOX by treacle extract was excluded as a mechanism, since the supplement did not alter the enzymatic activity of AOX in vitro. Furthermore, antibiotics did not influence the organismal phenotype, indicating that commensal microbes were not involved. Fractionation of treacle identified a water-soluble fraction with low solubility in ethanol, rich in lactate and tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, which contained the critical activity. We propose that the partial activation of AOX during metamorphosis impairs the efficient use of stored metabolites, resulting in developmental failure. © 2019 The Authors. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Mylläri, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Objective. Depression is associated with increased risk of chronic disease, which may be at least partly due to poor health behaviors. Growing body of evidence has associated depression with unhealthy diet. However, the association of depression with diet quality in the long run is not well known. Furthermore, it is unclear if dietary interventions could mitigate the harmful association of depression with diet. This study examined the association of depression with diet both cross-sectionally and longitudinally in a population-based prospective cohort. The effectiveness of an early-onset dietary intervention in modifying these associations was investigated. Methods. The sample (n = 457) was from The Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intervention Project (STRIP). The intervention group (n = 209) had undergone a dietary intervention lasting from age of 7 months until age of 20 years. Depression was measured at age 20 using Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). Diet quality was assessed at ages 20 and 26 using a diet score calculated based on food diaries. Missing values were replaced using multiple imputation by chained equations. Linear regression analyses were used to analyze the association of depression at age 20 with diet at ages 20 and 26, as well as the modifying effect of intervention group on these associations. Results. No cross-sectional association was found for depression and diet at age 20. Depression at age 20 was longitudinally associated with worse diet quality at age 26. The associations did not differ between intervention and control groups at either of the time points. Conclusions. Contrary to previous research, this study did not find cross-sectional association for depression with diet. However, this study offers novel information on longitudinal associations, suggesting that depression may have effects on diet quality that can manifest after several years. Dietary intervention was not found effective in modifying these associations. Since long-term effects on diet may be an important factor explaining the association of depression with chronic diseases, ways to mitigate the adverse consequences of depression for diet should be explored further.
  • Cano, Antonio; Chedraui, Peter; Goulis, Dimitrios G.; Lopes, Patrice; Mishra, Gita; Mueck, Alfred; Senturk, Levent M.; Simoncini, Tommaso; Stevenson, John C.; Stute, Petra; Tuomikoski, Pauliina; Rees, Margaret; Lambrinoudaki, Irene (2018)
    Introduction: Postmenopausal osteoporosis is a highly prevalent disease. Prevention through lifestyle measures includes an adequate calcium intake. Despite the guidance provided by scientific societies and governmental bodies worldwide, many issues remain unresolved. Aims: To provide evidence regarding the impact of calcium intake on the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis and critically appraise current guidelines. Materials and methods: Literature review and consensus of expert opinion. Results and conclusion: The recommended daily intake of calcium varies between 700 and 1200 mg of elemental calcium, depending on the endorsing source. Although calcium can be derived either from the diet or supplements, the former source is preferred. Intake below the recommended amount may increase fragility fracture risk; however, there is no consistent evidence that calcium supplementation at, or above, recommended levels reduces risk. The addition of vitamin D may minimally reduce fractures, mainly among institutionalised people. Excessive intake of calcium, defined as higher than 2000 mg/day, can be potentially harmful. Some studies demonstrated harm even at lower dosages. An increased risk for cardiovascular events, urolithiasis and even fractures has been found in association with excessive calcium intake, but this issue remains unresolved. In conclusion, an adequate intake of calcium is recommended for general bone health. Excessive calcium intake seems of no benefit, and could possibly be harmful.
