26 February 2019 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

Low-risk thresholds for alcohol use differ across various national guidelines. To assess the novel WHO risk drinking levels in light of alcohol-sensitive common laboratory tests, we analysed biomarkers of liver status, inflammation and lipid profiles from a population-based survey of individuals classified to abstainers and different WHO risk drinking levels defined in terms of mean alcohol consumption per day. The study included 22,327 participants aged 25-74 years from the National FINRISK Study. Data on alcohol use, health status, diet, body weight and lifestyle (smoking, coffee consumption and physical activity) were recorded from structured interviews. Alcohol data from self-reports covering the past 12 months were used to categorize the participants into subgroups of abstainers and WHO risk drinking categories representing low, moderate, high and very high risk drinkers. Serum liver enzymes (GGT, ALT), C-reactive protein (CRP) and lipid profiles were measured using standard laboratory techniques. Alcohol risk category was roughly linearly related with the occurrence of elevated values for GGT, ALT and CRP. Alcohol drinking also significantly influenced the incidence of abnormalities in serum lipids. Significantly higher odds for abnormal GGT, ALT and altered lipid profiles remained in alcohol drinkers even after adjustment for age, waist circumference, physical inactivity, smoking and coffee consumption. A more systematic use of laboratory tests during treatment of individuals classified to WHO risk drinking categories may improve the assessment of alcohol-related health risks. Follow-ups of biomarker responses may also prove to be useful in health interventions aimed at reducing alcohol consumption.

29 October 2018 In Phenolic compounds

There is a growing body of evidence implicating the gut 'microbiome' role in overall human health. Bacterial species belonging to the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are generally considered to be beneficial and are commonly used in probiotic applications, whereas increases in some genera including Clostridum, Eubacterium and Bacteroides are implicated in negative health outcomes. Dietary polyphenols are bioactive compounds that have been found to increase the numbers of beneficial bacteria and antimicrobial actions against pathogenic bacteria, however most studies have been conducted in animal models or in-vitro colonic models. The aim of this systematic review was to provide an overview of recent trials on the effect of dietary grape and red wine polyphenols on the gut microbiota in humans. Following PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review was conducted of electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Wed of Science and Scopus) to identify human intervention trials examining the effect of grape or wine polyphenols on gut microbiota. Seven trials met the inclusion criteria. One study looked at changes in gut microbiota following the ingestion of de-alcoholised red wine or red wine, and six studies referred to gut microbiota as intermediates in formation of phenolic metabolites. All studies confirmed that ingested polyphenols from grape and red wine, were modulated by gut microbiota, increasing numbers of polyphenolic metabolites which were found in blood, urine, ileal fluid and faeces. Intake of polyphenols derived from grape and red wine can modulate gut microbiota and contribute to beneficial microbial ecology that can enhance human health benefits. Additionally, grape and red wine polyphenols were modulated by the gut microbiota and there is a potential for a two-way relationship between the gut microbiota and polyphenolic compounds. Nevertheless, additional research is required to fully understand the complex relationship between gut microbiota and dietary polyphenols before any health claims can be made in relation to human health.

06 September 2018 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Studies have shown that alcohol intake trajectories differ in their associations with biomarkers of cardiovascular functioning, but it remains unclear if they also differ in their relationship to actual coronary heart disease (CHD) incidence. Using multiple longitudinal cohort studies, we evaluated the association between long-term alcohol consumption trajectories and CHD.

METHODS: Data were drawn from six cohorts (five British and one French). The combined analytic sample comprised 35,132 individuals (62.1% male; individual cohorts ranging from 869 to 14,247 participants) of whom 4.9% experienced an incident (fatal or non-fatal) CHD event. Alcohol intake across three assessment periods of each cohort was used to determine participants' intake trajectories over approximately 10 years. Time to onset for (i) incident CHD and (ii) fatal CHD was established using surveys and linked medical record data. A meta-analysis of individual participant data was employed to estimate the intake trajectories' association with CHD onset, adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics.