  • Nuutinen, Teija; Lehto, Elviira; Ray, Carola; Roos, Eva; Villberg, Jari; Tynjala, Jorma (2017)
    To examine how clusters of energy balance-related behaviours (EBRBs), including sleep related factors, were associated with overweight among adolescents. In Finland, 4262 adolescents, aged 13-15, participated in the cross-national Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study. The adolescents completed questionnaires assessing EBRBs [sleep duration, discrepancy and quality, physical activity (PA), screen time, junk food, fruit, and vegetable intake] and height and weight. Clusters were identified with kappa-means cluster analysis and their associations with overweight with logistic regression analyses. Common clusters for boys and girls were labelled "Healthy lifestyle" and "High screen time, unhealthy lifestyle". In addition, the cluster "Low/moderate screen time, unhealthy lifestyle" was identified among boys, and the cluster "Poor sleep, unhealthy lifestyle" among girls. Only girls in the cluster "High screen time, unhealthy lifestyle" were at increased risk for overweight. Girls, whose EBRB was characterized by high screen time and low PA, but not with poor sleep, were at increased risk for overweight. Future studies should examine ways to promote PA among adolescent girls with high interest in screen-based activities.
  • Hallikainen, Maarit; Halonen, Janne; Konttinen, Jussi; Lindholm, Harri; Simonen, Piia; Nissinen, Markku J.; Gylling, Helena (2013)
  • Lehtisalo, Jenni; Levälahti, Esko; Lindström, Jaana; Hänninen, Tuomo; Paajanen, Teemu; Peltonen, Markku; Antikainen, Riitta; Laatikainen, Tiina; Strandberg, Timo; Soininen, Hilkka; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Kivipelto, Miia; Ngandu, Tiia (2019)
    Introduction: Association between healthy diet and better cognition is well established, but evidence is limited to evaluate the effect of dietary changes adopted in older age. Methods: We investigated the role of dietary changes in the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) with 1260 at-risk participants (60-77 years) who were randomized to intensive multidomain intervention (including dietary counseling) or regular health advice for 2 years. Parallel process latent growth curves of adherence to dietary recommendations and cognitive performance were analyzed. Results: Adherence to healthy diet at baseline predicted improvement in global cognition, regardless of intervention allocation (P = .003). Dietary improvement was associated with beneficial changes in executive function, especially in the intervention group (P = .008; P = .051 for groups combined). Discussion: Dietary changes initiated during the intervention were related to changes in executive function in 2 years. Long-term diet appeared more influential for global cognition. (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.
  • Garcia-Larsen, Vanessa; Del Giacco, Stefano R.; Moreira, Andre; Bonini, Matteo; Haahtela, Tari; Bonini, Sergio; Carlsen, Kai-Hakon; Agache, Ioana; Fonseca, Joao; Papadopoulos, Nikolaos G.; Delgado, Luis (2016)
    Background: Diet has been proposed to modulate the risk of asthma in children and adults. An increasing body of epidemiological studies have been published in the last year investigating the association between dietary intake and asthma. As part of the Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline Task Force on 'Lifestyle Interventions in Allergy and Asthma' funded by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, we will use a systematic approach to review the evidence from published scientific literature on dietary intake and asthma in children and adults. Methods: This systematic review will be carried out following the PRISMA guidelines. The protocol has been published in PROSPERO (CRD42016036078). We will review the evidence from epidemiological studies in children (from the age of 2 years) and adults and dietary intake of foods and nutrients. Discussion: The findings from this review will be used as a reference to inform guideline recommendations.
  • Zamora-Ros, Raul; Cayssials, Valerie; Jenab, Mazda; Rothwell, Joseph A.; Fedirko, Veronika; Aleksandrova, Krasimira; Tjonneland, Anne; Kyro, Cecilie; Overvad, Kim; Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine; Carbonnel, Franck; Mahamat-Saleh, Yahya; Kaaks, Rudolf; Kuehn, Tilman; Boeing, Heiner; Trichopoulou, Antonia; Valanou, Elissavet; Vasilopoulou, Effie; Masala, Giovanna; Pala, Valeria; Panico, Salvatore; Tumino, Rosario; Ricceri, Fulvio; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Lukic, Marko; Sandanger, Torkjel M.; Lasheras, Cristina; Agudo, Antonio; Sanchez, Maria-Jose; Amiano, Pilar; Navarro, Carmen; Ardanaz, Eva; Sonestedt, Emily; Ohlsson, Bodil; Nilsson, Lena Maria; Rutegard, Martin; Bueno-de-Mesquita, Bas; Peeters, Petra H.; Khaw, Kay-Thee; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Bradbury, Kathryn; Freisling, Heinz; Romieu, Isabelle; Cross, Amanda J.; Vineis, Paolo; Scalbert, Augustin (2018)
    Polyphenols may play a chemopreventive role in colorectal cancer (CRC); however, epidemiological evidence supporting a role for intake of individual polyphenol classes, other than flavonoids is insufficient. We evaluated the association between dietary intakes of total and individual classes and subclasses of polyphenols and CRC risk and its main subsites, colon and rectum, within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. The cohort included 476,160 men and women from 10 European countries. During a mean follow-up of 14years, there were 5991 incident CRC cases, of which 3897 were in the colon and 2094 were in the rectum. Polyphenol intake was estimated using validated centre/country specific dietary questionnaires and the Phenol-Explorer database. In multivariable-adjusted Cox regression models, a doubling in total dietary polyphenol intake was not associated with CRC risk in women (HRlog2=1.06, 95% CI 0.99-1.14) or in men (HRlog2=0.97, 95% CI 0.90-1.05), respectively. Phenolic acid intake, highly correlated with coffee consumption, was inversely associated with colon cancer in men (HRlog2=0.91, 95% CI 0.85-0.97) and positively associated with rectal cancer in women (HRlog2=1.10, 95% CI 1.02-1.19); although associations did not exceed the Bonferroni threshold for significance. Intake of other polyphenol classes was not related to colorectal, colon or rectal cancer risks. Our study suggests a possible inverse association between phenolic acid intake and colon cancer risk in men and positive with rectal cancer risk in women.
  • Feel4Diabet Res Grp; Virtanen, Eeva; Kivelä, Jemina; Wikstrom, Katja; Lambrinou, Christina-Paulina; Lindström, Jaana (2020)
    Background The aim of this paper is to present the development of the Feel4Diabetes Healthy Diet Score and to evaluate its clinical validity. Methods Study population consisted of 3268 adults (63% women) from high diabetes risk families living in 6 European countries. Participants filled in questionnaires at baseline and after 1 year, reflecting the dietary goals of the Feel4Diabetes intervention. Based on these questions the Healthy Diet Score was constructed, consisting of the following components: breakfast, vegetables, fruit and berries, sugary drinks, whole-grain cereals, nuts and seeds, low-fat dairy products, oils and fats, red meat, sweet snacks, salty snacks, and family meals. Maximum score for each component was set based on its estimated relative importance regarding T2DM risk, higher score indicating better quality of diet. Clinical measurements included height, weight, waist circumference, heart rate, blood pressure, and fasting blood sampling, with analyses of glucose, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides. Analysis of (co) variance was used to compare the Healthy Diet Score and its components between countries and sexes using baseline data, and to test differences in clinical characteristics between score categories, adjusted for age, sex and country. Pearson's correlations were used to study the association between changes from baseline to year 1 in the Healthy Diet Score and clinical markers. To estimate reproducibility, Pearson's correlations were studied between baseline and 1 year score, within the control group only. Results The mean total score was 52.8 +/- 12.8 among women and 46.6 +/- 12.8 among men (p <0.001). The total score and its components differed between countries. The change in the Healthy Diet Score was significantly correlated with changes in BMI, waist circumference, and total and LDL cholesterol. The Healthy Diet Score as well as its components at baseline were significantly correlated with the values at year 1, in the control group participants. Conclusion The Feel4Diabetes Healthy Diet Score is a reproducible method to capture the dietary information collected with the Feel4Diabetes questionnaire and measure the level of and changes in the adherence to the dietary goals of the intervention. It gives a simple parameter that associates with clinical risk factors in a meaningful manner.