RESULTS: Compared to consistently moderate drinkers (males: 1-168 g ethanol/week; females: 1-112 g ethanol/week), inconsistently moderate drinkers had a significantly greater risk of incident CHD [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02-1.37]. An elevated risk of incident CHD was also found for former drinkers (HR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.13-1.52) and consistent non-drinkers (HR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.21-1.78), although, after sex stratification, the latter effect was only evident for females. When examining fatal CHD outcomes alone, only former drinkers had a significantly elevated risk, though hazard ratios for consistent non-drinkers were near identical. No evidence of elevated CHD risk was found for consistently heavy drinkers, and a weak association with fatal CHD for inconsistently heavy drinkers was attenuated following adjustment for confounding factors.

CONCLUSIONS: Using prospectively recorded alcohol data, this study has shown how instability in drinking behaviours over time is associated with risk of CHD. As well as individuals who abstain from drinking (long term or more recently), those who are inconsistently moderate in their alcohol intake have a higher risk of experiencing CHD. This finding suggests that policies and interventions specifically encouraging consistency in adherence to lower-risk drinking guidelines could have public health benefits in reducing the population burden of CHD. The absence of an effect amongst heavy drinkers should be interpreted with caution given the known wider health risks associated with such intake.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03133689

18 May 2018 In Cancer

Importance: Inflammation is important in colorectal cancer development. Diet modulates inflammation and may thus be a crucial modifiable factor in colorectal cancer prevention.

Objective: To examine whether proinflammatory diets are associated with increased colorectal cancer risk by using an empirical dietary inflammatory pattern (EDIP) score based on a weighted sum of 18 food groups that characterizes dietary inflammatory potential based on circulating levels of inflammation biomarkers.

Design, Settings, and Participants: Cohort study of 46804 men (Health Professionals Follow-up Study: 1986-2012) and 74246 women (Nurses' Health Study: 1984-2012) followed for 26 years to examine associations between EDIP scores and colorectal cancer risk using Cox regression. We also examined associations in categories of alcohol intake and body weight. Data analysis began January 17, 2017, and was completed August 9, 2017.

Exposures: EDIP scores calculated from food frequency questionnaires administered every 4 years.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Incident colorectal cancer.

Results: We documented 2699 incident colorectal cancer cases over 2571831 person-years of follow-up. Compared with participants in the lowest EDIP quintile (Q) who had a colorectal cancer incidence rate (per 100000 person-years) of 113 (men) and 80 (women), those in the highest Q had an incidence rate of 151 (men) and 92 (women), leading to an unadjusted rate difference of 38 and 12 more colorectal cancer cases, respectively, among those consuming highly proinflammatory diets. Comparing participants in the highest vs lowest EDIP Qs in multivariable-adjusted analyses, higher EDIP scores were associated with 44% (men: hazard ratio [HR], 1.44; 95% CI, 1.19-1.74; P < .001 for trend), 22% (women: HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.02-1.45; P = .007 for trend), and 32% (men and women: pooled HR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.12-1.55; P < .001 for trend) higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. In both men and women, associations were observed in all anatomic subsites except for the rectum in women. In subgroups (P </= .02 for all interactions), associations differed by alcohol intake level, with stronger associations among men (Q5 vs Q1 HR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.05-2.49; P = .002 for trend) and women (Q5 vs Q1 HR, 1.33; 95% CI, 0.97-1.81; P = .03 for trend) not consuming alcohol; and by body weight, with stronger associations among overweight/obese men (Q5 vs Q1 HR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.12-1.94; P = .008 for trend) and lean women (Q5 vs Q1 HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 0.99-1.74; P = .01 for trend).

Conclusions and Relevance: Findings suggest that inflammation is a potential mechanism linking dietary patterns and colorectal cancer development. Interventions to reduce the adverse role of proinflammatory diets may be more effective among overweight/obese men and lean women or men and women who do not consume alcohol.

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