  • Virtanen, Eeva; Kivelä, Jemina; Wikström, Katja; Lambrinou, Christina-Paulina; De Miguel-Etayo, Pilar; Huys, Nele; Vraukó-Tóth, Katalin; Moreno, Luis A; Usheva, Natalya; Chakarova, Nevena; Rado, Sándorné A; Iotova, Violeta; Makrilakis, Konstantinos; Cardon, Greet; Liatis, Stavros; Manios, Yannis; Lindström, Jaana (BioMed Central, 2020)
    Abstract Background The aim of this paper is to present the development of the Feel4Diabetes Healthy Diet Score and to evaluate its clinical validity. Methods Study population consisted of 3268 adults (63% women) from high diabetes risk families living in 6 European countries. Participants filled in questionnaires at baseline and after 1 year, reflecting the dietary goals of the Feel4Diabetes intervention. Based on these questions the Healthy Diet Score was constructed, consisting of the following components: breakfast, vegetables, fruit and berries, sugary drinks, whole-grain cereals, nuts and seeds, low-fat dairy products, oils and fats, red meat, sweet snacks, salty snacks, and family meals. Maximum score for each component was set based on its estimated relative importance regarding T2DM risk, higher score indicating better quality of diet. Clinical measurements included height, weight, waist circumference, heart rate, blood pressure, and fasting blood sampling, with analyses of glucose, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides. Analysis of (co) variance was used to compare the Healthy Diet Score and its components between countries and sexes using baseline data, and to test differences in clinical characteristics between score categories, adjusted for age, sex and country. Pearson’s correlations were used to study the association between changes from baseline to year 1 in the Healthy Diet Score and clinical markers. To estimate reproducibility, Pearson’s correlations were studied between baseline and 1 year score, within the control group only. Results The mean total score was 52.8 ± 12.8 among women and 46.6 ± 12.8 among men (p <  0.001). The total score and its components differed between countries. The change in the Healthy Diet Score was significantly correlated with changes in BMI, waist circumference, and total and LDL cholesterol. The Healthy Diet Score as well as its components at baseline were significantly correlated with the values at year 1, in the control group participants. Conclusion The Feel4Diabetes Healthy Diet Score is a reproducible method to capture the dietary information collected with the Feel4Diabetes questionnaire and measure the level of and changes in the adherence to the dietary goals of the intervention. It gives a simple parameter that associates with clinical risk factors in a meaningful manner. Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02393872. Registered March 20, 2015.
  • Karukivi, Max; Jula, Antti; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Hutri-Kähönen, Nina; Laitinen, Tomi T.; Viikari, Jorma; Juonala, Markus; Raitakari, Olli (2020)
    We evaluated the association of cardiovascular health in adolescence and young adulthood with alexithymia 25 years later. The study sample (n=1122) participated in evaluations conducted in 1986 (baseline) and in 2011−2012 (T2). Baseline health factors and behaviors were assessed utilizing seven ideal cardiovascular health metrics (ICH index) including blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, smoking, physical activity, body-mass-index, and diet. The stability of the ICH index was evaluated with corresponding assessments in 2007 (T1). At T2, alexithymia was measured with the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). The main analyses were conducted using ANCOVA and adjusted for depression, age, and present social and lifestyle factors. TAS-20 subscales, Difficulty Identifying Feelings (DIF), Difficulty Describing Feelings (DDF), and Externally Oriented Thinking, were analyzed separately. The ICH index was significantly associated with the TAS-20 total score, as well as both with DIF and DDF. A less ideal cardiovascular health was associated with higher alexithymia scores. However, regarding the separate factors, only the association between non-ideal dietary habits and DIF was significant in the multivariate analyses. The baseline ICH index score was stable from baseline to T1. We conclude that non-ideal cardiovascular lifestyle habits in adolescence and young adulthood are significantly associated with later alexithymia.
  • ARIA Grp; Bousquet, Jean; Anto, Josep M.; Iaccarino, Guido; Haahtela, Tari; Zuberbier, Torsten (2020)
    Reported COVID-19 deaths in Germany are relatively low as compared to many European countries. Among the several explanations proposed, an early and large testing of the population was put forward. Most current debates on COVID-19 focus on the differences among countries, but little attention has been given to regional differences and diet. The low-death rate European countries (e.g. Austria, Baltic States, Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, Poland, Slovakia) have used different quarantine and/or confinement times and methods and none have performed as many early tests as Germany. Among other factors that may be significant are the dietary habits. It seems that some foods largely used in these countries may reduce angiotensin-converting enzyme activity or are anti-oxidants. Among the many possible areas of research, it might be important to understand diet and angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) levels in populations with different COVID-19 death rates since dietary interventions may be of great benefit.
  • Bousquet, Jean; Anto, Josep M; Iaccarino, Guido; Czarlewski, Wienczyslawa; Haahtela, Tari; Anto, Aram; Akdis, Cezmi A; Blain, Hubert; Canonica, G. W; Cardona, Victoria; Cruz, Alvaro A; Illario, Maddalena; Ivancevich, Juan C; Jutel, Marek; Klimek, Ludger; Kuna, Piotr; Laune, Daniel; Larenas-Linnemann, Désirée; Mullol, Joaquim; Papadopoulos, Nikos G; Pfaar, Oliver; Samolinski, Boleslaw; Valiulis, Arunas; Yorgancioglu, Arzu; Zuberbier, Torsten (BioMed Central, 2020)
    Abstract Reported COVID-19 deaths in Germany are relatively low as compared to many European countries. Among the several explanations proposed, an early and large testing of the population was put forward. Most current debates on COVID-19 focus on the differences among countries, but little attention has been given to regional differences and diet. The low-death rate European countries (e.g. Austria, Baltic States, Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, Poland, Slovakia) have used different quarantine and/or confinement times and methods and none have performed as many early tests as Germany. Among other factors that may be significant are the dietary habits. It seems that some foods largely used in these countries may reduce angiotensin-converting enzyme activity or are anti-oxidants. Among the many possible areas of research, it might be important to understand diet and angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) levels in populations with different COVID-19 death rates since dietary interventions may be of great benefit.
  • Magioli, Marcelo; Micchi de Barros Ferraz, Katia Maria Paschoaletto; Chiarello, Adriano Garcia; Galetti, Mauro; Freire Setz, Eleonore Zulnara; Paglia, Adriano Pereira; Abrego, Nerea; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Ovaskainen, Otso (2021)
    Land-use changes are a main driver of modifications in tropical ecosystems, leading to the loss of species and ecological traits and affecting key ecological functions. Although much attention has been given to predict the effects of species loss on ecological processes, information on the large-scale effects of land-use changes over ecological functions is scarce. Here, we detected erosion in the prevalence of ecological functions performed by mammals in response to land-use changes in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. By analyzing the loss of different ecological functions (vertebrate and invertebrate predation, seed dispersal, seed depredation, herbivory) performed by mammal assemblages in a deforestation gradient, we observed that vulnerable functions (performed by sensitive species, such as browsing, seed depredation, medium and large vertebrate predation) were positively related to patch size and forest cover and negatively related to anthropogenic cover. These relationships were reversed for persistent functions (performed by resilient species, such as grazing, small seed dispersal, small vertebrate and invertebrate predation). Vulnerable functions were virtually restricted to large forest remnants, while persistent functions were prevalent in human-modified landscapes. Disturbed forests are not necessarily empty of mammal species, but there is a substantial loss of ecological functions across most of the Atlantic Forest. Five out of ten ecological functions lose prevalence in small forest remnants. Nonetheless, these small remnants serve as refuges for the remaining biodiversity and are on the verge of the functional extinction of important processes. The erosion of ecological functions provided by mammals compromise the persistence of Atlantic Forest's biodiversity. (C) 2021 Associacao Brasileira de Ciencia Ecologica e Conservacao. Published by Elsevier B.V.